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Save space when saving Illustrator Files Apps
Many of my clinets have been complaining about how big Adobe Illustrator files have gotten since version 10. Well it turns out there is a good reason for it. Starting with Illustrator 10, Adobe has been including PDF compatability information in all saved files. When you go to save a file for the first time or when you are using the Save As dialoug, Illustrator presents you with a number of options. The wording and graphical presentation of the options is a bit diffarent between Illustrator 10 and CS(11), but the gist and result is the same.

After you name the file, you can choose some items like how much of the font gets turned into a subset and whether or not to use compression. There is also a neat little item that says 'Make File PDF Compatible,' and this item is on by default. Uncheck it and complete the save. Now look at your file size, it should be about one fifth of what it is with PDF compatability. True, you lose the ability to open Illustrator files directly in Acrobat, but you gain huge amounts of file space. And when you have 25,000 files, 30MB saved on each file adds up qucik.

BTW, the check box makes itself active each and every time you save a new file; the only way I know of to undo that is to edit your Illustrator preferences file. A fellow name P.A. George from the Adobe forums gets credit for the following (he is referring to the AI:CS Prefs file): "In AICS search for the block that looks like:

/aiFileFormat { 
/enableContentRecovery 0 
/PDFCompatibility 1 
/cmykPostScript 1 
and change PDFCompatibility to 0. You may have to save an .ai file first and quit Illustrator for these lines to show up in the prefs file since they are not added to the file until a feature is used that needs them."

[robg adds: I can't test this one here, as I don't have Illustrator.]
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Save space when saving Illustrator Files
Authored by: schneb on Feb 20, '04 11:32:20AM


You never told me if my Actions idea worked for your scads of bloated Illustrator files...

Were you able to batch those files? How much space did it recover?


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Save space when saving Illustrator Files
Authored by: tarmer on Feb 20, '04 12:04:11PM

First off does anyone know how to submitt a bug report for Illustrator CS?

Second, I like to have PDF compatability turned on so I can open the file in other programs such as Acrobat or Preview. I've encountered this problem and have posted it to the AI forum at Adobe's website.

My Problem and Solution:

I had a problem where an 2.2MB AI10 file balloned to 21+MB when saved with PDF compatability turned on. Here is my workaround for the problem:

In AICS's Color Settings dialog box set the settings popup to Emulate AI6 at the very top of the list. When saving the file with PDF compability turned on the file size should now be around 1.5 to 2X of the orginal file. If you set color settings to anything else, such as US Prepress Defaults, it will ballon the file size as much as 15 to 20 times its orginal!

I've tested this on 3 different installs of AICS and all behave the same.

This is not much of a solution for someone who needs the other color settings but it helps if you don't.

Hope this helps.

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Save space when saving Illustrator Files
Authored by: schneb on Feb 20, '04 02:17:31PM

It was stupid, but Adobe eliminated their "report a bug" page. In other words, if you run into a bug, too bad. Now they expect you to use snail mail. I guess if it is worth it enough to do it this way, it is worth their attention.

However, posting at the forum site might get you some attention.

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Save space when saving Illustrator Files
Authored by: maximxygo on Feb 21, '04 02:58:24PM

Keep in mind, though, that for compatibility with other Adobe products (InDesign 2 or later, and Photoshop 6 or later, most notably) you should leave the PDF compatability on. What the PDF compat. gets you is the ability to open and view Illustrator files with Panther's Preview app, view a placed Illustrator document in InDesign, and place an Illustrator document in Photoshop. Without that option on, you cannot use that peticular document in other Adobe apps.

It appears that Illustrator actually embeds a PDF preview with text explaining this when you disable the PDF Compatability option and try placing the resultant PDF document in another app (try it with Preview).

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Why not directly as a PDF?
Authored by: hamarkus on Feb 21, '04 03:44:43PM

I just compared the file sizes for different formats with a sample file, this option saved me 4K out of 110K, saving it as a PDF more than halved the file size to 44K.
I made it a habit to save files if somehow possible in an open file format, Word files as RTF, Photoshop files as TIFF, Illustrator as EPS etc. Does sombody know if there are any important differences between .ai, .eps and .pdf files, apart from that minor detail file size and the inability of some programs to handle EPS files properly?

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