Been using that trick for years, for various other reasons. The problem is that while it keeps the file editable, it screws with things to the point where anything beyond the smallest of changes can be a pain in the arse.
For example, it will sometimes convert lines of text into multiple text objects - making it impossible to change anything but the last word without completely re-creating the text object.
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I had stumbled upon it almost by accident a few years ago when I was still on CS4. It depends on how the original file was created. But for the most part, it was successful more often than not and allowed me to do almost anything I needed to do with any given AI file.
Next I'm gonna try opening my 14 y-o car as a PDF and see if I can re-save it as a 2014!
Two 'tricks' that work for me, and likely to be told here there are easier ways to go about it.
1. Since 99% of my work is in inDesign, I need to export PDF files for client review (commonly 10 or more times each day). I want to be able to email small file sizes that show high quality. Because the smaller file options on the PDF presets always give me low-res images, somewhat innaccurate colors and don't alway display layers correctly, I use this technique: save ID file with custom PDF preset (PDF/X-4 with bleeds & cropmarks) > open the new PDF file and save as Postcript > open Postscript file in Acrobat Distiller and save as 'Standard' PDF. This gives me very small file size with the sharpness & accuracy of the original hig-res PDF. Also this avoids the 'white frame' artifact that was common with complex layered ID files when transparency and shadows were used.
2. From inDesign I'll export the document with the high-res PDF preset, then open that PDF in Photoshop as the needed raster file -- usually a high-res CMYK TIF or save as a low-res JPG for any web/email use. Beginning with the PDF always gives me crisper type than the ID export options. This works well for me, am I missing some real easy step straight from ID that gives me the same quality as the PDF workaround?
Seems like the long way around. I just export my ID file as high-quality PDF, then in Acrobat Pro, I reduce the file size by optimizing it. Usually cuts the size by at least 1/3 or more and leaves image quality intact.
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