A leetle trick for the AI version challenged.

Posted by: steveg

A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/09/14 12:08 PM

I haven't used this for some time, but a certain mod here had a situation that seemed a good opportunity to see if it still works. And by cracky, it do! cool

If you can't open an Illustrator file because it was created by a version newer than what you have, here's how to get over the barrier:

1. Open the .ai or .eps file in Acrobat (either via Open With or by dragging it to the Acrobat icon.

2. Save as a PDF.

3. Now open the PDF in Illustrator (Open With or drag to the AI icon)

4. It'll open as an intact, fully editable AI file that's compatible with your version.

5. Save as an .eps or .ai

6. Don't tell Adobe! whistle
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/09/14 12:27 PM

Awesome.
My work refuses to pay for CC, and new files are starting to trickle in. Sometimes I get blank pages, sometimes I get dozens of clipping masks.
Thanks, Steve.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/09/14 01:20 PM

Well duh, what respectable tech wouldn't already know that trick?
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/09/14 02:43 PM

I'll be honest. I'm still trying to figure out what Acrobat does, besides create online forms. blush
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/09/14 03:16 PM

You tell me, El Respect-O! grin
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/09/14 03:17 PM

Well, duh… It helps you snooker Adobe, foo! laugh
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/10/14 04:18 AM

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.
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/10/14 04:32 AM

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! grin
Posted by: garyW

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/14/14 02:35 PM

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?

Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/14/14 03:05 PM

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.
Posted by: garyW

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/14/14 03:07 PM

It is the long way around, but I swear the quality is higher and file size is smaller. That's why I do this.

..or maybe it's just me. grin
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/14/14 04:00 PM

I do mine the way Steve does it... but I'll give yours a shot too.
It's ridiculous that ID, or Quark even, doesn't have a preset already for this need.
I call bullsh!t.
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/14/14 06:41 PM

Mind if I ask a question?

I work mostly in Illustrator. It can output everything I need to do my job.
When I recieve InDesign PDF files, every element is "cut up" into endless clipping paths.

What PDF export settings should I tell my clients to use, so I can read in Illustrator?
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/14/14 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Acumowchek
What PDF export settings should I tell my clients to use, so I can read in Illustrator?

Here's hoping someone has relatively bullet-proof settings for all those apps that can generate PDFs these days (assuming they even have settings). Obviously, if they're using Illustrator, tell them to enable "Preserve Illustrator editing capabilities" and you should be fine. (But then, if they're using Illustrator, just have them send an Illustrator file ;-) Otherwise I find it's pretty much a crap shoot as to what you're going to get. Especially with all the masks PDFs generate -- it can be pretty maddening at times.

I'd LOVE to know if there's a basic set of settings that will leave things relatively pristine =)
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/15/14 02:51 AM

I'll defer to someone else on that. I would rank my AI skill level at only an eyelash above Intermediate.
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/15/14 06:32 AM

For the most part, my clients only need to see what a l/o looks like and if the copy is correct. Image quality and color fidelity, crispness of typography, etc. are not what they're vetting. So, for that matter, I could export at the "Smallest File Size" PDF preset, and it wouldn't matter. But I like to give them an artifact-free visual.

Natcherly, if a file is going to the printer, I export a .ps file and distill it as Press Quality with "Optimize for Web View" and OPI turned off.
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/15/14 07:38 PM

That "cutting up" you're seeing is the transparency flattener at work. They need to set it to vector instead of raster, and they need to make sure that all colors are either RGB or CMYK, but not a mix of both. Then they need to make sure they save as a PDF version 7 or higher.

Even then, you're likely to have issues. At its core, PDF is meant for output, not import/further editing.
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/15/14 08:06 PM

Quote:
They need to set it to vector instead of raster, and they need to make sure that all colors are either RGB or CMYK, but not a mix of both. Then they need to make sure they save as a PDF version 7 or higher.


Right. Got it.
And I believe in Unicorns too. wink

So what button do I tell them to push? grin
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/16/14 02:55 AM

There are those times when I miss sending a squeaky (marker sketch on layout paper) to a client via foot or bike messenger. cry grin
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/16/14 03:51 AM

And by "There are those times," you mean "every god-forsaken work day..." I can't even find clients that know what a marker sketch is anymore.
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/16/14 04:09 AM

And therein lies the most frustrating paradox in this business. The normal progression of a creative assignment is: Strategy --> Concepts --> Copy & L/O --> Final Creative --> Production. Naturally, with vetting at each stage.

The squeaky — just a loose sketch with a hand-lettered headline — was considered a Concept. The client could evaluate the basic ideas or core messages without being distracted by color preferences, photo details or — gawd help us — the size of the f'n logo! Once a concept was chosen, design and writing could commence.

These days, a tight electronic L/O with full copy in place is the "concept". So once a winner is chosen, and the creative undergoes the natural changes that development almost always drives, the client, who has been seduced by what looked liked a finished piece, freaks out because it's become what s/he thinks is something different than what was approved! Ugh! mad
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/16/14 08:38 AM

Yep. FedEx and the Mac have effectively destroyed our industry, IMO. The ability to quickly destroy an otherwise sound concept on the computer and ship color proofs/approvals overnight have turned us into a "vendor" instead of a "partner."

With those two putting us in a 6-foot hole in the ground, the Internet is effectively throwing dirt on top with the ability to allow clients to seek out and hire a hot-dog stand worker to be their "ad agency" simply because they have a copy of PowerPoint and an image editing app.
Posted by: steveg

Re: A leetle trick for the AI version challenged. - 01/16/14 09:18 AM

If you haven't already, go to Craigslist and scan the Creative Services listings. The parade of hacks that totally denigrate and devalue what we do will make your head explode. mad

I used to run ads there, but not for quite a while. Sorry, but I don't do $25 clip art mongrel logos or $99 websites. And I most certainly don't want to be even remotely associated with these clowns.