CS5 Problems

So, we finally upgraded to CS5 from CS3 however now I am having a few problems.

When opening pdf's in illustrator CS5 will say links are missing, and come up as blank if I ignore the missing links. When I open the same file in illustrator CS3 it opens up perfectly without any issues and full vector editability.

I have also noticed that when I use the flatten transparency feature with CS5 it very often just flattens the entire image and makes it what appears to be a non-vector piece. Before I would place a customer supplied pdf in illustrator CS3 as a link and flatten transparency and ensure all text is converted to outlines. I realize this may not be the proper way to do things, but it beats spending 2 months going back and forth trying to explain to a customer what a font file is.

I'm curious what changed in CS5 that is now making pdf's have missing links when the same file opens perfectly fine in CS3? Should I just use CS5 strictly for downsaving files and keep on using CS3?

Thanks for the help!
 

Lukas Engqvist

Well-known member
Illustrator is not a PDF editor. Regarding flattening as you have used it you need to make sure your transparency flattenig is set to high quality for the "fix" you are using.
If images are visible in Illustrator depends on if they are linked or embeded, could it be that the PDF files you are trying to open have OPI comments? I do not have problems seeing images from PDF files when opening in CS5, but opening a PDF without having the correct fonts will give font substitution issues.
 
I wish I had it.

Unfortunately, Illustrator is the best tool I've found that we have to edit files. And asking a customer to supply them print ready as a pdf is pretty much impossible. I usually request customers supply me a pdf because of the ability to create outlines on text and pull apart images. I also realize that the fix we use to get outlined fonts is not the "proper" way to do things, but it works.

I would say that about 90% of our customers have no clue about file formats and they just send me whatever they have.

I guess the biggest question I have is what changed in CS5 to make it believe that links were missing? When the same file opened in CS3 will open without an issue. Is CS3 just using a low res preview to recreate the artwork?

Thanks for all the replies!
 

Lukas Engqvist

Well-known member
Just lost a long post due to network :(

Anyway. I did come to some conclusion. I am almost certain that your PDFs are exclusively one page PDFs created from Illustrator CS4 or CS5. What is happening is that CS3 is not accessing the illustrator part of the PDF and is therefore serving you the PDF, whereas CS5 is seeing that there is an Illustrator native data in the PDF and is trying to serve this. You are getting more editability in CS5 (Appearances, patterns, symbols, effects) but since you are opening an AI part of the file illustrator asks for the Links.

If you trash the native part of the PDFs (can be done with a PDF action) you will get the CS3 editability in CS5.

For many of us PDFs would include multipage documents from any number of applications but most likely InDesign and Quark, and therefore the statement about AI not being a PDF editor. Had I understood the narrow definition of PDF I would have answered otherwise.

I would recommend that you ask your customers to save PDFs as a PDFx4 (2008) since that would avoid the issue of a double PDF, It would also mean that you they will need to embed fonts in the PDF and you should be able to RIP the file without having to fix what should not need fixing. CS5 is superior to CS3, and there is an explanation for what you are experiencing... only you made us work to figure out what was happening ;)

There is going to be a continual decrease in the quality of work we receive if we do not educate out customers but keep fixing things for them. In the end it will be like disarming a bomb, and you'll be damned if you do damned if you don't... so best is just to educate them to do things right (or offer them that you fix it for a fee)
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
Adobe Illustrator is NOT a PDF Editor!!!

Adobe Illustrator is NOT a PDF Editor!!!

So, we finally upgraded to CS5 from CS3 however now I am having a few problems.

When opening pdf's in illustrator CS5 will say links are missing, and come up as blank if I ignore the missing links. When I open the same file in illustrator CS3 it opens up perfectly without any issues and full vector editability.

I have also noticed that when I use the flatten transparency feature with CS5 it very often just flattens the entire image and makes it what appears to be a non-vector piece. Before I would place a customer supplied pdf in illustrator CS3 as a link and flatten transparency and ensure all text is converted to outlines. I realize this may not be the proper way to do things, but it beats spending 2 months going back and forth trying to explain to a customer what a font file is.

I'm curious what changed in CS5 that is now making pdf's have missing links when the same file opens perfectly fine in CS3? Should I just use CS5 strictly for downsaving files and keep on using CS3?

Thanks for the help!

On behalf of Adobe Systems Incorporated ... :)

Adobe Illustrator is not, repeat not, and repeat once again not a general purpose PDF file editor. The only PDF files that Adobe Illustrator can safely edit are those saved by your current version or earlier from Illustrator as PDF using the preserve editability feature. Note that this does not include PDF files that are created from Illustrator by printing to PostScript and distilling same – a workflow that is strongly discouraged for many reasons.

When opening any other type of PDF file, Adobe Illustrator attempts to do the best job it can with the content with the understanding that (1) Adobe Illustrator only supports a subset of the PDF language specification, (2) Adobe Illustrator in general only handles one color mode at a time – forget about opening a ICC color managed PDF/X-4 file from InDesign, for example, in Illustrator, and (3) Adobe Illustrator does not use any of the fonts embedded in such a PDF file – it requires all fonts to be installed on the user's system. You may experience loss of color data, loss of data, corruption of graphics, etc.

And yes, converting text to outlines is strongly discouraged as a reasonable and reliable workflow. Why? The resultant text is often overly bolded (you've lost the intelligent scaling of fonts) both for display and print. The resultant PDF file has lost its ability for text search and text touchup. The resultant PDF file is often quite bloated in size. Your reasoning for outlining doesn't seem to hold water. If you have a PDF file with fonts embedded, you shouldn't have a problem at all. If the fonts aren't embedded, unless you have the fonts installed on your system, you cannot outline the text properly anyway. And finally, if you have a PDF file without the fonts embedded and you do have the fonts installed on your system, Acrobat Pro's preflight function does support embedding those missing fonts into the PDF file so that you have no problems with RIPing.

I strongly suggest you have someone go over your workflows with you. There are much better solutions to the problems you believe you have than taking a shotgun to your head by opening all PDF files in Adobe Illustrator.

- Dov
 

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