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Layers inaccessible - all grayed out in Reader and Acrobat on Mac

New Here ,
Sep 28, 2020

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Hi everyone,

 

I've got a layered file which I simply cannot access properly. It's a sewing pattern and you should be able to switch the right size layer on or off to allow you to print it off as you wish. However, in both Reader and Acrobat the layers properties etc are all greyed out so I cannot access any of it. I've attached a screenshot to show what I mean so I hope someone might have a solution! (and yes, I have been into preferences>document> allowed layer state to be set by user information)

 

Thanks, Ian

 

Apple 2017 Imac running OS 10.13.6 High Sierra

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Correct answer by try67 | Most Valuable Participant

If you even open the file in Preview it can get corrupted. That's how bad that application is.

Is the file you shared the one you downloaded, as is, or did you open it in Preview first, and then upload it?

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Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Print and prepress

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Layers inaccessible - all grayed out in Reader and Acrobat on Mac

New Here ,
Sep 28, 2020

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Hi everyone,

 

I've got a layered file which I simply cannot access properly. It's a sewing pattern and you should be able to switch the right size layer on or off to allow you to print it off as you wish. However, in both Reader and Acrobat the layers properties etc are all greyed out so I cannot access any of it. I've attached a screenshot to show what I mean so I hope someone might have a solution! (and yes, I have been into preferences>document> allowed layer state to be set by user information)

 

Thanks, Ian

 

Apple 2017 Imac running OS 10.13.6 High Sierra

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by try67 | Most Valuable Participant

If you even open the file in Preview it can get corrupted. That's how bad that application is.

Is the file you shared the one you downloaded, as is, or did you open it in Preview first, and then upload it?

TOPICS
Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Print and prepress

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154

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Sep 28, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2020

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What program are you using to create your layered PDF? I don't see any layers in your screen shot. If you are using InDesign, turn on the Create Acrobat Layers check box when exporting your PDF, select one of the layers or sub-layers from the Acrobat layers view and right click to access the layer properties.

PDF Layers from InDesign.png

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Sep 28, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 28, 2020

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Hi Luke, This is a downloaded PDF which someone else has created and has been tested and used by others without any issue! This is why I'm so confused by it, I can only imagine it relates to the settings within my own copy of Reader or Acrobat...

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Sep 28, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2020

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Can you share the download link, or upload the PDF so we can take a look?

Since it's not working for you in Acrobat or Reader, it seems unlikely to be a preferences issue, but it's possible.

What version of Acrobat are you using? Have you checked for updates? (Help> Check for updates).

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Sep 28, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 28, 2020

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I'm pretty sure I'm up to date as I'm on Creative Cloud - both are version 2020.012.20048. I can't seem to upload the PDF here and the original download is behind a paywall, so I've put it on WeTransfer here - https://we.tl/t-0NMU1CVN2n

 

Thanks again for any insights!

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Sep 28, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 29, 2020

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There are no layers in this file. Maybe it was flattened at some point, or incorrectly created (the application listed as creating it is "Preview", which is not a good sign...).

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Sep 29, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 29, 2020

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Thanks for looking at the file; all the sewing pattern files which I have are downloaded from the creator's website in the same way by many different people. From contacting other sewing people about this they have found no problem with switching the layers on and off to show the particular size they require which is why I'm so confused by why it won't work for me! As a Mac user my default PDF viewer is Preview, but at no point has the file been knowingly flattened, even opening a freshly downloaded document in Reader or Acrobat yields zero access to layers!

 

I'm at a bit of a loss for what's going on really...

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Sep 29, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 29, 2020

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If you even open the file in Preview it can get corrupted. That's how bad that application is.

Is the file you shared the one you downloaded, as is, or did you open it in Preview first, and then upload it?

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Sep 29, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 29, 2020

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It isn't working because something has removed the layers. If it actually had layers you'd see a list of them in your first screen shot. So the damage was already done. 

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Sep 29, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 29, 2020

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Thanks, this is now solved. Safari was set to automatically open safe files such as PDF's once they're downloaded and it appears that this, just as you suggested flattens it forever. I've turned that off and set Reader as the default PDF viewer. Somewhat incredible that Preview does that much damage to a file just by opening it, will definitely be reporting that to Apple. Having downloaded one of the files again and opened first in Reader all the layers are now visible and accessible. Thanks for everyone's help...

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Sep 29, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 29, 2020

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Glad to hear it, and I agree. The fact that Apple's own, default PDF viewer is so buggy is unbelievable, and it's been like that for YEARS. It also corrupts PDF form fields, by the way.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 29, 2020

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