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Files "generated by a newer version of Illustrator" can't be opened by previous Illustrator versions

Community Beginner ,
Jan 14, 2020 Jan 14, 2020

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The title isn't 100% correct, as they can be opened, but the art is clipped to the artboard and everything outside the artboard is gone. 

 

The problem with this, is when Adobe releases a problematic update (24.0.2) and you try to open that file in a (more) stable version (23.1.1) and everything outside the artboard is gone. 

 

I understand that Adobe is trying to prevent users from using really old versions, but this is straight-up dumb.  At least allow users to open files that include files outside the artboard 4-5 stable releases back.

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Bug , Draw and design , Import and export , Scripting , Tools

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Jan 14, 2020 Jan 14, 2020

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Illustrator files consist of an AI file part (the native data that can be edited) and a PDF part (the data that is used in layout software and is expanded so no longer fully editable). The PDF part is only present when you check "PDF compatible" when saving.

Every Illustrator version introduces new features. These create obects that old versions can not edit, because they don't have the features and don't understand the data. So what older versions do is they read the PDF part of the file.

 

If you want a video of that, there you go: https://youtu.be/IpDh8Y7q8yE

 

BTW: There aren't too many applications that are backwards compatible. So I really don't get your argument.

Illustrator has a special way of saving native files. You should know this in order to be able to set the correct options and to recover some of your artwork when things go wrong. More info about saving files in Illustrator Saving safely: http://vektorgarten.de/illustrator-saving-safely.html ...

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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I completely understand you.  What I don't understand is that if you save an .Ai in 1 version back (not 2, not 5, not 10), it won't open the .Ai file as it is.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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Exactly what do you save exactly how and exactly where?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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It was a working logo file that I saved to my hard drive.  I was first using 23.1.1 then I closed Illustrator, installed 24.0.2, opened the file and kept working.  When I realized that there were some issues with saving PDF's in 24.0.2, I switched back over to 23.1.1, but when I opened that logo file it only showed what was inside the artboard and "clipped" everything outside, almost like if you open a editable PDF in Illustrator.

 

All files saved are .Ai

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Community Expert ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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"almost like if you open a editable PDF in Illustrator."

 

Well, yes, because that is what happening. When you open a higher version AI file in a lower version Illustrator, then actually you import the embedded PDF. That's what the video says BTW.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 14, 2020 Jan 14, 2020

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Did you save your file as "AI" or "PDF with AI compatability"? When saved as "AI" it should open in any version of AI CC. If saved as "PDF with AI compatability" it will only be fully editable in the AI version that saved the PDF.

 

Edit:
I see 2020 has a "CC Legacy" format. Looks like you'll need to re-download AICC 2020 and save in AI CC (Legacy).
image.png

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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I always save my working files as .ai

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LEGEND ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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But did you save it in "CC (Legacy)" format? This will allow your 2020 file to open in previous versions of AI CC.

 

This is new with 2020. Previous versions of AI CC shared the same file format. 

 

image.png

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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I use 2023 and have 2024, but when i try to open a file that tells me it was generated by a new version of illustrator and i'm opening it in the newest version of illustrator, something is wrong. I don't care about the artboard, these are customer files, but i do care that art is clipped and all layers are gone. I can see in Acrobat that there are layers. If i'm to use this file, i need to request the ai file just to be certain nothing is wrong with it. The ai file ALWAYS opens fine in 2023, that's why i can still use it.

Thanks,

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Community Expert ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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So this is client artwork. Does the client perhaps use a beta version?

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