Illustrator artwork/objects disappearing on Mac

Community Beginner ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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Hi all,

I'm using Illustrator CC on my MacBook Pro Retina (2015), running Sierra. Processor is 2.2GHz with Intel Core i7 and I have 16GB of RAM.

Often when using Illustrator (in fact very often, after around 50% of my actions), objects and artwork will be "cut off" and disappear from view, seemingly invisible. This most commonly occurs when I'm zoomed in on an object or group, perform some action, and then zoom out again; when I zoom out, any object that was outside the boundaries of my screen will become invisible.

An example:

I have a few groups of objects scattered around my artboard. I zoom in on one group, leaving the other groups partially out of view. I isolate my intended group, and make some adjustments to the objects in that group. I then exit isolation mode for that group, and zoom out.

Now any objects that were outside of the boundaries of my screen when zoomed in are not showing. In order to get them to show again I must zoom in or out a few times and scroll the screen left or right a bit to shake it out of this weird issue. The invisible objects will then reappear.

It doesn't matter if the missing objects were in a group or ungrouped or anything like that - as long as the object was out of view then it will disappear when I zoom out again. The objects are still there - they just can't be seen. If I cmd+A then I can see the object outlines.

As you can imagine, this has a huge impact on my workflow, having to constantly "shake the artboard around" in order to see all of my work. I never had this issue when I used Illustrator on a Windows OS - only since I got my MacBook. My machine has fairly good specs (see above) and I'm sure it should be able to handle Illustrator without these weird graphical performance issues. It doesn't seem to matter which version of Illustrator or which macOS I'm running; I've always had this issue since I first bought it.

Has anybody else experienced this problem, or does anybody have some advice as to what it could be and how I can resolve it?

Many thanks in advance. Let me know if you need more information.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Jun 17, 2017 Jun 17, 2017
I tested this thoroughly and came to a conclusion. The only time that the artwork will be missing is when you use the pinch to zoom on your trackpad or possibly on your Wacom tablets. If I use the normal zoom (cmd+spacebar+left click and drag) on my mac it never does that. If I start using the pinch to zoom on my trackpad either on my late 2013 Macbook pro or my 2014 iMac 5K dislpay, it starts to act up again. Since I've been using the (cmd+space bar) shortcut I never had this issue. It would be...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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How many objects are there in the file?

Does it work when you select View > Preview on CPU?

Which version of Illustrator exactly is this?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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Hello Monika, thanks for your reply.

Illustrator running is CC(2017), V 21.0.0.

Switching to CPU preview doesn't fix the issue, objects are still disappearing.

It also doesn't seem to matter how many objects are in the file - could be many, in multiple groups, or could be 2 or 3 simple ungrouped objects - the problem still occurs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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Can you try and update Illustrator to the most recent version?

Also: maybe the preferences need to be reset. That sounds like a very strange error.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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I have just updated to V21.0.2, unfortunately the problem persists.

I'll try resetting preferences and post the results here.

Many thanks.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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I have updated Illustrator to the latest version and reset the preferences - unfortunately no joy.

Anybody have any other ideas as to what might be causing this? Hopefully somebody has experienced a similar issue?

About to uninstall and reinstall, see if that shakes anything loose.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017

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Hi GreatSplott, I have the exact same issue

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)

2.6 GHz Intel Core i7

16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3

Radeon Pro 450 2048 MB

Intel HD Graphics 530 1536 MB

I visited Apple Store thinking it is a hardware issue (GPU) and they asked me to leave the machine with them to check it and run it through a series of tests for a couple of days although an initial test showed no issues at all, they said, 'unofficially', that are aware of issues like this and that Adobe is looking into it for a fix update.

Did you find a solution/ has it improved since?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017

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Hi avdsnh​, glad to know i'm not completely alone in this! I still haven't tried uninstalling/reinstalling Illustrator to be honest, have you tried this yourself?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017

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Hi GreatSplott,

Yes I did try, but that didn't help.

I took it to the apple store and they suggested I restore the machine to factory settings, which I ask them to do and try it.

Then I spend all afternoon downloading and reinstalling adobe etc, as apple recommended not to restore the machine from a backup in case something was wrong in the previous settings.

So I went back to the Apple Store to let them know the problem wasn't solved and since I only had the machine for less than 30 days I wanted to replace it. To my surprise they said no, unless there was a problem with it.

According to genius bar the problem doesn't appear to be a hardware issue and according to him it was most definitely an adobe issue, though another genius person I saw earlier said there is probably a GPU issue - so I think they're structuring some policy to avoid mass returns

So they suggested I leave it with them for 2 days to thoroughly check it by pushing it to the limits. That worries me a bit, because I will be getting back a second hand machine as it will be used so extensively over two days 😕 haven't made my mind up.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017

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avdsnh

Phew! Sounds like you've really been trying everything!

I personally wouldn't let them have mine for 2 days to push it to its limits. By the sounds of it it's an undiagnosed anomaly on a particular category of machines, so I would have my doubts as to whether they'd come back with an answer, and it would have all just been a waste of time and effort.

There must be some common denominator on selected machines, as you're the only other person I've spoken to who's having the same trouble as me. Here's what I'm running:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)

Processor: 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7

Memory: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

So there are some minor differences in our machines, however you've also got the Radeon Pro - I don't know if I have this, where would I check?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017

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GreatSplott

Yes indeed, I've been trying to get to the bottom of this for 2 weeks now.

I spent some time at the genius bar as I mentioned earlier without any help - they need to start serving alcohol at that bar...

Just now I finished a 1.5 hours long chat with tech customer service, they couldn't get to the bottom of it either.

I've send numerous screenshots and even a video of the issue, while it was happening at the moment we were chatting.

So after the first 30min with customer service, I was assigned a direct contact that will be dealing with my case.

After an hour with the direct contact, which took over my case to deal on a one-to-one, they've escalated my case and is now with the engineers at HQ.

They will get back to me in the next few days they said...

Regarding the radeon..go to  > about this Mac > overview or displays tab

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 12, 2017 Mar 12, 2017

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update: still waiting...

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New Here ,
Mar 05, 2017 Mar 05, 2017

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I've been having this exact same problem! Glad I'm not alone. GreatSplott's example is spot on for me too.

I have a MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013, 2 GHz Intel Core i7, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, and Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB. Using the latest version of Illustrator CC 2017 21.0.2 (though it has been happening for a while with previous versions).

@MonikaGause Switching to CPU preview doesn't fix the issue, and it also doesn't seem to matter how many objects are in the file - could be many, in multiple groups, or could be 2 or 3 simple ungrouped objects.

It really does kill my workflow (it happens well over 50% of the time for me). I haven't found zooming very effective at getting the missing objects back, but scrolling the missing objects out of view and then back works for me.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 12, 2017 Mar 12, 2017

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I've been reading more and more about problems with Illustrator and some other Adobe apps and Sierra. All the problems seem to relate to specific GPU's (MOST notably, the Nvidia cards, but I'd imagine there're a few other cards that'd be affected as well). Something about Sierra. I know that on one post regarding the Nvidia cards, an Adobe representative responded that they fixed the problem with their new pre-release. Hopefully, that'll also resolve the issue with your card as well. Take a look at this post to get an idea of what's going on (Illustrator CRITICAL Nvidia card bug )
What you describe DEFINITELY sounds like a problem with the GPU. If Adobe's fix on the upcoming release of the software doesn't fix it for your card, I'd strongly recommend writing to the Feature Request/Bug Report Form and letting them know it's happening with your software too.

Something about Sierra and the new versions....

S_Gans
Adobe Community Professional / Adobe Certified Instructor

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 03, 2017 Apr 03, 2017

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GreatSplott

Update:

Numerous calls and screen sharing sessions with apple and adobe (at different times), over the past few weeks, have not been conclusive.

I feel a little like a ping pong ball really, each company is putting the 'blame' on the other and asking me to contact the other for drivers, updates, known issues etc etc...it feels aimlessly.

I was talking to apple in fact this morning who looked at some of my screen recordings and information gathered from my machine, after adobe asked me to get in touch with apple for drivers updates. Apple 'suggested' I try their own design software instead as they were designed for their computers :0 i was a bit 'like, what?' lol

Anyhow, so i got in touch with adobe straight after and told them no new drivers were available and now the ball is with them, who've asked, again, to see me replicating the problem over screen share and also send them the screen grab recordings, again!

I dont think anyone has a clue of what is going on really, I'll be on another call with adobe tomorrow after they examined my recordings.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 03, 2017 Apr 03, 2017

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I don't envy your frustration. I could have guessed that there would be no small amount of innocent holding up of hands and saying "Who, me?". Such is the way with global giants unfortunately.

Your dedication is admirable, however I don't expect you'll get far with the pass-the-buck mentality you're currently battling against with these guys! I myself have resigned to simply accepting that this is how it is right now. Maybe one day a fix will be made. Then again, perhaps one day I'll be able to afford a small sized popcorn and coke in my local cinema.

I hope I'm wrong - I look forward to hearing back from you!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 03, 2017 Apr 03, 2017

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The only reason I keep trying is because I've spent an enormous amount of money on apple and adobe subscriptions.

This issue has made me start looking at alternative software. I had no idea that google is making attempts to have a piece of the design pie

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New Here ,
Apr 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017

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I have been having this issue for months!! Driving me mad!

I am also on a MacBook Pro, Rentina 15 inch. 2.2 Ghz processor. 16GB 1600 Mhz.

Mainly commenting to keep tabs on the issue as like OP, I can only get my objects or guides back by Command + A and a lot of zooming and fidgeting.

Hoping they fix it at some point, we pay them enough!

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New Here ,
May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017

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Hello from Aus, experiencing the same issue.

I dont think the system is the cause, I've got a brand new MacBook Pro 15" and it does exactly the same thing. It's infuriating constantly zooming in and out to make sure your objects haven't completely dropped off the artboard.

   MacBook Pro 15" with Touchbar (late 2016)

   OS: osSierra 10.12.4

   Memory: 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3

   Storage: 2TB (currently at 10% capacity, so next to nothing)

Admire your patience here. Did you make any progress? My money is on Adobe being the culprit.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 30, 2017 May 30, 2017

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There has been an update to Sierra that fixes several issues: 10.12.5

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Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2017 May 30, 2017

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Update:

several phone calls and online chats later...

The guys at Apple were helpful, after trying everything they can remotely, they offered to replace my machine with a brand new one, after Adobe said it'll take weeks or possibly months until they know for sure what's wrong. I got my new machine two weeks ago but unfortunately the problem is still there which now to me it says is most likely a software issue; whether is a drive or a software I'm not sure.

Adobe also got back to me at the same time, informing me that they have now managed to replicate the issue in the 'lab' and are now looking at it (about 2 weeks ago), they'll get back to me as soon as they know more.

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New Here ,
Jun 09, 2017 Jun 09, 2017

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I'm curious to see what they tell you. I have 2 new iMacs, one running illustrator CC 2015 and the other running illustrator CC 2017 and both are doing this exact same thing. its really annoying.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2017 Jun 17, 2017

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I tested this thoroughly and came to a conclusion. The only time that the artwork will be missing is when you use the pinch to zoom on your trackpad or possibly on your Wacom tablets. If I use the normal zoom (cmd+spacebar+left click and drag) on my mac it never does that. If I start using the pinch to zoom on my trackpad either on my late 2013 Macbook pro or my 2014 iMac 5K dislpay, it starts to act up again. Since I've been using the (cmd+space bar) shortcut I never had this issue. It would be fun if Adobe could fix this issue with the track pad cause it would be very convenient to use it in this way.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 04, 2017 Oct 04, 2017

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Chris-911  wrote

I tested this thoroughly and came to a conclusion. The only time that the artwork will be missing is when you use the pinch to zoom on your trackpad or possibly on your Wacom tablets. If I use the normal zoom (cmd+spacebar+left click and drag) on my mac it never does that. If I start using the pinch to zoom on my trackpad either on my late 2013 Macbook pro or my 2014 iMac 5K dislpay, it starts to act up again. Since I've been using the (cmd+space bar) shortcut I never had this issue. It would be fun if Adobe could fix this issue with the track pad cause it would be very convenient to use it in this way.

This is the closest we've come to being able to localise the problem. I'd put it down to an Adobe issue, in that they need to fix their apps to be compatible with the hardware (i.e. the trackpad). It's pretty major hardware too, not something obscure or little-used.

At least we know that it's not something that we can fix ourselves, and it's in the hands of The Big A. Let's hope they pull their finger out however I have a feeling we shouldn't hold our breath. Shame, since we're spending no small amount of cash on these products and services.

Marking Chris's answer as the correct one. Thanks everybody for getting involved.

Peace out!

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New Here ,
Jun 30, 2017 Jun 30, 2017

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Well, I'm having this issue as well on a MBP with the following specs:

Retina 15", Mid 2015

Intel 2.8GHz Core i7

16GB DDR3 RAM

Intel Iris Pro 1536MB

AMD Radeon R9 M370X

Mac OS Sierra 10.12.5

Also, Illustrator CC has been updated to the latest version.

I'm trying to do a logo for a friend, and this is driving me bonkers! As Chris-911 mentioned above, it does seem to happen while I'm using pinch to zoom on my trackpad. I do that a lot while doing work like this, zooming in and out a lot to get a detailed view of things. Bits and pieces of my work randomly disappear, and only saving, quitting Illustrator, and then restarting it brings it back temporarily.

I'm going to zoom via other means until a fix is issued.

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