Illustrator is inverting colors on an image

Community Beginner ,
Apr 12, 2018 Apr 12, 2018

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I was sent a PDF that when I open it on Illustrator, it inverts the colors on the image. The image is embedded, in the Links panel its say NA for format. The file was originally created in Flexi, which I assume is the issue, I just want to know what and why. My solution was to simply invert them back. Here what's weird... The thumbnail preview in Finder display the color correctly, it's when I open it on Illustrator that they get inverted. Tried Photoshop, same thing, preview displays as it should, when opened it inverts them. If I open it as a PDF in Reader, it displays just fine.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Apr 12, 2018 Apr 12, 2018

The answer to your question is simple. Opening PDFs in Illustrator that were created in other applications can cause strange things to happen. Why? Illustrator is NOT a PDF editor. If you want to edit a PDF, try the editing features in Acrobat DC.

Here's a video tutorial about these features: http://www.jeffwitchel.net/2015/08/edit-pdfs-like-never-before-in-acrobat-dc/

Enjoy!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2018 Apr 12, 2018

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The answer to your question is simple. Opening PDFs in Illustrator that were created in other applications can cause strange things to happen. Why? Illustrator is NOT a PDF editor. If you want to edit a PDF, try the editing features in Acrobat DC.

Here's a video tutorial about these features: http://www.jeffwitchel.net/2015/08/edit-pdfs-like-never-before-in-acrobat-dc/

Enjoy!

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Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2018 May 08, 2018

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I am aware of that. I did not imply Illustrator is a PDF editor, I am  aware the PDF created in Flexi is the issue. I was asking why, more specifically, the technical reasons were this can be replicated. This customer doesn't get it, and while I would love to tell them to stop using Flexi period, that isn't an option. I've had my share of weird files and this was a first to me so thought I can give them a better answer than "your file doesn't work with my program, send me something else" since EPS is what I asked for in the first place. I hate PDFs when sent for printing for this reason. This job came and went, but I was curious anyways.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2018 Apr 12, 2018

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I'm with Jeff, Illustrator is not a PDF editor.

First try view >> overprint preview

Then try File >> Document color Mode >> change  CMYK to RGB or visa versa . PDF can have both document colors modes in the same file.

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New Here ,
Aug 01, 2020 Aug 01, 2020

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Hi everyone, this is the easiest way to fix this problem super quickly. 😉

https://youtu.be/Xj5A7p6-pXw


Hope y'all find this helpful!
Stay safe! ❤️

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 02, 2020 Aug 02, 2020

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Your video does not solve the issue in this thread.

 

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Participant ,
Apr 14, 2021 Apr 14, 2021

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Actually Adobe illustartor IS a PDF editor, you can create multi page PDFs, import and export. I am having the same problem. None of the commets here have solved this. The only thing I can think of that works is to export as high resolution jpgs then re-import, but that makes in undetiable.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 14, 2021 Apr 14, 2021

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No, Illustrator is not a PDF editor.

 

PDF is not a native file format - PDFs can just be imported, which in turn means that Illustrator converts the PDF's data structure into its own structure. A couple of object Illustrator doesn'teven understand. And what you experience is probably caused by either image formats or color profiles that Illustrator doesn't fully understand either and then ignores or converts badly. This effectively ruins the PDF.

 

And if you don't believe us then maybe you believe the people who are responsible for the PDF file format at Adobe (and have been for the last ~20years and thus know the format better than most people in the industry) : https://prepression.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-ten-commandments-of-pdf.html

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Participant ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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You can create a PDF from scratch and export a multi page PDF from Illustartor from which you can edit in any way without the use of any other software. How does that disqualify it from being a PDF editor?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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The PDF you are referring to most likely has Illustrator editing capabilities turned on (on by default). This basically embeds and AI file in the PDF; AI is opening this file, not the PDF directly.

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert

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Contributor ,
Jul 12, 2021 Jul 12, 2021

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There has been a long time issue with Illustrator, when exporting to screen as jpg from a CMYK document.
Instead of converting it to SRGB as Ps does, it exports it as cmyk jpg  and colors appear inverted.

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New Here ,
Jul 14, 2021 Jul 14, 2021

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Has there been any resolution to this issue at all?

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New Here ,
Aug 06, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

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The most simple way is opening the PDF in Photoshop and save it in Press Quality in cmyk mode.

After this Illustrator shows the color in the images the right way. (not negative)

 

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New Here ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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I'm feeling this like a bug of Illustrator. If we got a PDF containing a JPEG image in colormode CMYK.

This is correctly rendered on Acrobat Reader and Photoshop. Why does Illustrator apply Invert?

 

I would not consider this thread as solved and completed. AI is not managing correctly this situation.

The answer marked as correct from Jeff Witchel does not fit when for example if you are programmatically creating PDF for printing (colormode CMYK). IMHO this answer goes around the problem and does not explain why Illustrator takes the "decision" to invert the embedded cmyk image.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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You might want to read this, which collects quotes by *the* experts on PDF:

https://prepression.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-ten-commandments-of-pdf.html 

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New Here ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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Hi Monika, 

these are very interesting resources.

I wonder why they are not officially supported and documented by Adobe. Or maybe I'm still missing the official resources about this : I see for example it's mentioned this "Adobe Book"  which I'm not sure what book it is... is it referencing to an existing book? Do you have the ref?

 

If we can assume this Blog information as an Adobe Manifesto or philosophy...

Honestly I still find hard to digest, since I was aware about the Adobe Suite feature of interchangeability of the files across different Adobe software to leverage the power of each of them for a final professional result...
Blog Author itself is talking about "not standard workflow practices" he used breaking best practice:
I wonder then what would be the best practice to create (programmatically) a cross sw Adobe Suite template that might be then opened with different software.

Creating a PDF with an SDK, to be cross open by AdobeSuite Sw collection for further modification/customisation, was the original idea... but it seems like not in Adobe's plan to give us this chance? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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You mean the "Book of Adobe"? That is just trying to make fun.

 

PDF was never meant for editing. Quite the contrary. PDF was meant to present a document in the exact same layout is had been created in on all machines and systems without the need to have the creation software installed (but even if you have the creation software, the display of a file can be different on antoher system - think of MS Word ...). 20 years ago, when PDF was invented, that was the Holy Grail.

 

Then came additional desires: the fonts need to be protected and the copyright as well and the document must be guaranteed original (think of legal documents) and that's where we are now. It's a presentation, archive and output format, not an exchange format.

 

When software imports a PDF, it needs to interpret it. And the result will or won't look like the original. And it will or won't be editable.

 

If you want to edit your file, open it in the creation software.

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New Here ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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I see but Adobe itself has changed this idea of a PDF produced and intended as readonly (some examples) :

Acrobat Pro DC with fill and sign functionalities, edit capabilities....

Illustrator that can work on PDF producing and reopening it (even masking a *.ai file behind a *.pdf so that it can be opened by a PDF reader)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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Acrobat can fill out forms, yes. The form has to be made available first.

 

And if there is an AI file in the private data section, then Illustrator doesn't edit the PDF at all. So I don't see how that breaks my argument.

 

Anyway: it is like it is. If you don't like it, make a feature request: http://illustrator.uservoice.com

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New Here ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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Last time I saved my Illustrator EPS layouts with placed in imagery... it's fine. Next day I open it, yes sometimes the images are inverted! I don't understand why!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 02, 2022 Aug 02, 2022

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Last time I saved my Illustrator EPS layouts with placed in imagery... it's fine. Next day I open it, yes sometimes the images are inverted! I don't understand why!


By @troyz55570316

 

That looks like it's related to a current bug. But I don't know if it is related to this thread.

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