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Ilustrator refusing to deal with a vector pdf due to 'out of memory'

Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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Hi, I have this recurrent problem with Illustrator being 'out of memory' (specifically: 'Can't clear the objects. Nearly out of memory. Please save your files immediately. Free up more memory to continue') - when trying to delete selected vector objects from an imported PDF masterplan.  File itself is only 4.5mb in size, and have tried the following:

Compressing the pdf

Assigning c: as secondary scratch disk as well as primary

Clearing out the recycle bin, using disk cleanup for caches and emptying downloads folder (which creates 44gb of space on a 250mb SSD)

Restarting AI and/or the PC

(RAM and/or vRAM seems to be automatically assigned so I can't change those preferences in AI apparently)

 

Nothing works.  I've even tried saving the file as a SVG and reimporting just to see if it will flatten the layers a little more, but that was no good.

(File artboard is 2000 px by 1500px approximately)

 

System specs:

PC Windows 10 64 bit

250gb SSD (plus 3TB HDD storage, not being used as scratch disk but I tried that too)

Intel Xeon 5 @ 3.6GHz

RAM: 32GB

GPU: Nvidia Quadro 4000

 

As you can see from the spec and available space it's more than enough to run AI.  Somehow I'm missing something but no idea what it is.  I've checked the CPU/GPU and system performance in task manager too, and while the CPU runs normally (around 15-20 percent of capacity) at the time of attempting the task, the GPU showed a spike in the middle of otherwise normal performance - but couldn't replicate it.

 

Just to be clear, this only happens when opening complex vector PDFs such as masterplans (you know, housing layouts, town plans, maps etc)

 

Could anyone help please...?  Many thanks.

 

TOPICS
Performance , Sync and storage

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

You'd be surprised when you zoom in - all those items are individual vectors - not enclosed shapes.

I had one plan sent to me for a warehouse and everything was there on layers - electrical, plumbing, etc. each with millions of vector lines.

There was no way to edit it - I had to go back to the source and ask them to simplify their drawing before exporting to me.

With yours - the sheer volume you are describing would make me take pause before crashing my computer trying to open and edit.

 

Illus

...

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Guide ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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So you've embedded the file?

Is the entire file in vector?

Can you isolate the sub-layer your item(s) is/are on, by turning off viewing of the ones you don't want? I'm just wondering if the rendering required for layers above and below is the limiting factor...

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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Masterplan? So this has been exported from a CAD application? How many paths and points are in that file? Check the Document info panel in Illustrator.

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New Here ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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Hi Monika - I will have a look at the document info - and let you know.

 

Yes probably a CAD application. It's a detailed and accurate-to-scale plan of a new residential development featuring a few thousand homes (though those sections appear as entire street blocks, not individual units drawn separately) the issue is there is a key with several different assets on the plan - hedgerows, trees, paths, water areas etc, and I'm trying to de-complexify it for reproduction as a simple plan, by removing all the nonessential stuff!

 

Will keep you posted thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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Hedgerows, trees and a few thoiusand homes sound like a gazillion of paths. Filesize is always unsuspicious with those, but it's the number of paths that is important.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2022 Dec 12, 2022

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You'd be surprised when you zoom in - all those items are individual vectors - not enclosed shapes.

I had one plan sent to me for a warehouse and everything was there on layers - electrical, plumbing, etc. each with millions of vector lines.

There was no way to edit it - I had to go back to the source and ask them to simplify their drawing before exporting to me.

With yours - the sheer volume you are describing would make me take pause before crashing my computer trying to open and edit.

 

Illustrator is a vector drawing program, not a CAD program. Have your client/vendor supply new files.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2022 Dec 13, 2022

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Thanks to all those who replied - I actually found a workaround...

 

The asset that kept annoying AI was all those trees - circular path shapes all over the place!

 

So I alt-selected all the elements that weren't trees, bit by bit and deleting them, leaving just the elements I needed - that would have reduced the active file size, and then I used the merge tool to combine all the less-complex elements of the same colour and copied/pasted them in place to a new AI document, and repeated that process until I had all the areas I needed on the new document, then closed the original file and used the new file to get on with the job at hand.

 

Even though I figured out, admittedly, a brute-force solution, it was helpful to have all the feedback from you guys.  It certainly clarified the mission objective 🙂 - thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 13, 2022 Dec 13, 2022

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@jamesn44620985 Thats what we used to do until the client/vendor would send an updated original file that you would then be back to square one. I would still suggest communicating with the author and see what they can remove before exporting the file over to you. It's easier for both parties.

Glad you were able to delete items without a crash!

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2022 Dec 13, 2022

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Thanks - luckily this is/was a one-off, simplifying a complex site plan proposal for reader legibility in newspaper/online, as you can imagine it'll be yesterday's news before long!

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