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Outline (vector) cannot be read from Illustrator 2023

New Here ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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We recently updated from a very old version of illustrator (more than ten years old) to the creative cloud. Now with illustrator 2023 I create texts and outlines to send them to our machines (laser, embroidery machines) but the new files are all empty. Some fonts do work when I save it in the old version of CS6 but some still appear empty. What can I do? Working with AI 2023 doesn't run smoothly for us this way. Any tips or ideas are very welcome. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Can you list the exact steps you're taking, the outcome you get and the outcome you expect? It's not clear from your post.

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Sure. Sorry if I wasn't clear. 

 

So I create a simple file. Let's say just a name. So I add the text field, add the name, choose my font. Then I create outlines from the right mouse tab and usually I save it as an .ai file on to my drive and open it from one of my other computers to engrave the text on to a product. This is our workflow since seven years but all the files coming from AI 2023 are just empty when we open them as .ai files on the machines. The weird thing is, this does not happen for all fonts. Do you have an idea why this is cause for some fonts?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Can you give an example of some fonts that work and some that don't?

What are you opening the AI file in to engrave? Do you see outlines if you open the Ai file again in Illustrator?

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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For example the google font 'Cookie' doesn't work and some font that we bought specially for monograms called 'Monogramica' doesn't work. A font called 'Savoye LET plain' does work as well as 'Steelfish Regular' - just some that we tested this morning. But they only work if I save as CS6 version. The new version is always empty.  When I reoplen them in Ilustrator I see the outline. For the machines each machine has a different program. The embroidery machines use DesignShop which is a program that creates the embroidery files out of ai files. And the lasers have their own programs. They recognize the ai file and start engraving from it. That is just a simple Auto CAD programme. But both programmes are totally different and independent from each other.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Are they PostScript Type 1 fonts?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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I'm not clear if:

 

1. All AI 2023 files are empty in your embroidery software, unless downsaved to CS6

 

or

 

2. Some fonts produce working files when saved as AI 2023, but some don't

 

If the latter, can you save a file with two sets of outlined text, one from a font that works and one that doesn't, and see that the embroidery software recognises one set of paths but not the other?

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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mh we just tested and the problem doesn't seem to be the font but somehow the saving. Apparently different machines have different problems. So for the embroidery with the 'cookie' font that I just mentioned the pdf was not integrated into the file. It seems to work when we do that. I will test a few more fonts. 

But for the lasercutter we need to save in CS6 format to be able to open the file. Otherwise it just appears empty. Not depending on the font. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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quote

 

But for the lasercutter we need to save in CS6 format to be able to open the file. Otherwise it just appears empty. Not depending on the font. 


By @Jen27366072s2vl

 

Does it appear empty with any kind of object in it, or are only outlined fonts lost?

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Mentor ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Just out of left field here, but when you look at layer options, is Print checked or unchecked?

Also, I'm confuse about when you say "some fonts do work" - do you mean you can and can't outline different fonts?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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The problem sounds like your embroidery software cannot import current version Illustrator files. It is very common for other graphics applications and industry specific types of software to be limited at importing Illustrator-based artwork, be it AI, PDF or EPS files. The applications will almost never be able to accurately import current version Illustrator AI files. The user typically has to save down multiple versions or more to arrive at something that will successfully import into the other application. Some applications can work with version CS6 files. I've seen some applications need AI or EPS files saved down to more basic versions like version 8 or even version 3. It takes some experimentation to see what "flavor" of Illustrator-based artwork imports the best into another target application.

Applications for engraving, routing or vinyl cutting typically do not like various live effects applied to any of the artwork. Just the basic artwork shapes with no embellishments added, just basic flat color fills only.  It's even a good idea to get rid of any live outline strokes if there are any applied to the artwork. If strokes are present expand them to editable paths. If strokes aren't supposed to be there (or they're there only for illustrative purposes) get rid of them when exporting art files.

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New Here ,
Dec 07, 2022 Dec 07, 2022

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Yes indeed it seems like a problem with our machines. Is there an option that I can save my illustrator files as a standard as CS6 to avoid this problem? now I always manually have to check that box and that gives a lot of errors here. Can I change that basic setting somewhere?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 07, 2022 Dec 07, 2022

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When you choose the "Save" or "Save As" commands from the File menu you should (eventually) see an "Illustrator Options" dialog box. That's after seeing the Save to Creative Cloud thing and/or the dialog box where you give your file a name and choose its folder location.

The first/top option in the Illustrator Options dialog box is file version. It defaults to the current Illustrator CC version. But the drop down menu gives options to save down to Illustrator CC (Legacy), Illustrator CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3, CS2, CS, 10, 9, 8 or 3 formats.

There really isn't a basic setting to change in Illustrator's preferences. It's more of a strategy to follow when creating the artwork. If a user is creating artwork within Illustrator that is ultimately meant to be used in another application the user must create the artwork with that target application in mind.

There are numerous features and effects within Adobe Illustrator that are unique and Illustrator-dependent. Those features and effects won't export outside of Illustrator without the artwork being flattened/expanded to some degree.

Vinyl cutters, routing tables and embroidery machines just need a basic appearance for vector paths in a layout. Flat fills. No gradients, no line strokes, no drop shadows or any other effects "candy" applied. Plain Jane stuff only. No clipping paths/masks or any live shape-builder stuff either.

For vinyl cutters and routing tables it is critical to not have duplicate paths sitting on top of each other. The plotter blade or routing bit is going to cut where ever a path is present. If two, three or more paths are sitting on top of each other the tool could literally cut through the material. Many Illustrator users have a bad habit of using live outline strokes to create outline effects when the more simple Offset Path effect would work just as well and not leave behind extra paths that have to be deleted when the line stroke effect is expanded into editable paths. Worse yet many Illustrator users will create duplicate objects, parking them on top of each other. One object may have a fill and no stroke and another object on top of it will have a stroke but no fill. A vinyl cutter will just run its knife blade two passes over the same spot. There is a tremendous difference between vector-based artwork that is ready to output on a large format printer versus vector artwork that is ready to send to a vinyl cutter, routing table, embroidery machine or anything else with a tool bit being used on a piece or sheet of material.

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