PDF Save Dialogue: "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" stops image compression occurring

Community Beginner ,
Jun 16, 2022 Jun 16, 2022

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I have some clients that need to edit PDF files after I send them through - and these files often use placed and embedded images.

For years, my workflow for them was to use "preserve illustrator editing capabilities", but use the compression options in the save PDF dialogue to make images in the documents smaller.

However, some time ago, this stopped functioning - and using preserve illustrator capabilities started to prevent the images from being compressed, even if the options were all selected to compress images correctly.

Save file with compression: 100kb-5meg.
Save file with compression + preserve editing: 80meg, 200meg and so on.

The compression down to the saved proportions just is not happening when preserve is checked.

My existing workaround is to manually editing images into their correct end-state resolution/size in photoshop, then saving with preserve on - but is there a different/new workflow that I can adopt that doesnt involve doing this manually for each image, while also avoiding the issues that unchecking preserve editing has for future edits (flattens transparency, segments objects, groups entire objects together into one blob group with a mask, etc).

I'm aware of other options like optimizing in acrobat, but there's a loss of editing functionality there as well.

Is this a bug? Or do I just need to shift to a new workflow?

If there's a simple solution I'm all ears 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional , Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022
You could make the placed (linked) files to use the Crop function in Illustrator. Resize them and choose Object > Crop Image (or from the Control bar). Specify the resolution and Apply.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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The compression in the PDF options is only applied to the images that get embedded in the PDF part of the file.

When you turn on "preserve illustrator editing capabilities", there will be an AI part of the file in the private data. It won't have linked images in it and embedded images won't be compressed.

 

Please see this about Illustrator files: https://youtu.be/IpDh8Y7q8yE

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...

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Interesting watch.

 

Following on from that -

 

Compressing the file to 300dpi maximum jpeg quality using the pdf dialogue compression results in a 277kb file.

 

Compressing the file using .ai native illustrator save as dialog (with "use compression" checked) creates an 87meg file.

Whereabouts in illustrator can I change the native format compression settings?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Illustrator files use lossless compression. If it would use jpeg compression for images, it would destroy the quality of the images once saved.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Downsampling/output resolution options perhaps?

 

I've got no skin in the lossless vs lossy argument - I'm just wondering if there's any functionality in illustrator that can avert the need to either:

a) re-open the embedded image in photoshop, resize manually to match spec, re-save, re-place, re-embed

or

b) save as PDF with preserve off, then copy the object out of the PDF into the original illustrator file to replace the original embed, then resave as PDF with preserve on.

Is there a less cumbersome option within illustrator to achieve this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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I think I have convered in that video how you can extract images out of PDFs using  Photoshop. You can also use Acrobat for that. You can also place the AI file in a new AI file and then you get the embedded images. I would use the Photohop route.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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You could make the placed (linked) files to use the Crop function in Illustrator.

Resize them and choose Object > Crop Image (or from the Control bar).

Specify the resolution and Apply.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Crop does the trick! Thanks 🙂

 

It may not be on the scale of that offered by the PDF save dialog, but for a small number of images, is entirely doable without having to swap programs.

 

I suspect that I'll need to keep using the photoshop route as Monika suggests for anything that truly needs compression to get file size down, but for simple things where it's just a tiny placed larger image that's blowing out the file size, this is a nice and quick solution 😄

 

Thanks for the help, both of you 😄

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 17, 2022 Jun 17, 2022

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Good to hear that helped.

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