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Single page pdf from Illustrator includes all canvases in document

Explorer ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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This may have been brought up before, but it's a bit of a complex question to formulate for a search query. I can't find anything about it.

Here's the issue.

I have an Illustrator document with 50+ canvases, all with simple content.
When I save the document as a pdf, and I enter the range (I would need only one page), the pdf that is written from the file indeed contains only one pdf, however, its size is 20+Mb.
When I open the single page pdf back into Illustrator, ALL 50+ canvases are still in the document.

How do I write a pdf of a single canvas, and actually get only that one single canvas in the pdf? Am I missing a checkbox somewhere?

Right now I'm stuck with opening every single pdf (x 50+), searching the right canvas in that entire document, deleting all the other canvases and their contents and then resaving the pdf.
There has to be a better way to do that, or...?

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Bug , How to , Import and export , Print and publish , Tools

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Explorer ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Edit to add:
Illustrator 25.2.1 on Mac Catalina.

(But I've had this issue in previous versions as well, when it was only about 2 or 3 pages and not such a problem to quickly delete the extra canvases).

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Save the Illustrator file as .ai with Create PDF Compatible File and Save each artboard to a separate file checked.

In Bridge: Tools > Batch Rename... and change the extension to pdf

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Another way (without the ability to edit the pdf in Illustrator):

Save the Illustrator file as .ai with Create PDF Compatible File and Save each artboard to a separate file checked.

Create an action to save the .ai file as .pdf without Illustrator Editing Capabilities.

Us Actions > Batch... to convert the contents of a folder.

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Participant ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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The simplest way of sorting is to make sure 'preserve illustrator editing capabilities' is unticked in PDF save options. This only retains artwork from the specific page you want. However it does merge all artwork layers and also probably removes fx and expands all shapes. Hope this helps.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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There is no option in the Save as PDF dialog to save each artboard as a single file.

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Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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While I appreciate the solutions brought forward here, thank you gentlemen, (and I think the save canvases as separate (.ai) files and changing their extension afterwards is in this situation the quickest option), question for the Adobe development team rises why all canvases are included in the background of a pdf when only a range is saved as pdf.

That sounds like a bug that needs fixing.

 

Imagine this happening in for example InDesign, if I have a book with 400 pages and I write a pdf of only 5 or so pages, it would include all other pages in the background regardless...

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Looks more like a (good) feature request than a bug.

You can make feature requests here:

https://illustrator.uservoice.com

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Another way to export single page PDFs:

Create a PDF Preset without AI editing capabilities (Edit > Adobe PDF Presets...)

Choose File > Export > Export for Screens

Select Artboards, All, Export as Multiple Files and choose your saved PDF preset.

In Export to select a folder.

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