All my layers and artwork is gone, but stuff shows up in the preview- how do I get everything back?

New Here ,
Apr 12, 2021 Apr 12, 2021

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I have a large working file for multiple projects, that all have the same look at feel and use the same assets. I have multiple artboards for each project and mulitple layers. When you open Illustrator and it shows you recently opened files, you see artwork in the preview, but when I open the file, I have all fo the artboards but zero artwork- no vectors, no placed images- nothing. And nothing shows up in preview mode.

 

Not to mention my 20 some layers are gone and it's only showing one. So even if I had accidentally deleted all of my work (with out noticing?) I should still have layers. Not to mention tha I lock my layers when I'm not working on them so that DOESN'T happen. 

 

Any suggestions? Please?

 

Thank you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2021 Apr 12, 2021

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The preview does not necessarily represent the content of the file, since (on Windows) it's an embedded raster file.

 

Please tell us:

your system and version.

exactly what happened with your files, was there a crashwhen youlast worked on them, what is the history?

where do you save files?

 

Do you have backups?

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New Here ,
Apr 12, 2021 Apr 12, 2021

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Well, the good news is I did find a back up on the cloud server. whew. and I've saved a copy back to my drive as a duplicate because I'd still like to know what's up with this file so that it doesn't happen again.

 

So here's what i have going on:

 

It's version 25.2.1, running on a Mac. It's updated reguarly through the Creative Cloud desktop app.

 

Not really sure what happened. I was using the working file, which has bits and peices laying around, along with the finished peice. Each piece has it's own artboard. Some of the assest, like lettering or die lines are vector. The textures are embedded artwork from Photoshop.

 

Once a piece is done, it gets copied and pasted into a new document, lettering outlined and artwork embedded. So even if I hadn't found my working file, I'd still have the finals and still have the linked photoshop files.

 

That's it. I don't remember there being a crash or anything. I remember finishing the jobs, releasing the specs and not giving it anouther thought until today when I went to start working on packaging.

 

Now i did get a system update one night, so perhaps it forced closed Illustrator, but I'm typically pretty good at saving at the end of the day.... but not impossible to forget.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2021 Apr 12, 2021

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So you don't shut down the computer in the evening?

Doyousave files on a local disk? On a network? Synchronized folder?

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New Here ,
Apr 13, 2021 Apr 13, 2021

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Not always. Less often then I should. Sometimes, I'll be uploading or rendering or something like that and I let it do it's thing.

 

I save locally and manually copy to our companies cloud server, about weekly. Usually Friday afternoon

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 15, 2021 Apr 15, 2021

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Is the filesize reasonable? Does it suggest that there should be something in the file?

 

Can you open that file in Acrobat? Is something in it?

If that works, then you could at least save some things from your artwork, even if not well editable. You could then create  a new Illustrator file and place this file in it.

 

For the future: I wouldn't leave Illustrator open and let the machine do its thing. Especially not make updates. Better yet: reboot the computer often.

 

And maybe turn off the "Save in Backround"setting in the preferences.

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