HELP! Illegal operand error - can't open file! (v.2)

Community Beginner ,
Sep 04, 2008 Sep 04, 2008

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I have a file that I've done about 40 hours on since last duplicating it. It's been saved multiple times, and successfully. Now, however the file seems to be corrupt. I'm getting the following error message when opening it:

Cant open the illustration. The illustration contains an illegal operand.
Offending operator: ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

After i last closed the file, i've defragged my hard drive because it's been sluggish. Ive also deleted a couple of random temp files that I'm now thinking may have been in regards to the Ai file. Does anyone have any ideas on what i can do to open this file (preferable) or anything else?
Thanks in advance for any help or info you can provide!
Ben
(ps-this is my second posting of this - frantically trying to fix this and didn't pay attention to what i was typing. i forgot to mention a few things so i just resubmitted rather than constantly adding messages. thanks for understanding ;)

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Participant ,
Mar 09, 2009 Mar 09, 2009

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@Blake Looks like you're trying to open a Red Alert Map ? I think there is a Photoshop plug-in for these. Might wanna use Google or your fav SE to find it. Then try opening the file. All I can suggest if your sure you replaced the font or removed it.

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2009 Mar 09, 2009

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thanks for the suggestion, SDA. but the font name is C&C Red Alert, which is why i know (or think i know) it's an issue with the font.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2009 Oct 21, 2009

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This just happened to me on a huge project! I was able to recover everything, except for the fonts were no longer in text boxes, and the clipping paths had to be recreated. Here's what I did:

Open a new doc in illustrator. Place the corrupted file into the new document. Select the file that is placed and choose Object, Flatten Transparency. Leave all of the defaults. Then remove the clipping mask on the flattened object by clicking command shift 7. You should then be able to click into the group, or simply ungroup to get at your design.

I hope this helps!

Scout

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New Here ,
Mar 17, 2010 Mar 17, 2010

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Design Scout-- Very helpful; I appreciate that!

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New Here ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Design Scout, your advice solved my problem and allowed me to re-open my file that was throwing the illegal operand error.  Thank you SO much!!  The layer names are all messed up and there are a few fixes I need to make, but man is it better than doing that whole thing over again.  I was so scared I lost at least 8 hours of work from this!  Thanks again!!

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New Here ,
Jul 21, 2010 Jul 21, 2010

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DesignScout's tip worked for me too.  Thank you!

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2010 Oct 22, 2010

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SCOUT!!!! You are the God! The Savior send up from the Higher Reason!

In short, thanks.

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New Here ,
Mar 24, 2015 Mar 24, 2015

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DesignScout have the key!!!

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2017 Jan 10, 2017

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DesignScout thank you so muchhhhhhhhh

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New Here ,
Apr 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was able to recover it!!!

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2020 Apr 16, 2020

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Thank you, it recovered all, damn those free Fonts can ruin your project i didnt knew till now a font can be your nightmare, cheers ✌️😉✌️🙏🤝

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Create a new file in photshop and drag the illustrator file to it, open the smart object and set it to "keep changes, reducing the illustrator editing. I was able to re-open all the artboards one by one and the file was exactly the same.

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New Here ,
Nov 05, 2010 Nov 05, 2010

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I encountered this issue just today.

I had an empty graph (a layer <graph> without anything in it).  Removing it solved the problem.

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New Here ,
Jun 17, 2011 Jun 17, 2011

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Try placing the file in a new document; click on Embed on the horizontal toolbar; ungroup; then your artwork will be editable.  The text boxes will have to be reconstructed, so that's a bummer.

If you think the problem is a font, try this ... open a new document, type a few characters of text, assign the text the font that you think is the problem.  Click off the text. Your screen will flicker once.  Then try to open the problem file.  At least this works on my equipment.  Illustrator I guess loses connection with a font sometimes.  This happened in CS4 and CS5..

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2012 Jun 04, 2012

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WARNING:  Coogweaver's method (a good one indeed) about ceating a new document so you can File/Place the corrupted one helps IF (and only if) your artwork is completely done on the "art board" (i.e. doc size = letter, tabloid, etc.).  If you're like me and work through a lot of iterations and creative business all around...then bring it into the the "art board" well – it WILL be lost.  The "workspace" is not considered by any option (even though their are 5 to choose from) during "File/Place". This seems to be because the Place feature treats an AI (.ai) file as a PDF (.pdf) which only see the art board dimension (not the entire working space of your document).

So, the lesson learned is:

a.  Work on the art board (or at least move artwork of importance to it PRIOR to saving your documents)

b. If you need more room, the goto File/Document Setup/Edit Artboard to create more space that woudl be salvageable (in case of a corrupted file) – if you rely on Coogweaver's rescue op.

c. If not, then you have to use Leviticon's method (see above), because it WILL recover the entire working space

Good luck everyone!

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New Here ,
Jul 04, 2011 Jul 04, 2011

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Not to discredit Design Scout's glorious solution, of which partially worked for me. It basically recovered what was visible. Great for recovering what i most recently worked on, not so great for everything else. But another solution that worked 100% for me was found here: http://daxxter.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/how-to-recover-a-corrupted-illustrator-ai-file/

I noticed after researching this problem, there are different types of operand errors. I had the one with ((((((((((((( in it like Ben, the original poster. There are others involving fonts and other stuff. The solution in the url I provided seems to be for the font one, but I was able to fix my problem by following all steps except the last couple.

When the _recoveredFile.ai was opened in text edit and after searching for something in the error message (I used a "-24.33 456.5" that was in my error message instead of the ((((((((((( because my dislexia prevented me from getting an exact count of ('s), I had two lines with the bunch of ((((('s in them. I removed all the ((((((( from both lines, saved the file and opened back up in AI. And bingo!! 2 months of work 100% recovered Hope this can help anyone else.

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2013 Jan 19, 2013

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That technique Levitikon forwarded (at daxxter.wordpress.com) worked best for me when I had a file go mysteriously corrupt on me today; although it didn't recover everything, it got plenty and saved me a LOT of heartache and recovery time.  Both the corrupted file and the recovery one are missing content from layers above a certain point, but the recovery file had a lot more still available in there.  As I've scoured the text-only contents of both the recovery and the original file, I'm finding that it's likely the content that's missing was lost in the process of the last save, the one which corrupted it, so it truly is _gone._  Then again, possibly not:  opening the .ai file in Acrobat Pro X, I see a few items that are on a layer that didn't survive into the recovery file, but they're the only relics remaining.

Probably the biggest thing I learned in the process (aside from the importance of saving backup copies along the way, which I am eternally guilty of not doing) was that everything independently on the pasteboard (i.e., not atop something which also straddles the artboard edge) got lost, so in the future I'll not keep temporarily extraneous things there but rather in a separate file or hidden layer.  THANK YOU Levitikon for posting that!

p.s. I tried many other techniques suggested here, as well as opening the various files in Illustrator CS6 (my file was CS3), and all of the other results were makeshift at best and all-but-useless at worst...still, if I needed to get just *something* recovered from the corrupted file, I'd be glad for any of it. I was surprised that opening the .ai file in Acrobat X and saving it as a PDF didn't quite work -- neither Illustrator CS3 nor CS6 would open the resulting PDF unless I saved it as an Optimized one, and in any case it was the usual all-layers-combined mess the other techniques yielded as well.

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New Here ,
May 23, 2019 May 23, 2019

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Saved my life. Thank you!!!

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2012 Jun 04, 2012

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First. Can't tell you how helpful this forum post/thread has been today. I successfully recovered two files that had "illegal operand" due to a corrupted Font, despite every Adobe tech support person writing me off – writing my files "gone". 

Second. For anyone interested my "offending operator" was:

%AI3_EndEncoding TrueType' 

Specifically, the context:

[/_[-Andvari-]-Regular/[-Andvari-]-Regular 0 0 0 TZ

%AI3_EndEncoding True Type

The did exactly as explained here (below, by Levitikon).

---

24.Levitikon,

Community Member

Jul 4, 2011 9:31 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

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----

However, my Library/ and Preferences/ were hidden...which made it frustrating because I had to find how to make them visible.  Well, here's the link to explain how to do that : http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/22/access-user-library-folder-in-os-x-lion/

Cheers!


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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2012 Jun 04, 2012

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Thanks for writing, Kevin. Glad I could help.

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New Here ,
Jun 11, 2014 Jun 11, 2014

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in theory sounds great and after days of trouble there seems to be hope for my two files but unfortunately there seems to be no operator but a gradient problem...

2 (Unnamed gradient 8) 0 0 -90 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 Bg

0 BB

/Def ;

(FillStyle) ,

; /Dict ;

/Part ,

/BasicFilter :

(Blend Style Filter) 0 0 /Filter ,

1 /Visible ,

/Dictionary : /NotRecorded ,

/BlendStyle : 2 0.7 0 0 0 Xy

0 J 0 j 1 w 10 M []0 d

0 XR

/Def ;

(BlendStyle) ,

; /Dict ;

/Part ,

that are the lines occurred in the error and i found in the recovering file.

i tried all other ways but hat no success.

the pressure is growing.. is there any idea?

im pleased about help.

best

Ben

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2014 Nov 17, 2014

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I also had this issue on multiple files with a chart or graph object.  The error message is as follows:

Can't open the illustration.  The illustration contains an illegal or misplaced operator.

Offending operator: inf

Context: % 0 0 0 0 K

%[]0 d

% 4 Gl GX

% 1 -1 3 1 -1 Gf

% 0 O

% inf

If there's an Adobe Engineer watching this thread, can you just tell me what the error patterns mean so I have an avenue to investigate?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 19, 2014 Nov 19, 2014

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It means that after you created the Graph you modified it by using the Direct Select tool. AI doesn't like that and will give you the results you have now. Best I can tell you is to keep the original chart on a non-printing layer by itself and drag-copy another version to modify it. Then if you need to update the graph, drag-copy the new data to the modified version and make the changes needed.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 19, 2014 Nov 19, 2014

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Hi PTCPTech , please mail the corrupted file to ShareWithAI@adobe.com.

Also please mention the forum thread link in the mail.

Thanks & Regards,

Raghuveer

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2015 Oct 22, 2015

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DesignScout is genius! I am facing this nightmare right know!!!!

I opened my Ai document (the thumbnail seemed ok) and when the message popped up, I clicked ok.

All the art boards were empty. There were just blank art boards and I freaked out!! I closed the document and tried what DesignScout recommended.

Obviously that solution only works when you have something in the art board and the program does'`t allow you to open it.

In this case, the problem is worst. Please, I would be grateful if someone who have had this problem could help me


thank you very much! 

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