Illustrator Default PDFs not showing layers when Opened on older Versions of CC

New Here ,
Jan 13, 2021

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Hi All. I'm in a workplace that handles artwork from outside clients and others in our own organization across several versions of Ai CC.

 

We set up production templates that are organized into layers and send them to the clients, who add in artwork then they send them back to us, where other departments do their design tweaks and prepress workflows - all steps being done in PDF format.

 

The problem I'm having is I'm using CC 2021 and when I create or save a template organized into layers, someone that doesnt have my version of Ai looses all the layers when they open the PDF in Ai for further editing. Instead, the layers are all clipped into Layer 1 together.

 

This is creating a big headache for us and our clients - is there any way to avoid this while staying in PDF format? I know the simple answer is for everyone to be on the same version of Ai but we have no control over what our outside customers use. Any help would be amazing 🙂

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Bug, Feature request, How to

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jan 19, 2021
Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional , Jan 19, 2021
If you want to keep layers, then you need to save as AI and then select the lower version.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2021

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They can only open the PDF in Illustrator beause there is an AI file embedded in it. That file will *always* be the version you have. So if they have lower version, Illustrator will open the actual PDF. And it cannot read the PDF layers, because it's  different concept.

 

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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New Here ,
Jan 15, 2021

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Thank you Monika! I didnt know about the embedded files.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2021

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You're welcome!

Does that solve the question?

 

Or is there something you still need to know to solve your issue?

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2021

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Well, I was hoping that I could save PDFs that kept their organized layers when people on lower versions of CC opened them. It sounds like we need to use .ai formats for all the other designers then use PDFs only when the designs have been approved.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 19, 2021

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If you want to keep layers, then you need to save as AI and then select the lower version.

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