Thin White Lines - Illustrator to PDF

Explorer ,
Oct 11, 2018 Oct 11, 2018

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Hello all,

Ok - we all know what this questions is about - why is it than when I save an Illustrator file as a reduced size PDF, thin white lines block around text content, and sometimes in images.

For example:

Zooming in / out, moving, the line stays the same thickness, and comes in and out.

In my 10 years working in Illustrator / Acrobat, I have struggled with this problem.

Yes, I know they are artifacts; yes, I know turning off "Smooth Line" or whatever will sometimes fix it ON MY MACHINE; yes, I understand that this often has to do with flattening transparency (which is unfortunately critical to reducing file size to an acceptable level for e-mail / web sharing). 

Can someone, preferably an Adobe employee, explain once and for all either:

A) A reliable way to avoid this when exporting AI to a small, easily shareable, digital PDF.

OR

B) Tell us all when this will be fixed.

I'm tired of people saying: "Well, it won't show up in print" - this is for a digital file!

I find it unbelievable that we have had to struggle with this for so long - stop making useless features, and fix what actually wastes all of our time please.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Oct 11, 2018 Oct 11, 2018
Can you try to save the PDF, without Flattening, this can increase the filesize enormously and introduces these thin lines.Also save the PDF without Illustrator Editing Capabilities checked. Leave the original .ai file untouched and save the PDF as a copy).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 11, 2018 Oct 11, 2018

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Can you try to save the PDF, without Flattening, this can increase the filesize enormously and introduces these thin lines.

Also save the PDF without Illustrator Editing Capabilities checked. Leave the original .ai file untouched and save the PDF as a copy).

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Explorer ,
Oct 11, 2018 Oct 11, 2018

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Thank you! It worked... this time

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 11, 2018 Oct 11, 2018

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Good to hear it worked.

For viewing on a display (and for most printing purposes) there is no need to flatten the transparency, it makes the file unnessecary complex.

I compared an old Illustrator sample file between the original and flattened version, the difference (and filesize) is huge:

Original:

Paths: 2940

Compound Paths: 7

Clipping Masks: NONE

Transparent Objects: 340

File size: 2,9 MB

Flattened :

Paths: 67157

Compound Paths: 9941

Clipping Masks: 37022

Transparent Objects: NONE

File size: 17,1 MB

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2019 Oct 31, 2019

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Hi Paul,

I've tried Tons way and it did not work all the time. DO THIS and it will work.

Open your .AI file and create a new layer.

Copy your entire image and paste it in the new layer. (so in effect you have your complete image paced on top of itself.

Save a copy of your AI as a PDF - 

View digitally and there will be NO THIN LINES!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2019 Oct 31, 2019

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So basically you want to duplicate 40000 clipping masks and 70000 paths just to eliminate white lines in a preview? I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of such a mess of a file.

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New Here ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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I got here after searching about how to prevent lineweights from increasing for thin lines when saved as PDF, linked here. The workaround for that was to either flatten in illustrator before saving or open pdf in Photoshop and then save which worked, but is ridiculously tedious to do. Why cannot Illustrator do this? 

 

So I tried saving my file as a JPEG from Illustrator > open saved JPEG on Illustrator and saved it as PDF. I got the dreaded WHITE LINES! 

 

So as of now the only workable fix I see is opening each file in Photoshop and saving it there to get the desired lineweight look on PDF. 

 

Is there a better way to solve this using JUST Illustrator? I have attached my file for anyone who can get the desired output. (Also couldn't attach the ai file to here's a compatible pdf)

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