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Is anyone else having issues when creating a vector file/illustration, saving it as a vector PDF, but then when you go to reopen the file, all of your designs are no just embedded linked images?
When saving a file that you want to reopen in Illustrator, don't save as .pdf, save as .ai
Saving pdf in versions that do not keep transparency will result in a flattened file that is likely to contain many images.
Many Illustrator effects will also be converted to images when saved as pdf.
But if you really do want to save as PDF and you want to be able to edit back in AI then you can check that the setting for 'Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities' is checked.
But like Ton states, it isn't best practice to do this.