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How do I create a PDF that has gradients in it that can be edited in Illustrator?

New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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When I do it currently, the part of the design that contains the gradients is a clear shape instead.

Also, just broadly is there a workflow for editing files between Illustrator and InDesign that keeps the files intact and doesn't have problems?

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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How do I create a PDF that has gradients in it that can be edited in Illustrator?

New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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When I do it currently, the part of the design that contains the gradients is a clear shape instead.

Also, just broadly is there a workflow for editing files between Illustrator and InDesign that keeps the files intact and doesn't have problems?

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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May 08, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2019

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Hi Tobesters :

How do I create a PDF that has gradients in it that can be edited in Illustrator?

Create the gradient in Illustrator. Export to PDF. Or, see workflow below.

Also, just broadly is there a workflow for editing files between Illustrator and InDesign that keeps the files intact and doesn't have problems?

Create your illustrations in Adobe illustrator. Save them as native .ai files. Add the illustrations to your InDesign layout using File > Place. This will create a link to the original files. If you see an issue with an .ai file, right click > Edit Original to open the file in Illustrator. Edit, save and close. When you return to InDesign, the file will be updated.

~Barb

Note: If Edit Original doesn't open Illustrator, you can use Edit With and pick your preferred version.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 6.12.30 PM.png

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May 08, 2019 2
New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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Hi Barb,
Not quite the solution I was after, so I'll just reiterate my issue.

I've saved a PDF from InDesign. I open it in Illustrator. When I look at the artwork, the part that contains gradients loads as empty, whilst the rest of the artwork is as you'd expect.

Attached shows the problem

ta

Issue.png

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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May 08, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2019

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Tobesters  wrote

I've saved a PDF from InDesign. I open it in Illustrator. When I look at the artwork, the part that contains gradients loads as empty, whilst the rest of the artwork is as you'd expect.

Hi

Illustrator is not a PDF editor. The correct way to edit a gradient made from InDesign is to use InDesign and export a new PDF. Barb's answer is correct.

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May 08, 2019 3
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2019

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Is the text outlined? Or is it still editable text?

If it's text, I'd check if the Outline view is selected in the View pull-down menu.

Interestingly, if you can see the Outline command it's not selected. If it is selected, the Pixel Preview command will be shown near the top of the menu and Outline will not be seen anywhere in the menu. You can toggle between the two settings using the keyboard shortcut Control+Y on Windows systems; Command+Y on the Mac.

If this is the case – and all too often it can be, swithing the view will fix the problem.

Hope this helps,

Randy

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May 08, 2019 0
New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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@randy It's in preview mode. I just selected the artwork to make the edge visible. Where there's gradient on the PDF it's blank in Illustrator.

So I think it's reasonable that Illustrator is not a PDF editor, but it's not unreasonable to receive PDFs and expect to edit them, and I've had variable success with this, so much that it becomes a common workflow.

I think it's reasonable to expect some fluidity between Illustrator and InDesign (the former being my preferred for certain digital marketing assets and the latter for print).

I would seem that Gradients are done differently across both packages, though some other functions have consolidated over time in their compatibility.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to be able to cut and paste from one to the other personally... it's a 'suite of tools' no?

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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May 08, 2019 0
Guide ,
May 08, 2019

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Tobesters  wrote

I would seem that Gradients are done differently across both packages, though some other functions have consolidated over time in their compatibility.

If every program did everything the same, there would be no reason to have separate programs. And, without separate programs, the single program would have so many features, it would be much harder to learn and operate. As it is, you can learn as much of any of the programs as your workflow requires. Illustrator is better at vector art, InDesign is better at type, and if you want to edit pixels, you have Photoshop. It's a suite because they complement each other—not because they act the same.

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May 08, 2019 2
New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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I can see how InDesign and Illustrator need to remain distinct from a practical perspective for Adobe and we may still be in the world where the average computer would struggle if they are merged. I don't agree that from a learning perspective it would make things more complex. There would be less to learn as there is a lot of commonality between the programs.

Gradients essentially look the same on output - there's a little more functionality of them in Illustrator but they're very much the same; just as filled shapes, stroked shapes and so on. As things stand there's some inconsistencies in the fluidity of your work between the two packages and it's clunky and feels neglected and out of date.

I'd really like to hear from some of the devs on what they think to this. It's as well to be defensive of issues on practical grounds but I'm just not reading any here.

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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Also - quick question - is there a way to turn off the notification that 'someone marked an answer as helpful'? I'm sure it's useful to someone but I don't need an email each time it happens. Thanks

And also thanks for the replies.

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2019

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Hi Tobesters​:

This is a user-to-user forum, meaning that you are conversing with other users. We volunteer our time to help others understand how the applications work.

If you are hoping to see a change in how InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat work, and/or converse with the engineering teams behind these applications you can do so here:

  1. Adobe InDesign Feedback
  2. Adobe Illustrator Feedback
  3. Photoshop Family Customer Community
  4. Acrobat for Windows and Mac: Top (2597 ideas) – Share your feedback on Acrobat DC 

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2019

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Hi Tobesters:

Also - quick question - is there a way to turn off the notification that 'someone marked an answer as helpful'? I'm sure it's useful to someone but I don't need an email each time it happens. Thanks

If you no longer want to receive notifications when others interact on your thread, you can click the Hide New Activity link at the top right of this page.

~Barb

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May 08, 2019 1
New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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Thanks - I'll raise the issue with them.

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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May 08, 2019 0
Guide ,
May 08, 2019

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Tobesters  wrote

I don't agree that from a learning perspective it would make things more complex.

Consider how many tools, menu and sub-menu items there are in all of the programs. Finding what you need in an all-in-one program would be daunting to new users, and challenging to those who know where they are currently. Placing images from programs designed with extra horsepower for specific types of art makes InDesign leaner, and specialized programs have been the industry standard for at least as long as desktop publishing has been around. I think Barb gave you good advise to solve your problem—use Illustrator for complex gradients and place them in InDesign.

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May 08, 2019 1
Community Beginner ,
Jun 26, 2020

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No, Illustrator IS a PDF editor. 99% of all cases, I can perfectly import PDF files into Illustrator. The problem is that the people working on inDesign do not talk to people working on Illustrator because InDesign is one of the few programs that doesn't play nice and uses special gradients that are not compatible with Illustrator.

 

My job consists of preparing PDF files for print and that means opening them in Illustrator to add overprint, trapping, etc. and I always need to be careful to check which program created the PDF. Is it InDesign, then all gradients will need to be replaced by exporting PDF to EPS first and then importing it within Illustrator.

 

There used to be a time when ArtPro was the biggest problem back in PDF 1.3 days but 1.4+ ArtPro PDFs import just fine in Illustrator so now it's only InDesign that I run into where elements just disappear without Illustrator even giving a warning.

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Jun 26, 2020 0
New Here ,
May 08, 2019

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I've posted a message here:Improve compatibility of object's features between Illustrator and InDesign – Adobe Illustrator Feed...

Thanks again for the help.

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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May 08, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Stevie said:

"My job consists of preparing PDF files for print and that means opening them in Illustrator to add overprint, trapping, etc. "

 

Hi Stevie,

but isn't that a task for special applications like pdfToolbox from Callas?

https://www.callassoftware.com/en/products/pdftoolbox

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Jun 26, 2020 0
StevieP LATEST
Community Beginner ,
Jun 28, 2020

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We have Enfocus Pitstop for direct PDF editing as well as a few other tools but these are all very cumbersome and lack 90% of all features Illustrator offers. My job is checking artwork we receive, fixing it where needed and making alterations to the design. Using those tools makes my job take 5 times longer and 10 times as frustrating IF the tools even offer what I need them to (and often they don't).

 

At least half the time we only receive a PDF file - the previous printer usually doesn't want to send their open files but like I said, normally this is not a problem - the myth that Illustrator cannot reliably open PDF files is just that: a myth. EXCEPT when it comes to InDesign's gradients. Considering this is from the same company, it goes to show how apathic Adobe is to making their teams work nicely together.

 

The fact that InDesign & Illustrator, two programs that are closely tied together (in fact Illustrator received most of InDesign's unique features over the past ten years making InDesign even more obsolute for most users), can still differ so wildly in user interface, shortcuts, behaviour, approaches, etc. is beyond me. InDesign to me feels like a sluggish awkward beast. It's as if the designers refuse to move on from the old Zeitgeist of the days of Quark Express where the program HAD to be a pig to work with or it didn't feel professional enough.

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Jun 28, 2020 0