When opening a PDF in photo editing, no layers are visible.

New Here ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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I have Elements 2020 and use a MacBook Pro.  Intermittently when I load PDFs into photo editing none of the layers are visible.  Occasionally if I restart my computer it will resolve.  Thoughts?  I've attached a screen shot of what I see.

 

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Mac, Problem or error

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2020 Aug 28, 2020

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What Elements users have to know (and which is not explained in any help doc):

The pdf extension is applied to many variants of the pdf format.

The most common flavour of pdf is produced by softwares like Acrobat or Illustrator.

It's a print/display format which does not support Photoshop layers at all.

Elements can read such pdfs, but only after converting them when opening.

Elements can't save files in this format directly, instead it uses the photoshop pdf format (with the same pdf extension).

That format combines a 'normal' pdf with a fully layered psd version of the file you are editing. Such a format can be opened directly in Elements or Photoshop as well as by any other software recognizing the normal acrobat/Illustrator version.

In recent versions, the Elements organizer no longer supports the "standard" version, only the photoshop pdf you can choose when 'saving as'. It's hard for Elements users to understand there has been no help doc to explain this regression.

So, the photoshop pdf format is the more universal, at the cost of gigantic size.

It's a pity because Elements is able to produce normal pdf in the share by mail dialog.

The workaround is to use external (free) tools working as virtual printer driver, such as the print to pdf option in Windows 10. Instead of using 'save as' you 'print' to the virtual printer. The other advantage is that you can create a multipage pdf when printing a set of files.

 

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