Export for Screens .pdf saves all artboards in file
When Export for Screens is used to export pdfs, it saves ALL artboards for every .pdf, creating very large files. This means I have to export the pdf, then reopen the pdf in Illustrator and manually delete the other artboards and other artwork and resave it so that the pdf only contains the artboard that should be in that file.
This is clearly not the intention of the feature.
It would actually be quicker to just copy and paste it into a new file, as it can take a lot of time if you have a large file with multiple artboards.
Asset export dialog does not have this option to export each file as a separate file it only has option on all artboards in one file, range of artboards or selected artboards in the dialog or the whole of document into one pdf file.
I am moving this request as a new feature request
Sofia M commented
I agree, this is stupid. If I select an art board to export, it should JUST export anything within that art board - if it were a png it wouldn't save anything outside the art board!
Jason Roberts commented
For anyone still having this issue, it is a problem with the PDF Preset you're using for exporting. It's not a "missing feature", but more like a hidden option that isn't clearly explained.
Panthera Press already answered this below, back in 2019, but it seems people are still having the problem. Just to reiterate their point, here's the problem and solution:
If the PDF Preset has "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" then it will essentially embed the entire Illustrator file, all artboards included, in the PDF.
You need to change the PDF Preset that "Export for Screens..." is using. The option to change this is hidden behind a little settings/cog/gear icon found just above the right corner of the "Formats" area of the Export for Screens window.
After clicking in this settings icon, navigate to PDF in the left column, then change the PDF Preset that's being used and click Save Settings. You MUST use a preset that you know for sure does not have the "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" selected.
Unfortunately you cannot change the PDF settings manually here, only choose from presets. So, if you don't already have a suitable PDF preset you'll need to create one.
To do this, go to Edit > Adobe PDF Presets > "+" icon, then name and set up your preset, making sure that "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" is not selected.
Now go back to Export for Screens, and select your new custom PDF Preset in the Format Settings.
The resulting PDFs should be single pages, without the entire Illustrator file embedded within.
Arrrg! Is this still an unresolved issue? I would like to use a single illustrator file to generate a bunch of individual PDFs. When I open the exported PDFs in illustrator, they still contain all the artboards!
Save as PDF with Illustrator editing checked saves all the artboards in the document, even when you chose to export only 1 artboard. These pages are not viewable in Acrobat but are if you open the PDF in Illustrator.
Export for screens > Artboards - has the same result.
Export for screens > Assets - this is the only option which works as expected.
It is great to be able to save a PDF with editing retained, as clients can view the file without Illustrator, and forward the file to other designers confident they know what the file contains.
The attached file was Save As PDF with only the cyan artboard selected. Open in Acrobat and Illustrator to see.
Panthera Press commented
For everyone who is struggling with this (I have been having non-stop issues) I have found a sort of work around for the two main issues:
1. Exporting for Screens DOES NOT seem to include the bleed, even if it is checked. My printers can never find it, when I open the file in Illustrator the bleed is there, but it doesn't show up when viewed as a PDF in a pdf viewer
2. Export for Screens ghosts in ALL of the artboards - again you won't see them in PDF viewer but they bog down the file.
Go to Edit > Adobe PDF Presets
Create a Preset that has "Use Document Bleed Settings" checked (if you want this) and has "Preserve Adobe Editing Capabilities" unchecked
Save that Preset
When you Export for Screens and select PDF as your file type click the settings gear and select this new PDF profile. Your exported PDFs will now export with the bleed and will not include the ghosted artboards if you re-open them in Illustrator. Unfortunately, if you re-open in Illustrator you will not longer actually have your bleeds - the artboard will have been resized to just include them as part of the artwork. This is definitely not ideal, but it at least helps when going to print because you keep the file trimmed down to just the art you want to send, and ensure bleeds are visible for your printer.
Panthera Press commented
It's 2019 and I STILL HAVE THIS ISSUE. When you have 20-30 artboards it's absolutely insane that it's doing this. I have a file where I'm designing business cards for multiple people within the company, and the printer wants each card as a unique but editable vector file, in the end I have to waste an hour deleting artboards.
I've had this problem as well. I certainly wouldn't call it a "new feature request."
I can confirm that the issue mentioned by a previous poster happens to me as well. Saving as... PDF and choosing a specific artboard will ghost export ALL artboards. The PDF file ill show the selected artboard but when opening the PDF file in Illustrator... it's the same as the original AI file with all the artboards :)) I did export though with the "High Quality Print" profile that has "Preserve Illustrator editing capabilities" checked.
Not sure this is exactly the same issue and will post separately but when I have a multi art board file and the final for a printing vendor is only one page, when I use “save as pdf” and select all my specifics, including which page I want, the pdf it’s perfect. However, unless I deselect “preserve illustrator editing”, it will actually “ghost save “ ALL the artboards, so if my vendor opens in ai to check the file, they will get EVERY PAGE. I do not recall this happening before!
Kelly Carnes commented
Also having this problem. And I KNOW illustrator is capable of doing this because I always do it when I export logos for clients. It only started doing it this time, and it even does it with old files that I exported successfully in the past. This is completely insane. The only solution I can find is what someone else mentioned: open each file individually and delete the extras.
Jeff D commented
Same problem as described here: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/601447-illustrator-bugs/suggestions/32252662-export-for-screens-pdf-saves-all-artboards-in-fil (Dunno why this was marked closed)
When I "Export for Screens" to PDF, intending for each artboard to be its own file, the exported PDFs still include all other artboard data.
It's completely insane.
To fix it, I have to manually remove the extra artboards from each individual PDF using Preview or Acrobat, or Illustrator. So tedious.
Is anyone at Adobe ever held accountable for shipping such awful software?
I have this problem when I am exporting to PDF via "Save As"
The solution for my issue is to uncheck "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" in the panel that pops up, so that the file is flattened, and only the visible layers are exported, and extra artboards are removed.
I hope this helps you a little.
Hitesh Sharma commented
Could you please share the file you tried with and some recorded animation showing the issue with us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks Hitesh, I can confirm that not all the artboards are selected. Same problem happens regardless if I'm exporting a single artboard or many at once.
Hitesh Sharma commented
Thanks for sharing the information
we would like to know more about the issue.
could you please check if all artboards are not selected while exporting in the dialogue.