Save As PDF and PDF Export
Illustrator is long overdue for PDF export. Without PDF export saving a PDF from Illustrator is an arduous, multi-step process that must be repeated every time. There is also a dangerous trap in the process that can make the user’s file uneditable. Compare this to InDesign, which has PDF export and all changes are sticky.
1. File > Save a copy,
2. Change format to PDF,
3. Remove “ copy” from filename,
4. Change directory,
5. Click Save,
6. Enter PDF options,
7. Click Save.
1. File > Export,
2. Click Export.
Because all options in InDesign are sticky every export after the first will repeat the Settings, including directory, filename, and PDF options (even custom options that don’t use a preset).
The danger is a user might choose Save As (instead of Save a copy) to save a PDF then not realize the file they continue to edit is a PDF without Illustrator editing turned on. Any changes made would be saved to the PDF portion of the file, but there would be no fully editable Illustrator portion to keep their work. It is a dangerous trap that can lose work. It is a disgrace that this can happen in a program that’s over 30 years old.
There is no true PDF Export in Illustrator, because Illustrator allows to have editable PDFs with .ai-content stored within. Other apps does not allow that, and some users heavily rely on editable PDFs.
Attemps to solve this were made, but there is no clear solution so far. Still we hope to find one.
The intended way to get a PDF (without loosing your data) at the moment would be to use Save a Copy command that saves a separate copy of your file to PDF instead of Save As which keeps a saved file open.
Christo Boshoff commented
I always avoid the highly dangerous "Save As" and use "Save a Copy" (Ctrl+Alt+S). I see this as the "missing" export feature everyone is looking for.
I would like to suggest that this is renamed to something like "Export As PDF". Furthermore that it defaults to .PDF instead of .AI and doesn't append the file name with "copy".
Shirley Oliveira commented
After exporting a file as PDF, it's still possible to edit its content. Many times, I forget to update the ai. file, saving the updated file only as PDF. Then, when I re-open it, its editable features are limited or else I lose the layers if its a PSD file.
I suggest there is a possibility of saving a file both as PDF and ai. or psd. simultaneously, so that it doesn't happen so often.
Lewis Tsalis commented
I agree. Save as PDF should be only available as an Export option.
Enable auto closing a file you saved as an Adobe PDF file. I have had too many instances of 'fixing' an open PDF file and not the native .ai file...
Ran Jakubowicz commented
When saving a PDF file for preview after working on an Ai. file,
the software automatically saves it as PDF afterward, causing us to lose accessibility in a convenient way.
I suggest having an option of exporting PDF without afterward automatically saving it as PDF.
And when after saving the PDF the software will continue saving it as ai. file automatially instead
Scott Falkner commented
More than that. The PDF export options would be sticky, so the filename, destination directory, PDF preset, and any overrides would be remembered. Next time you export a PDF you wouldn’t need to enter all that from scratch.
I am not expecting this feature anytime soon. I’m not the only one who’s been asking for this for years. Adobe is either unable to add the feature or unwilling to.
I guess I see your point.. so you want them to add the PDF option to both save as and export.
Save as would keep the newly saved PDF file as your open document and Export to PDF would export a PDF file keeping the original file you had opened open.
I don't understand.. if I want to save a file as a pdf.. I hit
Save as pdf and click ok..then select the flavor I want.
simple to me.. whats the problem..
Illustrator uses PDF as a native format or illustrator.. thats why its in Save as and not as an export function.
Am I missing something?
I have never lost a file saving to PDF.
I prefer saving as .ai files.
so basically all this is about having to reopen the .ai file. I don't even think about it and I've been using illustrator since version '88.
PDF's require EXPORT not SAVE AS.
It's idiotic that both photoshop and Indesign do this but illustrator saves a pdf.
I've lost many billable hours having to recreate an Illustrator file that I mistakenly "Saved As...PDF" because Illustrator does not have this feature, but InDesign does.
Yes! This is my most desired request!!! Save As PDF in Illustrator will resave the file as a pdf, but then you have to save it again as an Illustrator document, which can cause a user to lose changes if they forget this step. T
Like InDesign if we could have the Adobe PDF Presets in the FILE menu, then it would be absolutely fabulous!
Emma Boys commented
I need to export PDFs from Illustrator all the time! It's unnecessarily complicated.
Scott Falkner commented
How the heck does this keep getting left out of every update? What more can we do to get someone at Adobe to hear how absolutely necessary this feature is?
I always save my Illustrator Artwork to PDF for final output,
1) if I save ALL artboards – my newly saved PDF will stay open in Illustrator,
2)if I select at the bottom of the window only certain artboards, saving will create a PDF that I then have to open in Illustrator or Acrobat
With option 1) in Illustrator I then have to select all hidden layers and delete them,
yes it's bothersome and could be improved.
It's very tricky as you always have to check at the top of your working window, what file format you are in and not delete layers in a master Illustrator file as opposed to a final artwork output for print...
An export option for PDF would make sense rather than a save as option, this would be my preferred solution.
thanks in advance!!
How to save to PDF only artboard and not overlapping content?
- create artboard
- put psd in it, bigger than artboard
- click save as
expected result: pdf with data from artboard
real result: pdf with data from artboard and outside artboard ("hiddendata") which is bigger
There is a tool within acrobat to delete the hidden data, but we dont want this extra step.
Like in InDesign it would be great to have an option while saving/exporting pdf to embed and compress all images in the document.
In a document you have embed or linked files... I need an option to save or export a pdf and, at the same time, embed all images and compress them at the desired resolution. I think the only way to do this is to raster individually each image in the document before saving.
This is exactly what i would really like to be able to do.
In photoshop AND Illustrator
It also should be renamed to 'Export to PDF', not save, since it gives false illusion that AI is PDF editor (which Adobe wants it not to be for good reasons).