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.
Christo Boshoff commented
Fair enough. It is still just a work around after all, just a far less risky one that "Save As". I am in full agreement with this feature request hence my vote for it.
Norbert Martin commented
I don't see "Save as Copy" as the missing feature, because as you said yourself, it would need at least three changes to it. And so this is not a solution at all.
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".
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.
Emma Boys commented
I need to export PDFs from Illustrator all the time! It's unnecessarily complicated.
This is exactly what i would really like to be able to do.
In photoshop AND Illustrator