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HELP! Illegal operand error - can't open file!  (v.2)

Sep 4, 2008 1:09 PM

I have a file that I've done about 40 hours on since last duplicating it. It's been saved multiple times, and successfully. Now, however the file seems to be corrupt. I'm getting the following error message when opening it:

Cant open the illustration. The illustration contains an illegal operand.
Offending operator: ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( (((((((((((((((((((((((((((

After i last closed the file, i've defragged my hard drive because it's been sluggish. Ive also deleted a couple of random temp files that I'm now thinking may have been in regards to the Ai file. Does anyone have any ideas on what i can do to open this file (preferable) or anything else?
Thanks in advance for any help or info you can provide!
Ben
(ps-this is my second posting of this - frantically trying to fix this and didn't pay attention to what i was typing. i forgot to mention a few things so i just resubmitted rather than constantly adding messages. thanks for understanding ;)
 
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    Sep 4, 2008 1:14 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    Ben,

    Corrupted files are difficult. The first and simplest thing to try is to place it in a new document.
     
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    Sep 4, 2008 3:13 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    Ben:

    Jacob suggested that you make a new blank document in AI and then File> Place the old .ai document into it. Did you try this?

    steve
     
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    Sep 5, 2008 12:38 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    Hi Steve, when shall we be going nuts, or rather acorns?
     
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    Sep 19, 2008 7:04 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    Hi all,
    I'm having a similar issue - layers are missing now. I'm using Illustrator CS3 on XP. I saved my file (often!) yesterday but today when I opened it I got:

    Can't open the illustration. The illustration contains an illegal or misplaced operator.
    Offending operator: "U"
    Context:

    U
    % /ArtDictionary:
    %;
    %
    9()XW
    U

    I've tried placing it in a new file, opening with older versions of Illustrator, as well as Photoshop, etc. One thing I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere is that if I open Illustrator, and File->Open, the whole layout appears in the preview window (including the missing layers).

    Thanks all,
    mike
     
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    Sep 19, 2008 8:08 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    This would be one for Teri.
     
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    Sep 25, 2008 5:42 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    We are having similar problems in one of our labs at school.

    Cant open the illustration. The illustration contains an illegal operand.
    Offending operator: "BRK/Stranded-(BRK 0 0 0 TZ
    %Al3_EndEncoding True Type
    %Al55J_Tsume: None
    %Al3_BeginEncoding: _Submarine Submarine
    [/_Submarine/Submarine 0 0 0 TZ
    %Al3_EndEncoding True Type
    %Al55J_Tsume: None
    %Al3_BeginEncoding: _Swiss911BT-Extra

    Any suggestions?
     
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    Mar 7, 2009 9:47 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    hi I've similar problem too.

    Can't open the illustration. The illustration contains an illegal or misplaced operator.

    Offending operator: "U"
    Context:

    % ;
    %
    9 () XW
    LB
    %AI5_EndLayer--
    U

    what is that mean????
    I have a PC, windows Vista platform and Illustrator CS4.

    pleeeeease help!!!
     
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    Mar 7, 2009 2:31 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    >what is that mean????

    It means that the file is corrupted. Unless you can place it in a new document, or Teri turns up with the solution, the file is probably lost.
     
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    Mar 9, 2009 3:56 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    AAARRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

    here's mine:
    Offending Operator: '%AI3_EndEncoding TrueType'
    Context:

    [/_C&CRedAlert[INET] 0 0 0 TZ
    %AI3_EndEncoding TrueType

    I can see that it's a font issue. i've uninstalled the font. still wont open. so i opened the code in Word and cannot find the linesearched for endcoding and truetype, etc. (not that i would know what to do if i found iti guess i thought i might delete it??)

    anyone?? Teri??
     
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    Mar 9, 2009 4:03 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    oh. i thought i would add that i am a mac user. in case it makes any difference. CS3.
     
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    Mar 9, 2009 5:32 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    @Blake Looks like you're trying to open a Red Alert Map ? I think there is a Photoshop plug-in for these. Might wanna use Google or your fav SE to find it. Then try opening the file. All I can suggest if your sure you replaced the font or removed it.
     
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    Mar 9, 2009 5:45 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)
    thanks for the suggestion, SDA. but the font name is C&C Red Alert, which is why i know (or think i know) it's an issue with the font.
     
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    Aug 18, 2009 6:31 AM   in reply to (Blake_Tannery)

    I am also getting this Error.

    Offending Operator: '%AI3_EndEncoding TrueType'
    Context:

     

    [/_C&CRedAlert[LAN] 0 0 0 TZ
    %AI3_EndEncoding TrueType 

     

    The stupid thing is, I didn't like the font, so I stopped using it in the document. It shouldn't even be in the file anymore, but still managed to corrupt it.

     

    I opened the file in textEdit but I can't find the string for that font.

    I can't even find the '%AI3_EndEncoding TrueType' string.

     

    I have placed the file into a new illustrator document, but it breaks apart all of my layers into a million groups.

    So Im trying to leave that as a last resort.

     

    Any body else have any luck?

     
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    Aug 18, 2009 6:46 AM   in reply to media•ist

    You might try opening it in Acrobat and saving with a new name and then opening that in Illustrator.

     
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    Oct 21, 2009 3:11 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

    This just happened to me on a huge project! I was able to recover everything, except for the fonts were no longer in text boxes, and the clipping paths had to be recreated. Here's what I did:

     

    Open a new doc in illustrator. Place the corrupted file into the new document. Select the file that is placed and choose Object, Flatten Transparency. Leave all of the defaults. Then remove the clipping mask on the flattened object by clicking command shift 7. You should then be able to click into the group, or simply ungroup to get at your design.

     

    I hope this helps!

    Scout

     
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    Mar 17, 2010 8:54 AM   in reply to DesignScout

    Design Scout-- Very helpful; I appreciate that!

     
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    May 19, 2010 10:44 AM   in reply to DesignScout

    Design Scout, your advice solved my problem and allowed me to re-open my file that was throwing the illegal operand error.  Thank you SO much!!  The layer names are all messed up and there are a few fixes I need to make, but man is it better than doing that whole thing over again.  I was so scared I lost at least 8 hours of work from this!  Thanks again!!

     
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    Jul 21, 2010 4:09 PM   in reply to DesignScout

    DesignScout's tip worked for me too.  Thank you!

     
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    Oct 22, 2010 10:18 AM   in reply to DesignScout

    SCOUT!!!! You are the God! The Savior send up from the Higher Reason!

    In short, thanks.

     
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    Nov 5, 2010 10:47 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

    I encountered this issue just today.

     

    I had an empty graph (a layer <graph> without anything in it).  Removing it solved the problem.

     
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    Jun 17, 2011 3:56 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

    Try placing the file in a new document; click on Embed on the horizontal toolbar; ungroup; then your artwork will be editable.  The text boxes will have to be reconstructed, so that's a bummer.

     

    If you think the problem is a font, try this ... open a new document, type a few characters of text, assign the text the font that you think is the problem.  Click off the text. Your screen will flicker once.  Then try to open the problem file.  At least this works on my equipment.  Illustrator I guess loses connection with a font sometimes.  This happened in CS4 and CS5..

     
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    Jul 4, 2011 8:31 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

    Not to discredit Design Scout's glorious solution, of which partially worked for me. It basically recovered what was visible. Great for recovering what i most recently worked on, not so great for everything else. But another solution that worked 100% for me was found here: http://daxxter.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/how-to-recover-a-corrupted-ill ustrator-ai-file/

     

    I noticed after researching this problem, there are different types of operand errors. I had the one with ((((((((((((( in it like Ben, the original poster. There are others involving fonts and other stuff. The solution in the url I provided seems to be for the font one, but I was able to fix my problem by following all steps except the last couple.

     

    When the _recoveredFile.ai was opened in text edit and after searching for something in the error message (I used a "-24.33 456.5" that was in my error message instead of the ((((((((((( because my dislexia prevented me from getting an exact count of ('s), I had two lines with the bunch of ((((('s in them. I removed all the ((((((( from both lines, saved the file and opened back up in AI. And bingo!! 2 months of work 100% recovered Hope this can help anyone else.

     
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    Jun 4, 2012 2:05 PM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

    First. Can't tell you how helpful this forum post/thread has been today. I successfully recovered two files that had "illegal operand" due to a corrupted Font, despite every Adobe tech support person writing me off – writing my files "gone". 

     

    Second. For anyone interested my "offending operator" was:

     

    %AI3_EndEncoding TrueType' 

     

    Specifically, the context:

     

    [/_[-Andvari-]-Regular/[-Andvari-]-Regular 0 0 0 TZ

    %AI3_EndEncoding True Type

     

    The did exactly as explained here (below, by Levitikon).

    ---

    24.Levitikon,

     

    Community Member

    Jul 4, 2011 9:31 AM   in reply to (Ben_Grefsrud)

    Report

     

    ----

    However, my Library/ and Preferences/ were hidden...which made it frustrating because I had to find how to make them visible.  Well, here's the link to explain how to do that : http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/22/access-user-library-folder-in-os-x-lion /

     

    Cheers!


     
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    Jun 4, 2012 2:24 PM   in reply to Kevin Shelley

    Thanks for writing, Kevin.  Glad I could help.

     
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    Jun 4, 2012 4:04 PM   in reply to coogap

    WARNING:  Coogweaver's method (a good one indeed) about ceating a new document so you can File/Place the corrupted one helps IF (and only if) your artwork is completely done on the "art board" (i.e. doc size = letter, tabloid, etc.).  If you're like me and work through a lot of iterations and creative business all around...then bring it into the the "art board" well – it WILL be lost.  The "workspace" is not considered by any option (even though their are 5 to choose from) during "File/Place". This seems to be because the Place feature treats an AI (.ai) file as a PDF (.pdf) which only see the art board dimension (not the entire working space of your document).

     

    So, the lesson learned is:

    a.  Work on the art board (or at least move artwork of importance to it PRIOR to saving your documents)

    b. If you need more room, the goto File/Document Setup/Edit Artboard to create more space that woudl be salvageable (in case of a corrupted file) – if you rely on Coogweaver's rescue op.

    c. If not, then you have to use Leviticon's method (see above), because it WILL recover the entire working space

     

    Good luck everyone!

     
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    Jan 19, 2013 6:17 PM   in reply to Levitikon

    That technique Levitikon forwarded (at daxxter.wordpress.com) worked best for me when I had a file go mysteriously corrupt on me today; although it didn't recover everything, it got plenty and saved me a LOT of heartache and recovery time.  Both the corrupted file and the recovery one are missing content from layers above a certain point, but the recovery file had a lot more still available in there.  As I've scoured the text-only contents of both the recovery and the original file, I'm finding that it's likely the content that's missing was lost in the process of the last save, the one which corrupted it, so it truly is _gone._  Then again, possibly not:  opening the .ai file in Acrobat Pro X, I see a few items that are on a layer that didn't survive into the recovery file, but they're the only relics remaining.

     

    Probably the biggest thing I learned in the process (aside from the importance of saving backup copies along the way, which I am eternally guilty of not doing) was that everything independently on the pasteboard (i.e., not atop something which also straddles the artboard edge) got lost, so in the future I'll not keep temporarily extraneous things there but rather in a separate file or hidden layer.  THANK YOU Levitikon for posting that!

     

    p.s. I tried many other techniques suggested here, as well as opening the various files in Illustrator CS6 (my file was CS3), and all of the other results were makeshift at best and all-but-useless at worst...still, if I needed to get just *something* recovered from the corrupted file, I'd be glad for any of it. I was surprised that opening the .ai file in Acrobat X and saving it as a PDF didn't quite work -- neither Illustrator CS3 nor CS6 would open the resulting PDF unless I saved it as an Optimized one, and in any case it was the usual all-layers-combined mess the other techniques yielded as well.

     
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