We're running Illustrator CS4 across a suite of 12 Macs on OS X 10.6.8. Over the last couple of weeks, several accounts have been hit with the same problem, that linking an image in an Illustrator document will not show the images, but just a bounding box. The link information is correct, but I've found no way of getting the image to show, aside from embedding it. Furthermore, saving a document in this state will cause Illustrator to crash when trying to reopen the document.
We use network accounts for the Macs, so all installs are local on each machine, but users access their profile directly from our server. Therefore, all links reference a location on our network and not the local drive. However, there does not seem to be anything wrong with the installs as the issue is with accounts and not the individual client. Once the issue occurs for a user, it occurs on any Mac they log into, while unaffected users can use any Mac without issue.
Our network has run in this state for a year now and the problem has only surfaced recently. I've tried clearing user's preference files relating to Illustrator, but this has had no effect. It's also random when creating a new user on the network, as some will have the issue and others not, despite all being created with the same set of default preferences.
If anyone has come across anything similar, or has any idea of what to look at with this, I'd be very grateful for some help.
Many moons ago we had this kind of trouble with Macs using a network on a Windows server.
As soon as we switched over to a Mac server the problem went away and has not resurfaced.
Some thoughts though:
What do you see when you try to select linked images through the Layers panel?
Are the images there and just not showing up?
If you turn off the preview (Cmd+Y) do you see the boxes with diagonal lines that indicate liked images?
Are the images maybe beyond the bounds of their masks?
(Just so we know)
Thanks for the response. First of all, you'll have to excuse me if I get a few points wrong, as I'm not too familiar with Illustrator. However, in answer to your questions;
The layers panel is showing "<Linked File>" next to an empty white box.
Turning off preview does show the boxes you describe.
I've no idea how to go about checking if an image is beyond the mask bounds. However, I've used the same image for testing across accounts and it displays fine on those that aren't having this issue.
Also, in the top left corner of Illustrator, the name os the linked image does display and the options available when clicking that do seem correct and working. Relinking from there does nothing, but I can open the image for editing etc. None of this helps in getting the image to display though.
As for the server side, we have always used a Mac server at the same version as the clients.
We did have a lot of issues with various applications after moving to network accounts. However, Illustrator has been fine until the last couple of weeks despite being a heavily used programme here. In fact, I think this is the first issue we've had with any Adobe application. Most of our issues were with Apple software, such as Logic and Final Cut. Unfortunately, network accounts are the only way we can operate as we have over 100 students using 12 computers in a workshop environment.
I did spend a full day searching online for a solution, including the Adobe forums, but failed to find anything matching our issue. However, I will take another look if you think there's something there from this year.
O.k. If you see the X-boxes when the preview is turned off the links are there and undamaged per se.
So it’s a question of getting the images to show up.
See if Place... Replace works. Select the linked file on your network with Link and Replace ticked.
If you have no joy, sometimes restarting Illie does the trick.
If that still doesn’t work it may well be that it’s a conflict issue like Monika describes.