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Penelope_Illustrator
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Preferred method for repetitive objects (linked files vs. symbols)?

Feb 20, 2013 1:22 PM

Tags: #illustrator #cs5 #objects

When memory errors are occuring, which is the preferred method for repetitive objects: placing linked images or placing symbol instances? I'm using Windows XP and Illustrator CS5. I'm considering whether to create symbols for several of the often recurring placed images. Thanks.

 
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    Feb 20, 2013 4:03 PM   in reply to Penelope_Illustrator

    Symbols cannot contain linked images. So you will have to embed the image before converting to a symbol. But embedding an image makes a larger sized file (as compared to one with a linked image).

     
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    Feb 22, 2013 7:47 AM   in reply to Penelope_Illustrator

    If you create a vector from a placed image via live trace you'll definitely reduce your file size significantly over the placed original but quality may be an issue. If it's suitable for vectorization, then this is a good solution. making that vector a symbol will also save additional space if the graphic is going to be used multiple times in the file.

     

    If you place a bitmap image multiple times, Illustrator will not significantly increase in size after the first instance is placed, answering your question about how Illustrator loads linked files into memory.

     

    If you embed a bitmap image multiple times, Illustrator does increase in size with each instance.

     

    Haven't experimented with artboards yet to answer your last question, but i hope the above info is useful.

     

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    Feb 20, 2013 8:27 PM   in reply to Michael Riordan

    >> If you create a vector from a placed image via live trace you'll definitely reduce your file size significantly

     

    Not necessarily. The file size will depend on the preset/settings you choose for tracing.

     

    Also, placing multiple copies of the linked image may not necessarily increase the file size. Try this : Place-link a jpg image into Illustrator & save a copy of the file. Now Alt/Opt-drag the image to create multiple instances of the file and save a copy of the file. Compare file sizes. The file size may be smaller in the second case.

     

    If you have many empty artboards, the file size would be (slightly) larger than a file containing just 1 artboard. But if the artboards contain artwork, then file size will increase.

     
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