9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2013 12:52 PM by Jeffcd19 RSS

    Unlocking linked files.


      Occasionally I have to edit or use old pdf files that were created by my predecessors, who created the files by linking artwork placed within the file. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem, except that the folders containing all the linked files are long gone. When I open the files in Reader, I can zoom in on the images very closely and see that the image in very high resolution, which seems to indicate that there is vector art within the file, but when I open in Illustrator I get the message that says the artwork is no longer located at the indicated link. Is there any way to get this phantom version of the art that is only visible in Reader? I have opened in photoshop and grabbed it that way, but if there is a way to get it still as a vector, that would be better.



        • 1. Re: Unlocking linked files.
          Kurt Gold Community Member

          You are not providing any information about what version of Illustrator you are using and about what file formats you are talking.


          So, just a guess: Try placing and embedding the files in a blank Illustrator document.

          • 2. Re: Unlocking linked files.
            Peacock Community Member

            Sorry for not being more clear. I'm using Illustrator CS6 on a PC. But here's the thing... I don't link files. It's not particularly helpful for what we create—for my purposes embedding is fine.


            So I have a large folder of proofs for customers that previous graphic artists put together by linking the customer's artwork into the proof sheet, but the folder containing all these linked files is gone. When I open a proof that has a linked file (usually eps or pdf) in Illustrator I get the white placeholder box and the message about the file no longer existing, but when I open the file in Reader I can see the customer's placed artwork in great detail. Maybe I'm just assuming that it is a vector image because of how much I can zoom in on it, and it is actually something else, but it sure acts like vector art in Reader. And if it is, can I get to it so that I can alter it slightly in Illustrator?


            What I'm trying to do is find out if there is a somewhat useable vector version of the placed artwork floating around somewhere within this PDF that I can get to, because it seems to be in the file for display/and printing through Reader, but not there for Illustrator.

            • 3. Re: Unlocking linked files.
              Mike Gondek2 MVP

              Acrobat >> File >> Save as >> More Options >> Encapsulated Poscript

              Then open the .eps in Illustrator. Will be in one layer, and text blocks will be broken up illogically,  but may give you what you need.

              • 4. Re: Unlocking linked files.
                Kurt Gold Community Member

                Have you already tried my guess?


                That is, placing and embedding those .pdf files in a blank Illustrator document.


                You may then get the same as you get in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.

                • 5. Re: Unlocking linked files.
                  Peacock Community Member


                  That did it! Great! It's not something that I need to do often, but this will really help with those times that I do (like right now). I thought you were saying to place the linked files into a blank document...so I thought maybe I wasn't clear that I don't have the linked files.


                  Mike's idea would probably work too from the sounds of things, but I've only got Reader, not full-on Acrobat, so I'm guessing that is why I don't have "more options"

                  • 6. Re: Unlocking linked files.
                    Jeffcd19 Community Member

                    You can also just open the pdf in Illustrator to save time. I do that all the time.



                    • 7. Re: Unlocking linked files.
                      Monika Gause MVP

                      No, you can't. When the file still contains an AI part (as is the case here), that will be opened. And since the files are linked, they are not in the AI. The PDF part contains embedded files, but it will only be opened when there's no AI part.

                      • 8. Re: Unlocking linked files.
                        Kurt Gold Community Member

                        Not in that case. If you read carefully you'd conclude that we are talking about .pdf files that obviously include an .ai portion.


                        Just opening means to import just the .ai portion and thereby the unknown linked files dilemma.

                        • 9. Re: Unlocking linked files.
                          Jeffcd19 Community Member

                          Oh yep, fair enough, just tried it out and yeah even if you save the ai file as pdf with "High Quality Print" settings it still won't work. I was thinking the pdf had everything embeded in in it


                          Thanks Monika and Kurt