33 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2017 10:11 AM by BobLevine

    Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD

    philter2001 Level 1

      Hi everyone. I work for a large format printing company. We receive thousands of files every year from many different designers. We started to notice that gradients would drop out of some PDFs when opening them in Illustrator but they would preview fine when opened in Acrobat. I searched high and low for an explanation for this glitch. The only response I received is "Stop opening exported PDFs in Illustrator." This is an unsatisfactory answer for someone that needs to preflight directly in the Illustrator program. I've done a ton of research and have been racking my brain for the last 2 years and have finally found sufficient workarounds for this issue. The downfall with these workarounds: all spot colors located in the gradients will convert to CMYK mixes. I'm still researching to see if there is a way to keep spot colors intact in these areas.

       

      A little back story: InDesign is converting the gradients into something called NChannel. It enables more accurate handling of color blending by including additional dot gain and color mixing info. Both InDesign and Acrobat have the ability to display these elements whereas Illustrator, from what I’m finding, does not. Which is why we’re seeing gradient elements drop out when opened in Illustrator.

       

      Workaround for CMYK Gradients

      Open PDF exported from INDD in Acrobat

      Go to Tools > Print Production > Convert Colors

      Object Type: Smooth Shade (this tells Acrobat to hone in on Gradients only)

      Color Type: DeviceCMYK

      Check Embed next to Conversion Profile (should be SWOP)

      Expand Document Colors on the right and Select DeviceCMYK in Color Spaces then click ok

      Save the PDF

       

      Workaround for 1 Spot Color in Gradients (Converts Spot Color located in Gradient to CMYK – all other Spots stay intact)

      Open PDF exported from INDD in Acrobat

      Go to Tools > Print Production > Convert Colors

      Object Type: Smooth Shade (this tells Acrobat to hone in on Gradients only)

      Color Type: Spot Color

      Check Embed next to Conversion Profile (should be SWOP)

      Expand Document Colors on the right and Select the Spot that is located in the Gradient in Color Spaces then click ok

      Save the PDF

       

      Workaround for 2 Spot Colors in Gradients (Converts Spot Colors located in Gradient toCMYK – all other Spots stay intact)

      Open PDF exported from INDD in Acrobat

      Go to Tools > Print Production > Convert Colors

      Object Type: Smooth Shade (this tells Acrobat to hone in on Gradients only)

      Color Type: Spot Color

      Check Embed next to Conversion Profile (should be SWOP)

      Expand Document Colors on the right and Select the DeviceN spot color that is located in the Gradient in Color Spaces then click ok

      Save the PDF

       

      Please test it and let me know if you run into any issues with these workarounds.  I'm always looking for new problems to solve!

       

      - Jenny

        • 1. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

          There is no reason to open any PDF in Illustrator!

          Illustrator is no PDF editor!

          Only PDFs saved in Illustrator with Illustrator's editing capabilities should be opened in Illustrator.

          Why are you using this terrible workflow. Fingers off!

          • 2. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Illustrator is not a general purpose PDF editor.

             

            Only PDFs generated from Illustrator with Illustrator editing capabilities should be opened in Illustrator.

             

            Otherwise opening a non-illustrator PDF in Illustrator is a crapshoot.

             

            Recreate the Gradient in Illustrator.

            • 3. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              philter2001 wrote:

               

              ... I work for a large format printing company. We receive thousands of files every year from many different designers. We started to notice that gradients would drop out of some PDFs when opening them in Illustrator but they would preview fine when opened in Acrobat. I searched high and low for an explanation for this glitch. The only response I received is "Stop opening exported PDFs in Illustrator." This is an unsatisfactory answer for someone that needs to preflight directly in the Illustrator program. I've done a ton of research and have been racking my brain for the last 2 years and have finally found sufficient workarounds for this issue. The downfall with these workarounds: all spot colors located in the gradients will convert to CMYK mixes. I'm still researching to see if there is a way to keep spot colors intact in these areas.

               

              I understand large format may be signage where a lot of work is output from Illustrator.

               

              But really a PDF workflow would be better for your company that deals with so many files.

               

              There should be PDF preflight check - and there's plenty of software out there.

               

              And there's plenty of PDF workflow software for large format.

               

               

              Basically - opening PDFs in Illustrator that were generated from any other program isn't going to get good results.

               

               

              Get the right tools and workflow for dealing with PDFs sent to you where you can preflight the PDF and output to your large format devices.

               

               

              That's what you should be doing - not looking for workflows to get things to output from Illustrator.

               

              The last thing you want to do is disappoint your customers/designers/clients with poorly output artwork where something disappeared from the supplied files.

               

               

              If you need to  - get them to supply the Illustrator files.

               

              Or recreate the files in Illustrator.

               

              But under no circumstances open the PDF in Illustrator.

              • 4. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                On behalf of Adobe, both Willi and Eugene are absolutely correct.

                 

                Adobe Illustrator is not, repeat not, repeat yet again not a general purpose PDF file editor.

                 

                The only PDF files that Adobe Illustrator is guaranteed to fully and losslessly open are those PDF files saved from the current or a previous version of Adobe Illustrator with the “save editability” feature enabled.

                 

                For PDF file preflight and/or touch-up, there are native tools in Adobe Acrobat Pro as well as various third party plug-ins for same.

                 

                          - Dov

                 

                PS:     The same is true for Photoshop. Likewise, it is not a PDF file editor.

                • 5. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                  IOIIOOIO Level 1

                  I would just like to add that in the signage company I work for it is impossible to have a PDF only workflow as most people describe. The reason for this is that our templates that we send to the client and the templates we use for setting up a print are not the same... artwork has to be rearranged to allow for the most economical print setup for varying widths of paper. One day you might be printing a Gazebo tent on 1500mm wide fabric whereas the next day you will have to print the exact same job on 1800mm wide fabric. Furthermore, because we are involved in making products that are irregular shapes and that are printed to fabrics which shrink and stretch and so on it means that our templates are not all exacty straightforward. As much as we have tried to explain to our clients in laymen terms with diagrams and photos and everything how our templates work about 70% of the time the clients provide artwork that doesn't meet our requirements and we have to adjust artwork to add sufficient bleed or to make sure a logo doesnt get sewn over or something. Now, in a perfect world all our clients would be professional designers with all the time in the world at their disposal and we could just keep  sending the artwork back until they get it right, and also get them to send us two files - one with the initial product design and the other a print ready setup. Unfortunately in the real world most of our clients are sales reps and branch managers who couldn' be fussed to go back their design company who would take two weeks to get back to them and so on and so forth. So it really is necessary almost 100% of the time for us to open up artwork we receive from the client in Illsutrator. In the two previous signage companies I worked for where templates were not so complicated this was still a problem and we would open every job we received in Illustrator for pre-flighting. What I find so frustrating about this particular situation we are discussing here is that InDesign and Illustrator are not talking the same language. It honestly boggles my mind how two programmes made by the same company don't understand each other.

                   

                  I've also always wondered why it is that many of the things that can be done with InDesign can't be done in Illustator. Freehand used to have a lot of the combined layout and vector functinality that InDesign and Illustrator have seperately. That's a whole other discussion obviously, but you get my point.

                  • 6. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                    IOIIOOIO Level 1

                    Hi Jenny,

                     

                    I am stuck when I reach this part of your workaround:


                    Expand Document Colors on the right and Select DeviceCMYK in Color Spaces then click ok

                     

                    I can't seem to find the "Expand Document Colours" option anywhere in that dialogue box.

                    • 7. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                      IOIIOOIO Level 1

                      Eugene Tyson wrote:

                       

                      philter2001 wrote:

                       

                      ... I work for a large format printing company. We receive thousands of files every year from many different designers. We started to notice that gradients would drop out of some PDFs when opening them in Illustrator but they would preview fine when opened in Acrobat. I searched high and low for an explanation for this glitch. The only response I received is "Stop opening exported PDFs in Illustrator." This is an unsatisfactory answer for someone that needs to preflight directly in the Illustrator program. I've done a ton of research and have been racking my brain for the last 2 years and have finally found sufficient workarounds for this issue. The downfall with these workarounds: all spot colors located in the gradients will convert to CMYK mixes. I'm still researching to see if there is a way to keep spot colors intact in these areas.

                       

                      I understand large format may be signage where a lot of work is output from Illustrator.

                       

                      But really a PDF workflow would be better for your company that deals with so many files.

                       

                      There should be PDF preflight check - and there's plenty of software out there.

                       

                      And there's plenty of PDF workflow software for large format.

                       

                       

                      Basically - opening PDFs in Illustrator that were generated from any other program isn't going to get good results.

                       

                       

                      Get the right tools and workflow for dealing with PDFs sent to you where you can preflight the PDF and output to your large format devices.

                       

                       

                      That's what you should be doing - not looking for workflows to get things to output from Illustrator.

                       

                      The last thing you want to do is disappoint your customers/designers/clients with poorly output artwork where something disappeared from the supplied files.

                       

                       

                      If you need to  - get them to supply the Illustrator files.

                       

                      Or recreate the files in Illustrator.

                       

                      But under no circumstances open the PDF in Illustrator.

                      Sorry but this doesn't suffice as a solution. I currently have 120 artworks with this problem. Even using actions to recreate the gradients for these artworks isn't possible because they are all different to each other. The original artwork was created in InDesign (for reasons unknown to me - perhaps the designer only knew how to use InDesign or didn't have Illustrator) so there's no chance of getting them to send us an illustrator version... in fact there is no chance of getting them to send us anything better at all since this is artwork that was sent to us by a middleman whose only response is "please just fix it".

                       

                      I think I will take my chances with Jenny's workaround if possible.

                      • 8. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        You keep stating that the answers given here are unsatisfactory.

                         

                        Regardless of what you think, opening a PDF exported from InDesign (or any

                        other application for that matter) is a disaster waiting to happen. It's

                        your workflow that's at fault here and it needs to be changed.

                         

                        If you can't change the Illustrator workflow, then provide your customers

                        with SPECIFIC file requirements and stick with them.

                        • 9. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                          IOIIOOIO Level 1

                          I get where you're coming from, but I'm telling you that it simply isn't possible. No matter how in-depth (sketchup drawings/diagrams/photos - the works) I have gone to explain to clients how our templates work and exactly what we need the majority of our clients either simply couldn't be bothered to try and understand it or they are not competent enough. I still receive documents that have Pantone gradients or Pantone transparencies from a client to whom I have explained on several occasions that it's wrong - and it's a design studio that handles Unilever campaigns and is considered the best design studio in our province. On some occasions we have communicated back and forth several times without any results. Furthermore; we have a policy at the company I work at to make things as easy as possible for our clients and if that means that we fix artwork they have supplied incorrectly then so be it - we do charge them a premium for that services after all.

                           

                          I get what you guys are saying I really do, and I don't see any point for me to argue any further. From my perspective though, it would be ideal if I could just open it up and in InDesign and have a box to tick that says "Illustrator compatibility" when I export it - that would solve everything and I just don't see why it isn't possible to achieve considering both programs are developed by the same guys. Consider it a complaint/suggestion from an unsatisfied customer.

                          • 10. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            First off, we all get your frustration but your logic is highly questionable.

                             

                             

                             

                            Would you expect a hammer to work the same way as a screwdriver just because it was made by the same company?

                             

                             

                             

                            Illustrator and InDesign have some overlap but they are designed to be complimentary tools in a creative workflow.

                             

                             

                             

                            Illustrator has never been and will never be a general purpose PDF editor.

                            • 11. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                              IOIIOOIO Level 1

                              Just thought I should share that I have found a quick and simple workaround to my problem - I have simply placed the PDF into an Illustrator document with content linked. This allows me to place the artwork in my template and I can use actions to do the setup automatically for me. Probably wont work for everyone but in my particular case it has saved me a lot of work.

                              • 12. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                jednet Level 1

                                Jenny, thank you! That worked brilliantly and will save me hours of cutting and pasting and bodging a series of concentric circles all with differing gradients used on multiple panels by a wide range of similar products all requiring packaging components required as Illustrator files, but supplied in InDesign.

                                I receive many many PDFs or InDesign files but our packaging printers around the world all require Illustrator files (often saved back as CS4 or similar and some then convert to CorelDraw .cdr) and it is a large part of my job to make these work as accurately as I can, despite the comments about screwdrivers and hammers. Perhaps this is an area that Adobe could address in a future release given the application is about 30 years old and is the best screwdriver/chisel at our disposal. Loved Freehand, still miss it. Acrobat Pro is great at some things but until it lets me open a PDF from InDesign, make significant changes, correct 4 colour blacks and the horrors that are RGB PDFs with every spot and process colour percentage screwed up and save back as an Illustrator CS4 format with all fonts converted to outlines and all the elements grouped nicely onto layers (so we can turn off cutter guides, varnishes, alernative languages) I will stick with Illustrator.  Jed Gibbs MA, artwork manager, Medicom Healthcare. (I have been employed in Reprographics/Pre-press since 1987).

                                • 13. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                  jednet Level 1

                                  Feature suggestion for Adobe Illustrator: please improve its capabilities as a PDF editor. There are many, many studios who somehow manage to cope despite the limitations. We would all appreciate any improvements and the general view outside of Adobe is that PDF is an Adobe format and that Illustrator should be able to do a better job than it does as a PDF editor after 30 years. Acrobat Pro is great for some things but sometimes we have no choice but to open a PDF in Illustrator and work through the issues. Jed Gibbs MA artwork manager

                                  • 14. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                    jednet Level 1

                                    On the top right under Document Colors there is a small blue circle with a tiny arrow, click it to expand a box that says Color Spaces.

                                     

                                    Choose any nSpace gradients etc that appear in the list. I had several and had to go through the process a couple of times before I got all of them...

                                    • 15. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                      Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      jednet wrote:

                                       

                                      Feature suggestion for Adobe Illustrator: please improve its capabilities as a PDF editor. There are many, many studios who somehow manage to cope despite the limitations.

                                       

                                      You're preaching to the wrong place - this is a user to user forum. Honestly, you should change your workflow instead of asking for a workaround. You've worked wrong for many years, it's time to change your habits and do it the correct way.

                                       

                                      Why don't you invest in something like PitStop Pro - that's how other studios manage.

                                      • 16. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                        jednet Level 1

                                        Thank you Eugene, I have just downloaded the free trial of PitStop Pro and will report back on how useful it is to us. If it cannot save back as Illustrator CS4 then I will still have to open the PDFs in Illustrator eventually or convert a dozen huge packaging companies in France, Switzerland, India and Italy to using the new workflow too... but every extra tool in the toolbox helps.  Jed

                                        • 17. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Pitstop works through Acrobat - I'm encouraging you to never open PDFs in Illustrator.

                                           

                                          Illustrator can never be a PDF editor, simply because there are so many variants of PDF makers out there. And not all comply with all of Adobe's modules.

                                          • 18. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                            abailescollins Level 2

                                            I can save you a bit of time. PitStop won't save a PDF back as an illustrator file, that's not what it does.

                                             

                                            It's a PDF preflight, correction and editing tool.

                                             

                                            I don't want to go over old ground but you should really not use illustrator to open PDF files, that is not what it is designed for and you will definitely run into more and more problems and maybe even spoilage if you try.

                                             

                                            As previously stated you need the correct tools for the job.

                                             

                                            Perhaps if you can explain what you do in illustrator I can tell you how you can do this natively with a PDF in Acrobat/PitStop.

                                             

                                            I should mention I am the product manager for PitStop

                                            • 19. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                              abailescollins Level 2

                                              Sorry just read your previous comment.

                                               

                                              open a PDF from InDesign, make significant changes, correct 4 colour blacks and the horrors that are RGB PDFs with every spot and process colour percentage screwed up, all fonts converted to outlines and all the elements grouped nicely onto layers (so we can turn off cutter guides, varnishes, alernative languages)

                                               

                                              All possible within PitStop, within a PDF

                                               

                                              But I would question why you need to outline fonts?

                                               

                                              It's possible but really old school now unless you have good reason.

                                              • 20. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                Really sounds like the OP needs to export the PDF from InDesign using File>Export and choose PDF (Print)

                                                 

                                                From here go to the Colour output settings and Select "Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers)"

                                                 

                                                And select an output destination.

                                                 

                                                Sounds like all the text and colours are reverting to RGB or from RGB to a 4 colour black or something.

                                                 

                                                http://indesignsecrets.com/preventing-4-color-blacks-in-pdfs.php

                                                 

                                                Sounds like they need to really get into the export options for the PDF and most likely correct a lot of issues.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                If that's not the case and they are the receivers of the PDF then opening a PDF in Illustrator can cause many more issues than it can solve.

                                                 

                                                Using Pitstop Pro and Acrobats own Preflight checks can solve lots of issues.

                                                • 21. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                  jednet Level 1

                                                  Thank you everyone, everything helps. In my current role I have no alternative but to supply Illustrator files, usually saved back to CS4, because that is what the pharmaceutical packaging companies specify and they are enshrined in their sacred SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). The S often seems to stand for Stupid.

                                                   

                                                  As for outlining fonts, I just received too many proofs back where even if I supplied the fonts the printers would use a different variant and the line endings would go awry. Sometimes the fonts our customers use are Mac-only Type 1 PostScript and the printers in India will be converting to a CorelDraw .cdr on Windows (shudder). Add the the legal issues with supplying fonts, some of which are unusual and only used for one package design, and I have come to the reluctant conclusion outlining is the safest workflow even though the files are usually much bigger and I have to keep an editable version together with the outlined Illustrator file which adds to the headache that is version control.

                                                   

                                                  Your responses and knowledge have encouraged me to add a new issue I am struggling with a little - customers still supplying PDFs with embedded MultipleMaster fonts. Illustrator CC really hates them and as I understand it they have not been supported in a long while. Acrobat Pro displays them happily enough - can I convert them to outlines within PitStop Pro or Acrobat Pro so when they get imported to Illustrator (I know, I shouldn't but I must) they don't become substituted? I appreciate it's off topic and may have been answered before elsewhere, but I am ill so please indulge me a little...

                                                  • 22. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                    Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    Encourage the company to come read this thread. They're workflow is outdated and is causing more problems than anything else.

                                                     

                                                    PDFs should never be opened in Illustrator - simple as, it's a final file format.

                                                     

                                                    Any changes should be made in the source document.

                                                     

                                                    You can convert them to outlines with Pitstop as you ask, but beware that converting fonts to outlines could violate their EULA too.

                                                    • 23. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                      abailescollins Level 2

                                                      You can convert them to outlines with Pitstop as you ask, but beware that converting fonts to outlines could violate their EULA too.


                                                      Not true, PitStop will honor the font licensing and warn you if you are trying to do something that is not accepted by the Eula.

                                                       

                                                      Also be aware that fonts are legally allowed to be embedded in a PDF, the licensing mechanism is normally called print and preview or something similar.

                                                       

                                                      If you think about it the whole notion of PDF becoming a standard would not have worked if it was not possible, I think font vendors are much happier with that then the old story of people sending native files and complete font sets.

                                                       

                                                      Things are changing in the packaging world and PDFs are becoming more prevalent.

                                                       

                                                      Jednet I feel for you. I think you are a small step away from a disaster to be very honest, but you can't be alone. Maybe look at some of the applications from our sister company Esko, they have dedicated tools for the packaging industry that might help you. I think there tools maybe more stable and fit for purpose than your current workflow. www.esko.com

                                                      • 24. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        Sorry - my point was - some fonts are not licensed to be printed, converting to outlines is against their EULA, and which you rightly pointed out that Pitstop will warn you.

                                                         

                                                        There are other ways to outline a font in Acrobat, but I never recommend it as it's not required.

                                                        • 25. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                          Lightwing Level 1

                                                          Hi, Jenny:

                                                           

                                                          I just wanted to thank you for posting this solution. I needed to extract a vector logo from a pdf and the gradients were dropping out. Your solution worked perfectly.

                                                           

                                                          Sorry for all of the arrogant posters who yelled at you and had no empathy for your situation. VERY unprofessional, folks. Completely uncalled for.

                                                          • 26. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                            CROrlando Level 1

                                                            Most of these people don't know what they're talking about.  I also work in the industry and get files from all over the world, and you simply CANNOT control what type of files you get.  You can tell a customer 20 times and on time 21 you will still get the file the way they want or know how to send it to you.  Your option then is to lose a customer. 

                                                             

                                                            I've been opening pdf files from InDesign in Illustrator for more than 10 years.  I rarely ever have a problem - actually can't remember a problem in the last several years.  I've done it THOUSANDS of times.   But there has been the occasional time something goes amiss.  I HAVE to use Illustrator because the rip software on our large format printers only understands that and .tiff files.  If I have tons of Pantone colors, these are read from vector Illustrator files only, and then the color is adjusted for each printer and material based on mathematical formulations.  My machines also read vector cut paths and vector white ink layers from Illustrator.

                                                             

                                                            I'm not saying that this means Adobe must alter their product to fit my needs, but only to help others understand the reason for using Illustrator.

                                                            • 27. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              You might be getting away with it - and it might suit your needs for large format printing - but what you're doing is esoterically correct.

                                                               

                                                              That is - it's ok in some situations to hack a PDF file to make edits or fit for purpose, but only if you really know what you're doing, and in your case, your fitting it for your purpose to make it ready for your press - or large format printer.

                                                               

                                                              What is wrong is the lay person who doesn't understand the cause and effect of opening PDFs in Illustrator.

                                                               

                                                              As I copy and paste this often it might shed more light on the situation

                                                               

                                                              Dov Issacs wrote:

                                                               

                                                              On behalf of Adobe Systems Incorporated, I will advise you that Adobe Illustrator is *not*, +repeat+ *not*, +repeat yet again+ *not* a general purpose PDF file editor.

                                                               

                                                              The only full PDF files that Adobe Illustrator can safely open are PDF files saved from Adobe Illustrator itself using the save for editability option.

                                                               

                                                              Why? Adobe Illustrator operates in +either+ CMYK +or+ RGB and +only one+ specific color space per document. Thus, a color-managed PDF file with more than one color space with opened in Illustrator would be ruined. Also there are many PDF constructs that Illustrator knows nothing about. At best, they are treated as foreign objects that cannot be edited. And for text, Illustrator only "understands" particular encodings. General PDF can lose text when opened in Illustrator.

                                                               

                                                              Illustrator can often be safely used to modify specific, simple graphic objects as the vector graphics touch-up tool editor, but not much more.

                                                               

                                                              Proceed at your own risk!

                                                               

                                                              - Dov

                                                               

                                                              Where Dov Isaacs is the principal scientist at Adobe and really knows what he is talking about.

                                                               

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              Where you might be able to - and do - and have done thousands of times - you are essentially using a print ready pdf and repurposing for your own use, within your print environment - which I have no problem with.

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              However, for a lay person - or someone with limited knowledge of the output process, opening PDFs in Illustrator is simply just not the way to go without eventually causing some major hickup.

                                                              • 28. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                                Mokky Level 1

                                                                Unfortunately I don't know if Adobe will ever go the route of making Illustrator a better PDF editor than Acrobat. I too, use this incorrect workflow. Needless to say when I first discovered Illustrator's ability to open PDFs that weren't created in Illustrator, it made me quite giddy. It would be GREAT if Indesign would be able to open PDFs that it exported for correction and preflight purposes.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                I found this post as I am also having problems with gradients not appearing, and it's source files for additional material I need to create, so I'll try the suggestions posted.

                                                                 

                                                                As for 3rd party apps to enhance workflows, I'm a designer, we don't really get paid the big bucks and often have to fight to get paid for the hours we've had to put into doing this type of work. (RIP all the hours I've lost to correcting other work sent by inferior designers or middle-men)

                                                                 

                                                                Surely, shouldn't Adobe, with all the updates they do every year to their software, also offer updated workflows to their members?

                                                                 

                                                                As for the arrogant nay-sayers... Here's a slow clap for you... *clap....... clap...... clap* Well done on being pretentious and condescending. I truly hope you have to deal with designers who use incorrect workflows in the future. Plus: A well known quote that you should really all take to heart:

                                                                If we're wrong, educate us, don't belittle us.

                                                                • 29. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                  Everything has already been covered. Nothing’s changed nor is it likely to.

                                                                   

                                                                  The answer is find people that know what they’re doing.

                                                                   

                                                                  And now I will close with a favorite quote of mine:

                                                                   

                                                                  If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                                    Mokky Level 1

                                                                    that is also one of my favourite quotes, Touché Mr Levine PS. for finding people that know what they're doing, I tend to always check the Adobe forums first. PPS. apologies If i came across a little strong, after reading through the post I was reminded of all the times I have been instructed by the middle folk to just fix it, often in situations where 'no' wasn't an option, for example: working full-time in a company where the artwork they specifically would want to use was made by a previous designer years ago and all they had was a flattened low quality jpg from the website which they would want on a billboard. Companies don't realise the importance of having a well organised digital asset library. *salutes to all* I'm off to go re-create gradients now

                                                                    • 31. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                      Been there for sure.

                                                                       

                                                                      Does the phrase “email me the camera ready jpeg” sound familiar?

                                                                      • 32. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                                        Mokky Level 1

                                                                        Haha, it does sound super familiar, and makes me cringe at the same time In the past I'd basically re-create the artwork in Photoshop to the desired specs, touching up wherever I could to remove artifacts, and that would be after explaining the technical restrictions of jpegs to the client and even showing them the artifacts that are generated

                                                                         

                                                                        Then there's the familiar reply, "but you can fix this in no time yeah? Work your magic!"

                                                                         

                                                                        That's when the client has already struck out twice, the third strike (historically speaking) is when they question the invoice, then it's time to find better clients


                                                                        On the plus side, with the current project I'm working on, I have the InDesign files with the gradients I need to work with, so i'll be able to figure out a quick work around.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Gradients dropping out when opening PDFs in Illustrator that were exported from INDD
                                                                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                          Client: “But it only took you 20 minutes”

                                                                          Me: “It took me 20 YEARS!”