10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2014 3:26 PM by Monika Gause RSS

    Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?

    pcCS6

      I was working on a multi-layered project last night (originating as a PDF) and saved it, preserving full Illustrator editing capabilities.

       

      When I view the PDF in Preview.app or Acrobat, I see the changes on each of the 4 artboards.

       

      When I load the PDF into Illustrator (16.0.4), however, it only shows the file as it existed several hours previously -- fewer layers, fewer text objects, etc.  It's like it has some cache or copy of the file somewhere that it's using instead of the actual file.

       

      What on earth is going on, and how can I convince Illustrator to read the current, updated contents of the file?

       

      (Things I've tried:  copy the file, rename the file, quit & relaunch, update Illustrator from 16.0.3 to 16.0.4, etc.)

        • 1. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
          pcCS6 Community Member

          A few other details:  I tried deleting the Illustrator prefs file.  No help.

           

          I also tried saving the file as a .ai file, no help.

           

          I suspect there's somehow a discrepancy between the PDF as written and the information that Illustrator tried to save to preserve its editing capabilities:  loading the file in Illustrator does show the entire master image and all 4 artboards.  Any idea how I would diagnose or repair that kind of a problem to recover as much of (many hours of) work as possible?

          • 2. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
            Monika Gause MVP

            WHere do you save the file? On your harddisk?

            • 3. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
              pcCS6 Community Member

              Yes, on my local hard disk.  No cloud involved.

              • 4. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                Monika Gause MVP

                I suppose you double checled that you actually opened the right file.

                 

                Any backup software running? Anything other than standard system tools?

                WHich system btw?

                • 5. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                  pcCS6 Community Member

                  Sadly, yes, that was the first thing I thought.  But dragging the file into Preview.app showed the changes (since it doesn't know anything about Illustrator's extra data) and dragging it into Illustrator didn't show the changes.

                   

                  Running Mac OS X 10.7.5, nothing other than standard system tools.

                  • 6. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                    Willi Adelberger MVP
                    1. Don't use Apple Preview or any other non-Adobe application to check your PDF files. Only Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat meet all PDF specifications. Preview supports only a partial group of the PDF standards. Don't use it for PDFs.
                    2. When you save an AI file with PDF compatibility or a PDF with Illustrator edibility—both is the very same, only with the extension AI or PDF—you save a file with 2 forks, one fork contains the Illustrator (AI) part to keep it editable in Illustrator, the second fork is the PDF part, which allows you to open or place the file in other applications and/or files. If you edit such a PDF/AI outside of Illustrator, let's say in Acrobat Pro, you are editing only the PDF part, not the AI part. When you later open the same file in Illustrator again, Illustrator is reading only the AI fork and is ignoring the PDF fork of that file. That is why you have lost all your changes.
                    • 7. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                      Monika Gause MVP

                      What kind of changes were they?

                      Any chance that it's just hidden in the layer panel?

                      A font that's not loading and therefore the text is gone?

                      • 8. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                        pcCS6 Community Member

                        @Willi, thanks for taking the time to respond.  Apparently I was unclear.

                        1. I checked the PDF file both with Preview.app and with Adobe Acrobat.  Both correctly showed the changes.

                        2. I did not edit such a PDF/AI outside of Illustrator, so I'm afraid your explanation is not why I have lost all my changes.

                         

                        I agree that the issue appears to be a discrepancy between the two forks, but the only thing that ever wrote to the file was Illustrator.

                        • 9. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                          pcCS6 Community Member

                          I had marked up the drawing with a bunch of to-scale and precisely positioned lines/arrows and labels.

                           

                          I checked the layer panel, but it was already missing a fourth layer I had created, and the layer with all of my labels was still present and visible -- just with the old & incomplete labels.

                           

                          Good idea regarding the font, but it's all on the same computer, so I'm not sure how it would be there one night and gone the next.  Additionally, the lines were also the old/obsolete lines.

                           

                          My current attempt at reconstructing the data has been to:

                          1) Re-save the PDF with something that removes the extra fork Willi referenced above, leaving only the PDF with the updated markings.

                          2) Open each page of that PDF in Illustrator.

                          3) Copy all the markings out of each page as a single selection.

                          4) Paste the markings into a new layer in my master document, again as a single selection.

                          5) Try to position them correctly.

                          6) Re-draw them on a new layer using the pasted markings as snap guides.

                           

                          The challenges in this approach have been:

                           

                          3) Often the markings are "grouped" (though not in an ungroupable way) with other assets.  Using some direct selection/deselection has largely addressed that.

                          4) There doesn't seem to be a way to paste the markings to their "original" positions.  Pasting to front doesn't seem to be available, and ordinary pasting them centers the pasted group in the current view.  I was hoping that maybe they'd still retain some information about their original coordinates.

                          5) I'm not sure how to snap the selection to existing guides.  A few of the markings were unchanged, so they serve as useful visual guides, but I'm not sure how to snap the endpoint of a line (part of a larger selection) to the endpoint of another line.  Dragging doesn't present any snapping guides, and nudging is too coarse.  So I'm not sure I've entirely succeeded.

                          • 10. Re: Why does Illustrator not show the changes in my PDF?
                            Monika Gause MVP

                            pcCS6 wrote:

                             

                            My current attempt at reconstructing the data has been to:

                            1) Re-save the PDF with something that removes the extra fork Willi referenced above, leaving only the PDF with the updated markings.

                            I'd rather save it as an AI document.

                            Only when you finished your work, save the PDF.

                            So you should be able to use that AI doc in case you need to edit anything.

                            3) Often the markings are "grouped" (though not in an ungroupable way) with other assets.  Using some direct selection/deselection has largely addressed that.

                            Those are clipping masks. Typical of PDF

                            5) I'm not sure how to snap the selection to existing guides.  A few of the markings were unchanged, so they serve as useful visual guides, but I'm not sure how to snap the endpoint of a line (part of a larger selection) to the endpoint of another line.  Dragging doesn't present any snapping guides, and nudging is too coarse.  So I'm not sure I've entirely succeeded.

                            Use smart guides.