3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2009 12:09 PM by Scott Falkner

    Could not find the linked file


      I open a PDF to edit it in Adobe Illustrator and get several messages like this:

      Could not find the linked file "whatever.gif". Choose Repair to locate the missing
      file, Replace to select another file, or Ignore to leave the link unchanged.

      When I open that same PDF up in Adobe Acrobat Pro, however, all images display - even the ones that Adobe Illustrator seems to be trying to "link" to.

      If Adobe Acrobat Pro doesn't require the images be stored locally on the hard drive, why does Adobe Illustrator require it?

        • 1. Re: Could not find the linked file
          PrepressPro1 Adobe Community Professional

          It would seem Illustrator compatability was not checked when the PDF was saved.

          • 2. Re: Could not find the linked file
            yawnmoth Level 1

            Is there a better workaround than taking screenshots of the PDF in Adobe Acrobat and pasting them in Illustrator?


            Also, to be honest, it seems ridiculous that a PDF would need to be saved with some special compatability mode for this to be a non-issue.  I mean, the visual data is obviously there - if it weren't, Acrobat wouldn't be reading it.  What's next?  If I save a PDF from a website and then try to open it up while on a plane where I have no internet access, should the PDF refuse to open because, near as Acrobat can tell, the link that I downloaded it from is no longer valid?  Refusing to open it in that scenario is just as absurd as Illustrator refusing to read the data that's clearly there.

            • 3. Re: Could not find the linked file
              Scott Falkner Level 5

              PrepressPro1 wrote:


              It would seem Illustrator compatability was not checked when the PDF was saved.


              Actually it seems it was checked, and Illustrator is opening the AI portion of the file, which links to an external file. The PDF portion can only use embedded images, so that cannot be what Illustrator is reading.


              The PDF was saved from Illustrator with "Include Illustrator Editing Capability" turned on. This option saves the native AI file within the PDF so it can be edited with Illustrator. The drawback is that linked images need to be supplied as well, and in this case they were not. Acrobat ignores the AI portion of he file and only reads the PDF data, which contains an embedded copy of the image, which has probably been heavily modified from the original for embedding in the PDF. Expect the image to have some or all on these modifications: JPEG compression, downsampling, flattening, conversion from RGB to CMYK or from CMYK to RGB, cropping.


              Your best option is to ask the original file's supplier to send you the missing image. Illustrator's Links panel will tell you the file name. If that's not an option, open the PDF with Photoshop and select Images instead of Pages to open. Select the image from the thumbnails shown, open it, then save. Switch back to Illustrator and link to that image.