The first one’s easy. That’s just how it goes. Adobe are not very competent at making quality software or integrating features that should be integrated. They are good at selling their software and convincing gullible jerks like us to keep buying buggy upgrades.
When you save a PDF with editing capability, or when you save an Illustrator file with PDF compatibility, you are actually saving your datA in two formats within one file. Part of the file is a PDF that InDesign, Photoshop, Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and other programs can view and print. Part of the file is a native Illustrator file complete with the layers and structure of the artwork so that you can fully edit it in Illustrator. WHen you open that file in Illustrator the PDF part is ignored and Illustrator reads its native art. When you open that file in any other program only the PDF part is read, the Illustrator part is ignored.
If you save a PDF from Illustrator without Illustrator editing capability you are saving the exact same PDF data, and all other programs treat the file exactly the same way. The file is just as viewable, scalable, and printable in any program except Illustrator as it was with Illustrator editing capability enabled. It you open that file in Illustrator you can only access the PDF portion, because that’s all there is. Text is usually still text, although it will probably be several small point-text objects, not easy to work with text frames. Effects and gradient meshes are rasterized, often in pieces, and imported artwork is only stored at the resolution of the PDF, no higher. Paths and other objects are usually still editable and scalable. It’s not as easy to edit and resize as the original, but it can be done.
Even without Illustrator, any can open, view, and print the file with many other programs, most of which can also scale it. Just about any graphics program can be used to open the PDF file and turn it into a native file that can be edited, albeit with the same limitations of Illustrator. Any data that is vector in the PDF will be read as vector and can be scaled and edited.
If you rasterize all your artwork before you make your PDF you can significantly reduce the editing available. Only a raster editor like Photoshop would be able to fully edit the file, and since all vector and text data was rasterized, it would be very difficult to edit in an Illustrator-like way. While the rasterized file can be scaled just like any other, the resolution would suffer, limiting the amount of scaling a user would be able to do before producing unacceptable results. This would also make your file much larger and limit your ability to use it for vector-necessary output like vinyl plotting. Oh, and forget about using spot colours.
What you can do when saving a PDF is add security features. These can prevent people from opening the file without a password, or prevent people from editing the file or printing it in high resolution (or at all) without a password. The security is fairly weak and a skilled and determined user can circumvent it.
Generally, attempts to prevent editing of files are a waste of effort and only make extra work for everyone with no benefit to the creator. That’s the kind of idea a manager comes up with or the result of adhering too strictly to bad policy.
Why? What are you trying to accomplish? Tell us your needs (and version numbers) and maybe there’s a better way to accomplish what you think you need.
Ah, wow, thank you for the response. It was really informative, especially for someone so new to Adobe. (And especially for a "gullible jerk" like me. )
I should have explained that when I said I'd removed editing capabilities, I did not mean just from Illustrator. That's what I was doing at first, but I eventually discovered the security options when I was saving to PDF. So I did make it so that the file cannot be edited in any software without a password. I realize some people will be able to get past that, but at least it will deter the majority, I hope.
Here's what I'm trying to do: I've drawn a pattern (for embroidery, with Illustrator CS4) that I'm going to sell. I wanted a vector image so I could get the best quality and not worry about editing and sizing affecting that quality. It will be converted to PDF format for sale. It would be nice if the buyer were able to make the pattern larger or smaller as needed, but what I DON'T want is for someone else to be able to edit/alter the pattern and try to pass it off as their own. I know someone might still be able to do that (either by hacking or redrawing), but I want to do as much as I can to at least deter that sort of theft.
So, if it comes down to it, I will simply protect the file with the security measures and hope for the best. But if there is a way to still resize the entire image but no other types of edits, I'd love to know how. (Wishful thinking, I imagine, but it can't hurt to investigate.)
Anyway, thanks for the information. I appreciate it!
I know next to nothing about embroidery, but I did once ask about using my own art for a logo embroidered onto a baseball cap. I was told I could submit the art, which would be sent to the company that makes and supports the computer controlled machine. I could not, on my own, create the required file, since it must not only define the areas and colours used, but also the precise stitching patterns needed to instruct the machine.
What this means for you is that you would probably need to provide the artwork in an accessible and editable file, so the user could properly convert it to the proprietary format of their embroidery machine. Not only would that rule out secure PDF, it probably rules out PDF. I suggest Illustrator 8 AI or EPS.
Ah, should have clarified that I'm talking about hand embroidery. No machines involved. It's just a PDF pattern that the user prints and transfers to the fabric by hand (in a variety of methods) for stitching. So no problem there.
For that, I think secure PDF with hi-res printing enabled (so it can be scaled) will be just fine.
Great. That's exactly what I saved it as, without even knowing that was best.
Now, please forgive my ignorance, but how would one change the scale? Just in the actual printing phase? I know how to size it down to fit a smaller size page in the print options window. Can the same be done if I wanted to make the PDF bigger before printing?
Thanks for your help! I really am fairly good with computers and software, as my dad was a programmer and I grew up with it all, so it's strange for me to ask so many simple questions, but this stuff is totally new to me and I want to be sure I'm getting it right since I'm talking about selling a product. Not as much room for trial and error there!
If you save vector artwork as PDF, you get vector which is scaleable (there may be some reservations depending on PDF version etc).
This means that tf you save with an Artboard/page size of A4, you can print it in A3, A2, etc, with the same quality.
Thank you. I think you're saying that the user would simply select the printing size at the printing stage, in the option box, then? (Sorry to be so repetitive and specific. I want to be absolutely sure I'm telling them the right thing!)