5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2009 6:26 AM by JETalmage

    pattern alignment

    digitalkungfu Level 1

      So I'm working on floor tile patterns with Illustrator. I love this program. The other day, I found (using the magical F1 key) that I can make a single 2-directional repeat of the pattern and make a swatch so I don't have to draw hundreds of rectangles. This is an enormous time saver and I'm very excited to have this feature.


      My problem is this: I get everything done and ready to go, finish for the day, and save and close the file. I opened the file again today and found that all of the patterns are misaligned and out of place from where I want them to be.

      Argh.  This happens whether I'm working with a PDF or an AI file.

      Is there a way to lock the pattern position so that it doesn't get reset when I open the file? I've tried locking the layers as well as locking the objects, but still no luck with the patterns staying where I want them.

      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: pattern alignment
          Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

          Expand the appearance?

          • 2. Re: pattern alignment
            digitalkungfu Level 1

            Does this mean to make the pattern swatch from more than one repeat of the pattern? I'm certain this would not solve my problem because the issue is that when I save the file and close it, most of the patterns have moved from where I set them (using the tilde key and all) when the file is reopened.


            The only workaround for publishing the drawings with certainty that the patterns will be in the right place (that I've found) is to save a flattened copy of the file by printing a new pdf from within Illustrator. If there are any changes or corrections to be made to the drawing, it means that quite a bit of work needs to be repeated because of the patterns moving on their own.


            Anyhow, if I misinterpreted 'Expand the appearance', please elaborate.


            Thank you very much for your help Wade.



            • 3. Re: pattern alignment
              Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

              Expand would no longetr keep it live it would be dead art that is it would all be directly editable vector art instead of a pattern filled art.


              Make a copy oif the art put int on a new layer and lock the original art, either Expand, Expand the Appearance or Flatten the Transparency

              not you have the pattern fill turn into art instead of art with a pattern fill since it is no longer link to the swatch it cannot move as there is no reference.


              You can make a new artboard and place it on there if you need this as a stand alone art.


              However I have a feeeling this should not be necessary.


              I am not at my computer I will see what we are both missing when I get back

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: pattern alignment
                digitalkungfu Level 1

                Thanks Wade,


                I imagine this would trump the advantage of smaller file size when using pattern swatches rather than hundreds of rectangles (because the pattern regions become hundreds of rectangles).


                It would be very helpful if the patterns would simply stay put. Expanding the patterns takes away the desired workability of the patterns (being able to easily switch or realign the tiles, etc.).


                For the time being, I'm publishing the drawings as new, flattened PDFs.(Dear Forum Admin, I can't remember if I mentioned this already, it would be nice if I could see the whole thread while writing this post.)




                • 5. Re: pattern alignment
                  JETalmage Level 6
                  I imagine this would trump the advantage of smaller file size when using pattern swatches

                  In fact, expansion of Pattern Fills is one of the items Adobe lists in its knowledgebase as a means by which to reduce file size.


                  Pattern Fills are an old construct. Under the hood, the artwork being used for the pattern starts at the ruler origin and proceeds across the entire document. It is effectively masked (like a clipping path) by the paths to which it is applied. This is why, for example, FreeHand users who used alot of pattern fills in maps found it hugely advantageous to make composite paths out of any paths that shared the same pattern fill; otherwise, the whole pattern fill array was repeated.


                  A Pattern Fill is not the kind of newer construct like Symbols, where the artwork is stored in the file just once and then referenced for multiple positions.


                  It would be very helpful if the patterns would simply stay put.


                  Yes it would, and they certainly should. I am able to make a transformed pattern fill stay put between launches, depending on how/when/where the Transform Pattern Fills preference and/or the Transform Both command is toggled. But I was unable to boil it down to a reliable sequence. I suspect it's a ramification of yet another instance wherein Illustrator treats something that should clearly be document specific as a general pref--but I can't say that with confidence, because I can't get consistent and reliable results, and frankly lost interest. It smells like another one of those things one would have to keep a journal on to avoid tripping over it again later.


                  So if you're going to do this, go ahead and expand the pattern fill. There will still be more tiles than necesary, but the array will be confined to bounds of the masking path.


                  I do have a fuzzy recollection of a discussion in this forum years ago wherein Teri Petit explained the unwanted shifting behavior better. But I could not locate that, either.