By searching for "illegal operand" I found the following:Re: HELP! Illegal operand error - can't open file! (v.2)
This just happened to me on a huge project! I was able to recover everything, except for the fonts were no longer in text boxes, and the clipping paths had to be recreated. Here's what I did:
Open a new doc in illustrator. Place the corrupted file into the new document. Select the file that is placed and choose Object, Flatten Transparency. Leave all of the defaults. Then remove the clipping mask on the flattened object by clicking command shift 7. You should then be able to click into the group, or simply ungroup to get at your design.
I hope this helps!
Everything worked up to "Then remove the clipping mask . . . ". The recommended Command-Shift-7 doesn't seem to have an effect.
Edited to Add: When I target the image there's an option to edit the clipping path in the top-left of the control panel. But I do not know how to remove the clipping path itself, as suggested by Ben_Grefsrud. Any tips?
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What happens if you create a new document and File>Place the file? Hopefully, you can recover most that way.
Which size does the file have? This tells how much is still there.
You have made no earlier backup? This should always be done.
And then there is this way of trying to restore it: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/500/cpsid_50031.html
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If placing in a new document does not work and you use the recovery method then I believe in this case deleting the offending operator from the recovered document will cure the problem.
You can try something funky as well, in case it is a font causing the illegal operator to be generated then you could turn off all your fonts except the essential fonts forcing Illustrator to use the substitute font.
Of course it be caused by a variety of things like a custom color profile. Or a plug in, if it is a plug in you might want to disable it or not ever use it again.
Those are some thoughts which may or not be of any help.
But I believe a I recall that once someone solved their problem by turning off all the fonts except the system fonts and required ones.
Thanks for the input, folks.
I tried placing the file and I received this message: "The document contains PDF objects that have been reinterpreted: An unknown imaging construct was encountered". When I click "OK" the image is placed but as before it's got a clipping mask which when I try to remove it results in the message "The action cannot complete because a parameter is invalid (possibly a program error)." The main image (and three smaller images) are simultaneously targeted with the Selection Tool but I CAN target (and copy) individual objects with the Direct Selection tool. I canNOT, it seems, access the layer the image is on via the Layers Panel.
There were no plug-ins involved and the only font was Myriad Pro. I really do appreciate all the explanations it's naturally very useful for avoiding future problems and assists with troubleshooting problems.
Indeed, I will henceforth make saved copies in Illustrator AND on a memory stick AND my wife's computer AND . . . (sigh).
It's getting late and I've yet to attempt the other recommended process of recovery. I will give it a go and report back here. Once again, please accept my thanks for your assistance. I've only really gotten into Illustrator in the last few months which is why I'm encountering all these newbie problems now.
Remove the image that is delete it and replace it with the same image that has been opened in photoshop and resaved with a different name.
then do a save as with the ai file with different name.
then open that and i have a feeling you will be fine.
For my part you are welcome, rectangula. We look forward to the hopefully happy ending.
Thanks for all the tips. I should mention that I did recover some of the artwork and enough of it to salvage the project.
So, thanks, everyone!