10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2010 9:14 PM by wideEyedPupil

    Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to

    wideEyedPupil Level 1

      I have a document created in Illustrator (CS4) which has multiple artboards. I want it split into multiple documents, one art board—> one document with only that artwork. When I use the Extract PAges… and the Split… comands to generate multiple documents, I get the multiple docs (same number of docs created as pages in original doc).

       

      Only thing is every doc has all the artboards and all the artwork as the original doc. I could understand all the artwork being there but all the artboards also?? What's going on?

       

      Appreciate any pointers on this.

       

      Trying to write a JSX to run in AI but struggling so far. Thread for AI solution started here: AS) export single page PDFs from multi-artboards

        • 1. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
          Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

          You are using some language that is unfamiliar to us Acrobat users, who deal mostly with business applications.  Are you extracting pages in Illustrator? or in Acrobat after the file is converted to PDF?  In Acrobat, Extract pages slices out a series of pages and puts them into a separate document, only those pages are in the new doc. Can you explain your issue in terms of pages and other PDF features? I don't know what an artboard is and I don't think there is a concept of artboards in Acrobat.

           

          Thom Parker
          The source for PDF Scripting Info
          pdfscripting.com

           

          The Acrobat JavaScript Reference, Use it Early and Often
          http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/javascript.html

           

          Then most important JavaScript Development tool in Acrobat
          The Console Window (Video tutorial)
          The Console Window(article)

          • 2. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
            wideEyedPupil Level 1

            Sure Thom. For many years the Adobe line was that InDesign was it's multipage content creation tool and AI users could go blue in the face asking for more than one page per Illustrator document. I never had a great need, but many wanted it. With CS4 came multipage in AI. The pre CS4 idiom in AI was of a single artboard who's dimension you set in File Menu> Document Setup… So when multipage came to Illustrator, Adobe stuck with that descriptor and it has artboards instead of the pages you find in InDesign or Acrobat.

             

            There is an Artboard Tool for drawing, moving, deleting, resizing the artboards on the Document canvas (name?) and so on. It gets a it tricky because some of the artwork moves with the artboards — which I find a bit counter-intuitive but that's beside the point. So the terminology is fair enough because even though InDesign can have different size pages in the one doc, it's not as overtly apparent as it is in AI and the implementation of 'pages' is pretty different.

             

            So when you make a document with 20 artboards in AI and save as PDF, it will open as a 20 page PDF and you'd be none the wiser in Acrobat or Reader. I can't remember if Splitting gave enumerate files or the one file but either way ALL the artwork was in the enumerate files if they got made.

             

            I ended up saving as CS3 .ai files which gives a Save artboards to seperate files option and, unlike the artboard range option on Save As PDF, it actually works. Interestingly one file with one 'page' (of the starting 22 pages) in CS3 (348 KB) is 300% larger than the original CS4 22pp file (108 KB). Go figure!

             

            More interestingly when the software I'm writing rasterises all 22 pages (at 250px x 250px) then saves a structure of it all as a plist (OS X file), the resultant file is 48 KB (without discernible 'lossy' compression). Go fish!

             

            My threads on this tonight:

            Insert Edit Mode

            AS) export single page PDFs from multi-artboards

            • 3. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
              Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

              So an artboard is a page?  That's all I needed to know.  And you want each artboard to be in a separate PDF?  And you are doing all this from a script in IL, not Acrobat?

               

              This is an Acrobat scripting forum.  We can tell you how to split a PDF into separate pages using Acrobat JavaScript.  But if you want to do all this from inside IL then you'll need to ask on a different forum.

               

              Thom Parker
              The source for PDF Scripting Info
              pdfscripting.com

               

              The Acrobat JavaScript Reference, Use it Early and Often
              http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/javascript.html

               

              Then most important JavaScript Development tool in Acrobat
              The Console Window (Video tutorial)
              The Console Window(article)

              • 4. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                wideEyedPupil Level 1
                Okay you need to know this, Thom. An artboard is not a page as far as Acrobat and Illustrator apps are concerned. I was trying to highlight the distinctly different way the two apps handle them. I can watch a one page with just one shape document in Acrobat become a 20 artboard, 40+ objects layout in Illustrator. Same document interpreted as one Page in Acrobat and 23 artboards in AI.

                I was on this forum because even a manual Document Menu> Split… command is not doing what I expected with the AI generated 23pp PDF file. I expected the 23 individual 'artboards' and content to each make a separate file. I guess as I was scripting ATT, I came in at Acrobat Scripting but should have just posted in Acrobat Mac/Win.

                As for Acrobat Forums being a business environment, well I'm happy for Adobe that the business/govt world is finally getting on board with forms and dynamic PDF files after a decade of them promoting it each release like it's a new invention of theirs! A heck of a a lot more people use Acrobat in Commercial Printing / Pre-Press environments where it Acrobat has been used for decades. Maybe this forum doesn't reflect that though, I'm new here.

                It's partly all this cross-purpose functionality that gives Acrobat what one Adobe evangelist described to me as "a dog of an interface". The other being that Acrobat's developed outside the CS group, I believe in a Business dev section that could take a few pointers from the CS3+ harmonising of UX.

                • 5. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                  Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

                  Ok, lets try and get to the issue. 

                   

                  1. You generated a 23 page PDF (where it comes from is irrelevant, once it's a PDF, it's a PDF)

                  2. You opened the file in Acrobat Professional

                  3. You ran the menu item "Document > Split..."

                       what options did you choose?  If you selected split by Page with a max page count of 1 page, then you would end up with 23 PDFs, each containing a single page from the original document.  How much simpler could it be?

                   

                  What did you expect it to do?  Please be clear and stick to the issue.  What is it that you want to accomplish with scripting in Acrobat?

                   

                  Thom Parker
                  The source for PDF Scripting Info
                  pdfscripting.com

                   

                  The Acrobat JavaScript Reference, Use it Early and Often
                  http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/javascript.html

                   

                  Then most important JavaScript Development tool in Acrobat
                  The Console Window (Video tutorial)
                  The Console Window(article)

                  • 6. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                    wideEyedPupil Level 1

                    Thom:

                    3. You ran the menu item "Document > Split..."

                         what options did you choose?  If you selected split by Page with a max page count of 1 page, then you would end up with 23 PDFs, each containing a single page from the original document.  How much simpler could it be?

                     

                    Simple from your side (Acrobat) less so from another perspective (Illustrator). Reductive thinking is bliss… Yeah I used a one page Max.

                    Thom Parker wrote:

                    What did you expect it to do?

                     

                    wideEyedPupil:

                    I expected the 23 individual 'artboards' and content to each make a separate file. […] should have just posted in Acrobat Mac/Win.

                     

                     

                    Please be clear and stick to the issue.

                    This discussion has become academic. This is not an Acrobat scripting issue. I was attempting to use Acrobat (manually) in an attempt to work around an Illustrator scripting issue which I couldn't resolve. Thanks for the assistance, anyhow.

                     

                    If you want to understand the two problems I was having:

                     

                     

                    Each separate file made in the Acrobat Split… become a 20 artboard, 40+ objects layout in Illustrator. This PDF document views as one page in Acrobat with just it's small region of the artwork. However in Illustrator it shows 23 artboards with all the original artwork. Therefore I'd have to open all 23 files and delete 22 artboards and associated artwork in each file. Get it? I can't make it any clearer than this. I've repeated myself right through this thread.

                     

                    Conclusions: AI artboards are parsed as pages in Acrobat but only for display purposes. Page extraction and splitting do not extract and do not split artboards and their content.

                     

                    AI CS4 seems to have a broken implementation of the artboards method and artboardRange (properties of document and saveAsPDF objects respectively from memory). Somebody in AI Scripting forum has now posted to say artboards range (saveAsOption) is broken in CS4 but works in CS5.

                     

                    What is it that you want to accomplish with scripting in Acrobat?

                    I don't recall ever saying I was looking to script Acrobat. I do recall saying I could have posted in Acrobat Win/Mac.

                     

                    This is more of a concern to Illustrator user. The Illustrator script was not behaving correctly so I tried an Acrobat approach, which revealed the secondary issue of artboards not being actual page objects in Acrobat. That is academic to me. Just closing the discussion. Thanks for helping me with it.

                     

                    I have a manual way to do it, just export as a CS3 file (or any earlier version) and it separates correctly, at last, because it has to there is no multi-artboard in AI file formats earlier than CS4.

                    • 7. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                      Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

                      I don't remember you mentioning that you re-imported the PDF files into Illustrator.  This is an important detail. You also posted to an Acrobat scripting forum and never said you were not interested in an Acrobat Script.  You also never explained the problem you were seeing.  You were never clear.

                       

                      You see, in a PDF file each page has it's own content stream, i.e., a stream of vector graphics operators.  Graphics can be drawn anywhere in the coordinate space, but the page view is clipped by a crop rectangle.  So graphics can exist in the stream, but never be visible to the user because they are outside the crop.  I get the impression that in Illustrator the Artboards all exist in a single coordinate space? And that the conversion to PDF places this entire coordinate space into a single content stream. Then each page would be a different crop of the same content stream.  If this is the case then I believe there are PDF optimization operations in Acrobat that would fix your problem by removing all content outside the crop.  

                       

                      You know, we can't read minds, you actually have to explain what it is you need.

                      \

                       

                      Thom Parker
                      The source for PDF Scripting Info
                      pdfscripting.com

                       

                      The Acrobat JavaScript Reference, Use it Early and Often
                      http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/javascript.html

                       

                      Then most important JavaScript Development tool in Acrobat
                      The Console Window (Video tutorial)
                      The Console Window(article)

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                        wideEyedPupil Level 1

                        I don't expect mind reading but I'l settle for careful reading

                         

                        I tried to explain how pages and artboards are qualitatively different objects only to be told they are the same thing and that's all I needed to say.

                         

                        I tried to explain that opening the very same file in Illustrator showed a lot more objects than it did in Acrobat. You probably don't remember because you breezed over something that you didn't think you needed to know because you were, at each stage, a step ahead of me (slow down already!).

                         

                        From my second post:

                        I can't remember if Splitting gave enumerate files or the one file but either way ALL the artwork was in the enumerate files if they got made [.…] I ended up saving as CS3 .ai files which gives a Save artboards to seperate files option and, unlike the artboard range option on Save As PDF, it actually works.

                        From my third post

                         

                        An artboard is not a page as far as Acrobat and Illustrator apps are concerned. I was trying to highlight the distinctly different way the two apps handle them. I can watch a one page with just one shape document in Acrobat become a 20 artboard, 40+ objects layout in Illustrator. Same document interpreted as one Page in Acrobat and 23 artboards in AI.
                        I was on this forum because even a manual Document Menu> Split… command is not doing what I expected with the AI generated 23pp PDF file. I expected the 23 individual 'artboards' and content to each make a separate file.

                        Thom Parker wrote:

                         

                        I don't remember you mentioning that you re-imported the PDF files into Illustrator.  This is an important detail. You also posted to an Acrobat scripting forum and never said you were not interested in an Acrobat Script.  You also never explained the problem you were seeing.  You were never clear.

                        Covered that but note Illustrator doesn't import PDF files. .ai .eps and .pdf are all native files for Illustrator and just open, sometimes with an additional dialogue to choose a page from multiple pages. It imports .dwg, .svg and that sort of thing relying on translator plugins. This is the fourth time I'm saying I should have posted in Acrobat Win or Mac not scripting, apologies I was scripting when I made OP and probably frustrated. You were more clear it's true, clearly ignoring what I was getting at in each post re artboard cf. page objects.

                         

                        You see, in a PDF file each page has it's own content stream, i.e., a stream of vector graphics operators.  Graphics can be drawn anywhere in the coordinate space, but the page view is clipped by a crop rectangle.  So graphics can exist in the stream, but never be visible to the user because they are outside the crop.  I get the impression that in Illustrator the Artboards all exist in a single coordinate space? And that the conversion to PDF places this entire coordinate space into a single content stream. Then each page would be a different crop of the same content stream.  If this is the case then I believe there are PDF optimization operations in Acrobat that would fix your problem by removing all content outside the crop. 

                        Yeah I've hacked lots of PDF files in AI. They use more than one clipping rect per page from memory. Correct, the artboards are defined in a single co-ord space it would seem — artboards are discretely and independently located on the document canvas and can even overlap each other. Yes those operations might work, I never though of that, I came across an Illustrator based solution early on in this thread. There's no conversion going on in Acrobat though I think, the file stays native PDF from AI to Acrobat and back to AI. As I've noted it's the way Acrobat displays or parses the data that in effect hides all the 'off-page' objects but open the same file in AI and it's all still there. 

                        You know, we can't read minds, you actually have to explain what it is you need.

                         

                        I didn't know it, but I needed to get a confirmation on the artboardRange property bug in Illustrator CS4 and/or a confirmation that artboards are not treated as page objects, and I ended up having to lecture you on something you may have no interest in, sorry if I've been a pain. This is part of bigger bug elsewhere that I've been trying to get resolved or around on and off for a month. Every turn another bug, it gets confusing and frustrating at times

                        • 9. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                          Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

                          No Worries.  Just trying to get a handle on the issue.  I think we're speaking in different worlds.  I've been writing software for Acrobat and PDF for 10 years, print, document processing, forms, etc. you name it.  I've never worked with Illustrator, never heard of artboards, and never seen the references you use.

                           

                          cheers,

                          • 10. Re: Extract Pages… and the Split… not doing what I expect them to
                            wideEyedPupil Level 1

                            Yes I checked your links earlier. I've had no sleep for 24 hrs so that might explain my long and winding sentence construction. I was always told never to put a comma after 'and' and I don't. I tried to do some of that dynamic PDF forms/life cycle stuff about 2003/4. I could see a huge potential and pretty much untapped market going forward. It did my head in! I like designing it but not enough to learn all the coding tricks. I'l check out your training tutorials later.

                             

                            It's funny you've never come across Illustrator if you do print work. I guess the artwork is often placed into a layout application before it becomes pre-press output.

                             

                            Actually my sentence structure comes from Bucky Fuller a bit — he's a hero of mine (and an engineer) — check out his paragraph-long-grammatically-correct-hyper-hyphenated-prose if you aren't familiar with his writing.

                             

                            Cheers

                            Alastair