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Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

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Post Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:56 am

Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Hi all.

This is probably something i should know but its been bugging me for a while. So 80% of the time when im sent a pdf i drop it into illustrator, ungroup, release cutting mask and outlines appear and we are in business. However other times it doesnt matter what i do, flatten, etc etc it never gets there.

So my question is whats the specs for saving a pdf so this happens everytime. Ive tried editing capabilities older formats etc etc but still cant get my head around it.

TIA
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Post Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:37 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Hi Martyn,

Can't help you with which specs to save a PDF in, but when I get a PDF from a customer, and for example I dont have fonts, or have transparency problems (especially with regard to printing), I use file/place.

Then I use object/flatten transparency (there are a few tick boxes to check - such as convert text to outlines/preserve alpha transparency).

Then you can go in as normal as tweak as necessary. Doesn't always work - and of course no longer a font, but seems to work well on whole.

Hope helps.

Martin
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Post Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

If I understand the question well...
A) You can make vector PDF.
B) You can place JPG inside a PDF.

The fact that you are unable to use the file in question - is probably because the person who sent you the file

C) Doesn't have a vector file.
D) Doesn't understand vector files.

JPG is always a JPG. Doesn't mater if is copied and pasted into AI and saved as an EPS.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:30 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Yes that makes a lot of sense. So basically a vector file saved as pdf can always be reverted back to outlines in illustrator.

I had one this week, guy sent me pdf, png both large files. Coudnt do nothing with them. He then sent me orginal photoshop file which i resaved in diferent versions etc etc and still when i got it into illustrator and broke it down the best i could get is the logo made up from seperate squares.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:45 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Why do you need to open the pdf in illustrator?

If the customer is supplying 'print ready' artwork, you tell them how to supply it.

If they can't... send it back, or charge them to fix it.

If they're send files to use in artwork, charge for it. Give them the option use your crappy image for £x or have it redrawn for £y.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:22 am

Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Martyn Heath wrote:Yes that makes a lot of sense. So basically a vector file saved as pdf can always be reverted back to outlines in illustrator.

Correct.

Martyn Heath wrote:I had one this week, guy sent me pdf, png both large files. Coudnt do nothing with them.

That is very common. Some clients want to avoid paying for vectorising and they think that by saving as Photoshop file to EPS - they saved 2h of vectorising. Doesn’t work like that I’m afraid.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:28 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

David Hammond wrote:Why do you need to open the pdf in illustrator?

If the customer is supplying 'print ready' artwork, you tell them how to supply it.


I do this almost on a daily basis.
Some brands I Google them in PDF and if lucky - the PDF contains vector graphics. Saves me a lot of vectorising.

Some clients only have pdf.

Do the plumbers and electricians send you “print ready” artwork? @David

Very rarely I get print ready artwork. Clients send their logo and a brief and I do the rest.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:21 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

We've done it ourselves quite regularly however, you don't want to fall into the trap of giving a price, and then spending hours messing around with poor quality files.

Ssome customers don't send print ready artwork. Or send an image they've nicked off google images and expect it to blow up and make a perfect wrap.

Then there are those customer who assure you they have the artwork, and it's a word of powerpoint document :rollseyes:

When we deal with design agencies, we specify how to supply the file that suits how we'll produce it and our software to avoid opening up the PDF. All too easy for something to go missing when removing clipping masks.

Customer can supply their logo, but if it a JPG that looks like it's made from blocko, do you sit and redraw it for free, or outsource it and not charge the customer? :awkward:

It's not what you charge an hour, but the value you deliver in an hour
:wink:

If the customer sends you a PDF and it's not editable, I'd be explaining the issue, and advising them of the cost to make it usable.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:40 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

You are both correct and we shouldnt do artwork for nothing. I do allow artwork charge in my pricing so if its small alterations to get a logo ready i dont mind. This job however is for 200 off tshirt order so i like to show some flexibility and not start stamping extra charges on. Baiscally they did supply artwork which was of sufficient quality, 1 logo i needed to create cutlines and logo 2 was just text which would not trace.

Just thought in future if i was more knowledgeabe and not just specifying pdf then it would save the back and forth.

But seems its not that simple :smiles:
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:56 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

If you're just adding a cut path, another way is to rasterise the pdf as a JPG, then autotrace the jpg in illustrator.

Merge all the paths so you get a solid shape/block outline shape, and use that as a cut path, you can position it over their PDF on its own layer. I usually expand it 2-3mm so there's a white edge.

You could even pop the cut path over the JPG depending on the size etc.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

David Hammond wrote:If you're just adding a cut path, another way is to rasterise the pdf as a JPG, then autotrace the jpg in illustrator.

Merge all the paths so you get a solid shape/block outline shape, and use that as a cut path, you can position it over their PDF on its own layer. I usually expand it 2-3mm so there's a white edge.

You could even pop the cut path over the JPG depending on the size etc.


Thanks david, yes thats exactly how i do it normally. Its a complicated logo and wouldnt work this time.
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Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:12 pm

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Another way to do this is use Vector Magic and convert the image (raster file) into a vector then open it in illustrator.
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Post Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:59 am

Re: Setting up a pdf which drops into illustrator with outlines

Carl Morton wrote:Another way to do this is use Vector Magic and convert the image (raster file) into a vector then open it in illustrator.


Thanks carl. Never heard of this i will give it a try

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