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Making large complicated vector files smaller

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  • Making large complicated vector files smaller

    Hi guys.
    I'm working with these very large bulletin board files that have maps that are created using lots of complicated vector shapes. These maps make the files so slow that it's almost impossible to work on them.

    I did not create the maps.

    I'd like to keep them vector.

    Is there any way to easily make these complicated vectors smaller or more easily manageable so the files doesn't move so slow?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If your using Illustrator, one way I've used is to save the complex "thing" in a different document (just in case I mess something up) then export it as an Asset (Pdf) from the Illustrator File drop-down and then use that asset in my original piece. If I need to modify the complex "thing" I modify it in the other document and re-link the asset. Its not supper quick but it saves me having to wait several seconds for my gpu/cpu to render a minor movement or scale.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PhillipZ View Post
      If your using Illustrator, one way I've used is to save the complex "thing" in a different document (just in case I mess something up) then export it as an Asset (Pdf) from the Illustrator File drop-down and then use that asset in my original piece. If I need to modify the complex "thing" I modify it in the other document and re-link the asset. Its not supper quick but it saves me having to wait several seconds for my gpu/cpu to render a minor movement or scale.
      Thanks! I'll try that.
      And yes, sorry, I'm using Illustrator

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      • #4
        Sounds like you might have something that originated as a GIS shapefile. GIS mapping systems, like ESRI, create a real mess when they export to something Illustrator can open. Have you tried Illustrator's Simplify feature? The shapefiles I run across typically have about a million anchor points on what would, otherwise, be a bunch of straight lines. Depending on the file you have the simplify palette might (or might not) be of some help. Here's a short video on the palette: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/companion-...llustrator-cc/

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        • #5
          If you aren't linking the file into an Indesign document, you can do a 'save as' and uncheck the PDF compatibility option. That'll make the file much smaller and quicker. If you do decide to use it as a link later, you can always do a 'save as' and recheck the box.

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          • #6
            ps, I'm not a particular fan of making a PDF out of an illustrator file I intend to edit. It has a bad habit of putting multiple clipping masks everywhere. If you are already using masks, it gets downright irritating.

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