Agsdi graphics

“Get the text and pictures from our website” they said “and use those icons”. I get this a lot these days when I’m asked to do a leaflet. People have had the website done first, and they want the same design for the leaflets. Well, ok - at least I know there’s no copyright problem using the stuff off their own website.

I can’t grab these icons as separate elements, because - I think - they are embedded in the text. I dug around in the code and this website uses agsdi icons, which I’d never come across before. I googled that and no hits, apart from lots of websites using them. I can’t find a definition of what they are or where to buy them.

I saved the web page as a PDF and hallelujah, there they are and nice and sharp. Some kind of vector icons. I open the PDF in Illustrator to isolate the icons and I get generic boxes instead of icons. Hmm.

What about other file types? A little voice whispered “try eps”. I thought, why not - old school but closer to raw postscript code than a PDF. I placed the PDF I saved from the website in InDesign, exported it as an eps file and opened that in Illustrator.

Bingo - vector icons all present and correct, scaleable, sharp and lovely. It seems there is a use for eps files after all …

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Try Placing the PDF in Illustrator and Flattening Transparency with vector set to highest and fonts set to outline

And just a side note, imagery purchased for web use does not often come with a license for print use. And with leaflets, depending on quantity, may need an extended license.

We have the opposite happen all the time. Imagery licensed for print use is suddenly featured on a website. Sometimes a bill for web usage magically appears, depending on how ‘featured’ it is. Some image houses are all over that like flies on…welll…yeah…

Don’t open the PDF in Illustrator.

In Acrobat.
Edit the PDF
Highlight around the Icon(s)

And choose Edit in Application
Choose Illustrator
See if that helps to capture the icon.

If not - pop me the PDF and I can take a look.

I did some work for a company a couple of years ago where the guy I was working with had been using an icon collection packed into a font — sort of a dingbat font, I guess. They were sort of like the following.

I can’t remember the details, but it seems they were SVG fonts or some such thing. In any case, I know they were vector images, which fits with what you described.

I said place, not open.
Might not work for whatever this is, but it is the workaround we use for designers who send us PDFs instead of what we ask for when making cut letters in vinyl or acrylic…Type converted to outlines in native .ai format.
With normal fonts, hasn’t failed me yet.

Okay, I’ll say open it in Illustrator. There’s no reason not to try it. Grass will still grow.

Yeah, where this is reverse engineering and not output, whatever works! But not likely if you don’t have the actual typeface.

(and I ain’t gonna say I never open a PDF in Illustrator either. It happens, on occasion. :grin:)

I always open PDFs in Illustrator when I want to strip out a vector graphic. It works very well.

If I want any of the text from the PDF, I open it in Acrobat. If I want photos from the PDF, I open it in PhotoShop on the Images setting.

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Of course you can.

But using the edit function in acrobat is the cleanest way.

Open PDFs in illustrator is highly not recommended.

Do as you please.
But from a place of concern, unless the pdf was saved from illustrator with editing capabilities.

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen files cause serious issues in production.

But do as you need to.

I wasn’t replying to you, sorry if that wasn’t clear.


Perhaps a small number of “serious issues in production” could somehow be traced back to under-initiated persons having opened PDF in Illustrator, but I’d be more inclined to blame their failure to manage the result than the practice itself.

Except when the place printing it opens a perfectly formed PDF in Illustrator and mucks it up.

To be perfectly frank - it’s a well known thing not to do and is well-practiced by a lot of people to not treat Illustrator as a PDF editor - because it is not.

If you want to keep doing it - the go ahead.

If you can manage the results - then go ahead.

I’m just relaying the information - it’s your choice.

Yeah, I know, but thanks for granting your permission.


Lets recap.

Someone has an issue opening a PDF in illustrator.
I recommend the CORRECT workflow.

People jump down my throat.

Lovely forum this.

Good day.

Yeah, the progression of persistent condescension followed by over-sensitivity is perplexing. Sorry for “jumping down your throat”.

We disagree. I can leave it at that. But go ahead, have the last word. I can live with that too.

That’s interesting.

I had never tried opening a PDF in Illustrator directly from Acrobat. When necessary, as a last resort to grab a logo or whatever, I’ve always opened PDFs directly from Illustrator and worked my way through the various bounding boxes and broken-up chunks of text to get what I needed.

As a test, I just tried opening three PDFs the way you suggested through the Edit Using feature in Acrobat. Unfortunately, it didn’t work well. They all opened in Illustrator, but the image was uneditable. Instead, the objects behaved more like placed images.

When opened directly from Illustrator, both files opened as usual — a messy and complicated set of objects, but everything was there and editable.

I’m seemingly missing something.

Even if I could get it to work, I’m not understanding why opening them from Acrobat is better than opening them directly in Illustrator. Are you suggesting that Acrobat somehow cleans up the files to make them somehow better or cleaner in Illustrator? If so, I’m not quite sure how it would do that.

With my method, the PDF when placed usually comes in completely as an image in Illustrator.
It all comes apart nicely if you Object>flatten transparency with the vectors set to 100
and check the box to convert fonts to outlines (it defaults as unchecked.)

I forgot to mention previously that you don’t always want the outlines converted to strokes. Might want to uncheck that (it defaults as checked.)

See if that fixes the ‘placed images’ boxes in your test above.

But this is definitely not a file you want to rip a print from. This is solely to get vector text elements out of a PDF when they are needed.

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I will say that I use @PrintDriver’s method if I need to get a logo or some other vector element out of a PDF. Especially if I need text to be outlined. Sure, the end result can be mix of messy objects and extraneous crud but it’s usually not a problem.

I just tried Flatten Transparency. Using Smurf2’s method, I get the same results — an uneditable image. Using your method, the various objects break apart quite nicely. There are still superfluous boxes around everything, but it’s workable.

I really can’t stand people who are just like, “get the logo from our website” but thats just a sign of the times.

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