Illustrator PDF old version for some reason

Somewhat complicated question here.

Almost all of my working illustrator files are illustrator pdfs.
I had all of my files saves and updloaded to dropbox and my computer crashed yesterday.
Opening it today, all of the working pdfs look current and correct in preview/acrobat, but when opening them in Illustrator, they have reverted back to the old, non-updated versions.

I tried download old versions from dropbox, and they all open up the same.

Pretty devastating because it seems like somehow I lost a whole day of work.

Any idea what could be causing this?

.ai files saved the same way have no issues. So this is a pdf issues.

I have restarted the computer, updated illustrator and no luck. Is there a “cache” or memory for illustrator I can delete?


Why are you saving your illustrator working files as PDFs?
Have you tried changing the .pdf to .ai and opening that?

Be sure you are accessing the correct files. There is no way for Illustrator to convert PDFs to older versions. or if there is it’s a new one on me (and very very bad news.)

I work with a lot of print files and have saved my working illustrator files as pdfs for years with no issues. They are much easier to preview for clients and open exactly the same and have the same properties as an .ai file (might change that moving forward)

I have tried saving them as .ai files with no luck

Adobe has the habit of changing things, and not for the better. Even more so latey. Doing something for years doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow.

Used to be you could place a PDF in Illustrator and access the contents. You could try the place and “transparency flatten” trick but that may cause more harm than good.

Looks like the pdf was saved without certain boxes checked: (see 1st graphic).

You can open it in Acrobat, go to flattener, and change all text to outlines - Apply. Then save as Acrobat PDF 1.5 (see 2nd graphic)

That should give you vector output. You can still pull the images out using the extract images commands.

Thanks so much for the help!

No worries. Pay it forward.

Btw, all I mentioned above assumes the piece was built in Illustrator.

Doing a little digging on this shows this “error” has been around since at least early 2017.
Various fixes mentioned out there, none perfect.
But the standard answer given by all top Adobe users is:
Don’t save your archive files as .pdf.
Bad idea.
Has always been a bad idea, no matter how many check boxes are checked.
Printers since forever shudder to open a .pdf in Illustrator to “fix” things. You should really think twice about this work flow.
It may be convenient for you.
Until it isn’t.

Print Driver is right. We use:

  1. a “working” version: always an Illustrator doc.
  2. an outlined version: always an Illustrator doc with fonts outlined. = for print
  3. a pdf proof version with no editing capabilities (so the client can’t change it on you)
    sometimes 4. a pdf version to print on certain machines = fully editable

All client art is kept in a “original” folder or “IN” folder.

Oh most definitely. Client original is always saved to a folder called “Client.” Any “work” is done on a copy.
I cannot tell you how many times a client has packaged an InDesign file then continued to work on the file they have open, then send me the packaged file which does not contain any of the final edits they made. Yeah…that’s not my fault.

Getting off topic but a recurring, occasional problem is that a client thinks there is only one “ART”. Many don’t understand that when they’ve approved a proof we are done with the proof. They are basically out of the process and I’m running a printing version of the file.

Also, a big misconception is the difference between printing and PRINTING. If I mess up at home, I might waste $10 in materials. If I’m running 30 companies labels webbed on an industrial press, it’s too late to pull out their 1,000 labels. If I “Stop the Presses!” I lose at least half a day.

I’ve even had people call to make “changes” after their labels have been shipped.

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook