Need Illustrator help

I’m the first to admit, I’m not that great in Illustrator. And I’ve got a problem I can’t research my way out of. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m trying to produce a flattened pdf with no paths. I’ve tried saving as smallest file size, optimizing it in Acrobat, etc. But every time I open it again in AI, the paths are there. :rage:

What’s the secret?

Hmm. A PDF from an AI file with no paths? The only way I can think to do that would be to save it as a PDF and then rasterize the PDF in Photoshop. But maybe I’m missing something.

Actually, that’s one approach I’ll keep on the burner, if all else fails.

I can’t believe there’d be no way to flatten an Illustrator pdf. I unchecked the “keep editable pdf” box too.

You can rasterize it in illustrator and save it as a PDF.

Select all > Object > Rasterize

Shoot, so it sounds like rasterizing is the only way?

I believe so.

Vector files are technically layered whenever objects are separate.

If by “flattened” you mean no layers in Illustrator, it’s as simple as selecting all, and cutting and pasting on 1 layer.

If by “flattened” you mean compound path, then you have to select everything piece-by-piece and make it a compound path. And you won’t be able to do that with multiple colors because compound paths are always treated as 1 object with 1 fill.

A compound object does have paths.

By “flattened” I meant I want the pdf to have no editable paths for the client to see.

She might open it in Illustrator, and I’d prefer she not have the capability to edit it.

It’s not so much the layers, as the paths I want to lock down.

Vectors are vectors. Paths by definition.
You want no paths, you have to rasterize…

Okay, I’ll rasterize. *heavy sigh…

Thanks guys, for the help.

If you don’t want to rasterize it, the best solution would be to save the PDF with a password to restrict editing.
That way she will be able to view and print the document but she wont be able to edit or use it in any program.

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I don’t know about your clients, but mine are incredibly offended if a password gets appended to the PDF. Not to mention sometimes making it difficult for the downstream print vendor. I had files come in for banners just yesterday with the finished dimension line in the PDF. Anything visible in your PDF will print. Including die lines and any crop marks you happen to set improperly (bleed on banners is in inches, not 1/8s). Printers sometimes need to remove that junk or you won’t make your due date. What if the setter of the password isn’t available? Perhaps they went away on vacation for a week, yeah, it happens that way.

As long as the client pays up, who cares if they change something?
It’s their funeral, not yours.

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I agree, I’m not comfortable with setting a password for a client file.
Maybe I’ll just slap a big red “PROOF” on the thing before I rasterize and send. :slight_smile:

If it’s still a vector file, they could just open it up and remove the big red PROOF.

I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to accomplish or why, and perhaps you already know this, but there’s a password option that only comes into play when someone attempts to open the PDF in an editing application like Illustrator. Using this option, the password isn’t required for simply opening the document in a PDF reader.

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I’m going to rasterize the proof. And mainly, my goal was to give them a proof/draft before sending the final output files. I will be giving them the ai final files too, but wanted to send an uneditable proof first.

If you are so worried about them editing your stuff just export a jpg or lock it down with a pdf security no editing file.

PDF is not secure, therefore adding a password might stop a user only knowing Acrobat. However it is easy to overcome or even remove the password.

The main issue is that PDF security is supported by the reader, not the file format. I remember that some versions of Apple’s Preview didn’t respect security setzings, thus completely open.

The reason for that is in the PDF specs:

“PDF specifies a standard security handler that all viewer applications are expected to support, but applications may optionally substitute alternate security handlers of their own.”
Note: PDF cannot enforce the document access privileges specified in the encryption dictionary. It is up to the implementors of PDF viewer applications to respect the intent of the document creator by restricting access to an encrypted PDF file according to the passwords and permissions contained in the file."

So all you do is to hassle your client. They may want to print a lores, they may want to copy and paste text. And you are not protecting your artwork.

The suggestion I like best is to either rasterize the output or supply them just a bitmap (eg PNG). Or to trust your client.


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Very few kinds of security are 100 percent reliable. But the reason for most kinds of security, from locking our front doors to setting a login entry password on our personal computers, is to deter casual entry or crimes of opportunity, not to erect an impenetrable barrier. A serious burglar won’t be deterred by a deadbolt, and a serious data thief won’t be deterred by a simple password.

These kinds of protections are like PDF passwords — they’re meant to deter almost everyone, which in most instances is usually good enough.

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Yeah, but this one is different, PDF security is build on “respect”. So if a tool doesn’t understand security (or ignores it on purpose), then there is none.

It’s like protecting your house with a sign “For those who can read and understand English, trespassing is forbidden!:wink:

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