Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Creating PDF files for clients and printers


Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Creating PDF files for clients and printers

Perhaps one of the most common file types that you'll send out to other people are PDF documents. One of the beautiful things about PDF is that the format itself is really just a wrapper, and you can create PDFs with various different settings. Low resolution PDFs can be sent to clients for review and high resolution PDFs can be sent to printers for final output. Let's take a look at how to create both of these types of PDF files from an Illustrator file. I'll go to the File menu, and I'll choose Save As.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 1s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 24s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 25m 52s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 18s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
10h 37m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a new document based on the output destination
  • Using rules, guides, and grids
  • Making detailed selections
  • Drawing and editing paths with the Pen and Pencil tools
  • Creating compound vector shapes
  • Understanding the difference between point and area text
  • Applying live effects
  • Creating color swatches
  • Transforming artwork with Rotation, Scale, and Transform effects
  • Placing images
  • Working with masks
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Mordy Golding

Creating PDF files for clients and printers

Perhaps one of the most common file types that you'll send out to other people are PDF documents. One of the beautiful things about PDF is that the format itself is really just a wrapper, and you can create PDFs with various different settings. Low resolution PDFs can be sent to clients for review and high resolution PDFs can be sent to printers for final output. Let's take a look at how to create both of these types of PDF files from an Illustrator file. I'll go to the File menu, and I'll choose Save As.

It's a little bit different here inside of Illustrator. Because PDFs can be opened up directly inside of Illustrator and because Illustrator can put native information inside of the PDF, the ability to create a PDF is found in the Save settings, unlike InDesign, for example, that allows you to export PDF files. So I am going to choose File > Save As and for the format here, I'm going to choose Adobe PDF. Now first of all, I have five art boards in this document. If I choose the All option, this will now turn into a multiple page PDF file with five pages in it.

However, I could also choose to export just a range of pages if I wanted to, but for now I'm going to choose Save, and this brings up the Save Adobe PDF dialog box. There are many different settings here in this dialog box, and I want to go over some of the more important ones. First, let's that a look at some of these options right here. There is a setting here called Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities. This setting, when it's turned on, actually takes a full native version of my Illustrator file and embeds it into the PDF document itself.

In this way, should I ever want to take that PDF and reopen it back inside of Illustrator, I would not lose any editing at all. I'd be able to actually access all the functionality inside of a file, including things like 3-D, Perspective Art, Symbols and so on and so forth. However, this setting really those two things. First of all, it makes my PDF incredibly large. After all, it's including an entire native Illustrator file into the PDF as well. Second of all, it means that anybody else who gets their hands on this PDF document would be able to reopen up inside of Illustrator and get full editability and be able to work on that file.

Now if you're sending a file to a client for a review, you really want to be able to e-mail that file so you don't want it to be large. In addition, you don't want your client opening up that file inside of Illustrator and making their own changes. So if you're sending a file out to a client, you probably want to uncheck this box. However, if you're sending a file to a printer for high-resolution output, you probably want to leave this check box turned on. In this way, if your printer needs to make a last-minute change or adjustment to your file, they have the ability to open up inside of Illustrator without any loss of quality or detail.

There is another option here called View PDF after Saving. I almost always turn this option on because I want to view the PDF in Acrobat to make sure that it looks correct before I send it out. Now also, if I have used layers in my document, I can choose to create Acrobat layers from top-level layers. This means that people would be able to actually turn on and off layers from inside of Acrobat. Well that's just really a choice in your end if you really want to add that are not, but note that you need to choose compatibility of Acrobat 6 or higher in order to get that feature.

The truth is that you really don't need to go through all the settings each time. You could access one of these Adobe PDF presets. Now this is the Illustrator default setting, but I know, for example, when I am sending something out to a printer, I might choose high quality print. In doing so, it sets Compatibility here to Acrobat 5. Notice here that it preserves the Illustrator editing capabilities and if I go to the Advance Setting, I'll see that the area for transparency is actually grayed out. This is because with Acrobat 5, or PDF 1.4, transparency remains native inside of the file.

This allows my printer to make any changes to the flattening settings to ensure great results on printout. However, I'll be honest with you. When I send the file out for someone else to print and if I'm not familiar with that person, or I am sending it a client, and they are then sending that file off to a printer, I want to make sure that I'm creating a PDF that I call a bulletproof PDF. I want to make sure that it's always going to print correctly. In that case, I will always choose, as an Adobe PDF preset, something called PDF/X-1a 2001.

This automatically sets all the settings right. It also flattens all the transparency using the high resolution preset setting, and ensures that the document is going to print correctly. You'll notice if I go back to General, when I choose this option, the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities is turned off so I get a file that is optimized for printing. I am also ensured that my fonts will be embedded, and that my artwork will be converted to CMYK or be maintained in Spa color form so that everything prints correctly.

In fact, the PDF/X-1a format was really defined by printers and publishers to ensure that the PDF files they receive will always print correctly. Now that's great for sending files to printers, but let's say you are sending a file to a client for review. In those cases, I'll usually use this setting here called Smallest File Size. Notice this turns off Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities, which is what I want, and at the same time, if I have high-resolution images inside of my document, the PDF will include only low- resolution versions of those images so the file is really nice and small and optimized for sending via e-mail.

Once you have applied all the settings, there is one other additional thing that you can do through this dialog box, which is to add security to your document. For example, you can password protect your file to ensure that it's not open by people who is not intended for. There are two types of passwords you can put into a PDF document. A Document Open Password means that when someone tries to open the file, they'll get prompted with a dialog that ask them for the password. If they know the password, they can view the document. If they don't, they won't be able to open up that document all.

However, there is a different type of password that also exists, something called a Permissions Password. When you use a Permissions Password, anybody can open up that document. However, you have the ability to limit what people can do with that document once they have it open. For example, you can choose to disable all printing. By disallowing printing, you are basically giving people the ability to view the file onscreen, but not on paper. You can also control what type of changes are allowed inside of a document. If you choose None, even those people who have things like Acrobat Professional will not be able to use advanced tools to edit the document.

For example, sometimes when I'm sending a file or an image to a client for review, I will disallow all changes so that I can be sure that the client is not altering the document in any way. Once I have applied all of my settings for my PDF, I can come down here to the Save PDF button, click on it to create my PDF document. If I've checked that box in the beginning over here were it says General, to view the PDF after saving, once the PDF file has been generated, Acrobat will launch either Professional, if I have it installed on my computer, or Adobe Reader so that I can view the PDF document.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Despite clicking the rectangle icon on the toolbar, as shown in the video, the other tool shapes are not accessible in Illustrator. The rectangle is usable, but the star, ellipse, etc. are not, and do not appear anywhere in the toolbar. What is causing this problem?
A: These tools are grouped together, so to access them, click and hold the mouse for a second until the other tools appear. If that isn't happening, reset the Illustrator preferences file. To do so, quit Illustrator and then relaunch the application while pressing and holding the Ctrl+Alt+Shift keys. Once the Illustrator splash screen appears, release the keys and that will reset the preferences file.
Q: In the video “What are vector graphics,” the author states that if he creates a 1 inch x 1 inch Photoshop file at 300ppi image, there are 300 pixels in that image. Is that correct?
A: This statement is by the author was not totally correct. If the resolution is 300ppi, it means that there are 300 pixels across one inch, both vertically and horizontally. That would mean you'd have 90,000 pixels in a 1 inch x 1 inch image at 300 ppi.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Illustrator CS5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.