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Creating PDF files

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Creating PDF files

Another way to export your artwork outside of Illustrator is to save it as a PDF. It's one of the most common formats used today to share documents between computers. It doesn't matter if you're on a Mac, or a PC, or even using Linux; almost everybody can open a PDF. As a matter of fact, the Adobe reader is installed on almost 90% of computers that are sold. So exporting out as a PDF is a great way to ensure that whoever you're sending you are file to can open it, and look at it. So let's go ahead and see how we can save as a PDF directly out of Illustrator.

Creating PDF files

Another way to export your artwork outside of Illustrator is to save it as a PDF. It's one of the most common formats used today to share documents between computers. It doesn't matter if you're on a Mac, or a PC, or even using Linux; almost everybody can open a PDF. As a matter of fact, the Adobe reader is installed on almost 90% of computers that are sold. So exporting out as a PDF is a great way to ensure that whoever you're sending you are file to can open it, and look at it. So let's go ahead and see how we can save as a PDF directly out of Illustrator.

I'm going to go to the File menu, and I'm going to choose Save As. Ones inside of the Save As dialog box, I'm going to go down here to the Save as type, and I'm simply going to choose PDF. Once I choose PDF, I can then hit Save. Hitting Save takes me to the Save Adobe PDF dialog box. At the top of the PDF dialog box, you have the ability to choose between several different presets. The Illustrator Default, High Quality Print, which is good for most laser printers, PDF/X-1a, X-3, and X-4, which are commercial printing formats, Press Quality, which should be suitable for most printing presses, and then the last one, Smallest File Size, which should basically only be used if you're going to the Web only.

This is not meant for desktop or commercial printing. In this case, I'm just going to do something that we can view on the Web, and something that'll save very quickly. So I'm going to choose Smallest File Size. When I do that, you're going to notice that the Standard gets set to None. You could choose any one of these standards that are available to you; any of the PDF X-1 or X formats. You can also choose the Compatibility. The farther back you go in terms of compatibility means that people with older versions of Acrobat will be able to open the file. The higher you go means people will have to have a newer version of Acrobat to open the file.

The lowest you can go is Acrobat 4, and the highest currently is Acrobat 8. I'm just going to stick middle of the road; Acrobat 6. You also have options down here at the bottom, like Preserving Illustrator Editing Capabilities; Embedding the Page Thumbnails into the PDF. Since I picked Smallest File Size, it automatically optimizes this for what's called Fast web View. Then you have the ability to View the PDF after you save it. In this case, I'll check that, because I want to look at it right after we're done. You can also Create Acrobat Layers from the Top-Level Layers.

That means if you have layers inside of your document, Acrobat will try to duplicate those layers in your PDF. You also have options for Compression, which allows you to control the way bitmap images are compressed inside of your PDF. If you have bitmap images in your PDF, you might want to take a look at this, and adjust the settings accordingly. You can do things like change the sampling, change the image quality, and also the compression settings as well. You can also setup Marks and Bleeds, like Printer's Marks. So if I wanted to see all of the Printer's Marks on this PDF, I could go ahead and click right here, and it would add them to it.

If I wanted to Use the Document Bleed Settings, I can check this box. If there are no document bleed settings, I can specify my own in these boxes here. Output; you can select things like the color, and the PDF/X parameters. The Advanced section refers to Fonts, and the overprint settings, much the same that we see inside of the Print dialog box. You can also set up document Security. This is great, because you can set a password to both open, and edit the document. At the bottom you can determine the actual Acrobat Permissions; whether or not printing is allowed, and whether or not changes are allowed.

Finally, you'll get a Summary. If there are any warnings in the file, it will go ahead and warn you at the bottom. For instance, this tells me that this preset specifies that some of the fonts are not embedded. This application always embeds fonts. Basically, this is telling me that because of the preset, it's not going to embed fonts in to the document, and that's okay. I'm just viewing it in an Acrobat, so I don't necessarily need the fonts to be there. The Document Raster Effects settings are 72 pixels per inch or less. Again, that's not a big deal, because I'm saving at is the Smallest File Size, and it's going on the Web. So I'll hit Save PDF.

It'll tell me that Saving this document with "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" unchecked may disable some editing features when the document is read back in. Basically, this is saying, okay, be sure you want to save this, because if you save it without checking this box, when you bring it back into Illustrator, you might not be able to edit everything as you would expect. If you're okay with this -- and I am, since it's just a comp -- I'm going to say OK. It's then going to save my PDF, and it's going to send it out, and open it in Acrobat, or Acrobat Reader. And so now -- let me zoom out, so you can see this -- here is my finished PDF that I got sent out of Illustrator, and into Acrobat.

It's got all the printer's marks around the outside, and it's very Web friendly. It's going to load lightning fast, because it's a smaller file size, and the images are compressed. If I zoom in, you'll actually see that some portions of this get a little bit pixelated around the edges. But for the most part, the text and graphics that were created in Illustrator stay pretty sharp, because they were created in a vector format. However, if we were dealing with a lot of bitmap graphics, you might see some slight pixelation, which is not that big of a deal, especially if you're going to the Web, but if you're going for Print, you might want to change the resolution.

Let's close this up, and return back to Illustrator. So the next time you have to send out a document that needs to be read by multiple people, on multiple computers, try saving out as a PDF; I bet you they'll all be able to open that.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 72187 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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