If you create an EPS or PDF from an Illustrator file, everything is all glommed together in the resulting file: there’s no need to keep track of graphics and fonts — they’re automatically embedded. If you choose the “include linked files” option when saving an AI file, graphics are embedded.
While embedding graphics makes the file portable, it limits editability; you can’t extract the embedded graphics to restore them, as you can in InDesign. If you created the file, you probably still have the images lying around somewhere: you can edit the images, then replace the embedded images in the Illustrator file.
But what if your print service provider needs to color-correct an embedded graphic? You’ll have to hunt down the image and send it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to package an Illustrator file like you can an InDesign file?
Well, with the spiffy Scoop plug-in, you can! (Oh, gee. That sounds like a cheesy late-night infomercial. Sorry.) Available from the Orwellian-named Worker72a, Scoop ($47) gathers up all placed artwork, as well as fonts. It’s just like the Package feature in InDesign, or Collect for Output in QuarkXPress. It’s reasonably priced and painless to use. It’s handy, too, when you need to archive an Illustrator job; you can quickly gather all the pieces without wondering if you got it all. Worker72a also offers a bunch of other nifty plug-ins for Illustrator; check ‘em out.
As of this writing, Scoop is available for Illustrator up through CS3. I’ll let you know when it’s updated for CS4.
LATER NOTE: Scoop CS34 has been released; it works with both CS3 and CS4. See my updated post here.
My friend Randy received a customer’s InDesign CS4 file which simply refused to package all of its links. There’s an easily-overlooked option in the Links panel menu that will copy all links manually (Utilities > Copy Links To…), but even that refused to gather more than a few links.
I exported the file to InDesign Interchange (.inx), opened the .inx file in InDesign CS4, confident that would do the trick, but to no avail. So I opened the .inx file in InDesign CS3; no luck. I searched for known issues, but “failure to package links” didn’t appear anywhere. There was nothing exotic about the links — just TIFFs, EPSs, and JPEGs. Continue Reading »
If you’ve created gradients in previous versions of Adobe Illustrator, you will love the improvements in CS4. The new on-object Gradient controller lets you intuitively manipulate the gradient position and angle.
Want to change the color of a gradient stop? Hover near the gradient controller and the stops appear. Double-click on a stop, and an instance of the Swatches panel appears next to the stop. Choose a new color, then press Return or Enter to dismiss the Swatches. To add a stop, just click on the bottom edge of the gradient controller. You can even control the opacity for each stop along the gradient.
So far so good.
But I’ve discovered that some objects refuse to display a gradient controller. If you convert text to outlines, then apply a gradient, you’ll see the controller for an instant as you drag across the newly-created shape, but that’s it. The controller immediately disappears and you can’t have any of the fun I’ve described above.
You can’t use the gradient controller with grouped objects, or multiple selected individual objects. With Pathfinder-created objects, it gets even more confusing: if you Expand the object, it will display the gradient controller. Un-Expanded objects will have to be ungrouped first (even though the object may seem to be a single object). As for selecting multiple objects, you just can’t use the gradient controller: you can drag across multiple selected objects with the Gradient tool, but the controller disappears when you release the mouse button. To use the gradient controller, you have to address each object separately,
For text converted to outlines, try one of these approaches:
- Ungroup grouped objects (Object<Ungroup).
- Use the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) to modify just one point on the shape (move an anchor point the tiniest bit, or a yank on one of the direction handles), and somehow you release the inner gradient controller for the shape. Once you’ve done this, all is well, and all the swell on-object gradient options are available.