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cropping illustrator artwork for pdf

Posted on 2004-11-18
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I am working in illustrator cs and saving as PDF file (adobe 6.0). I create my art file as a full page and when I save if to PDF it keeps the full page-size instead of cropping to the artwork's size. One project in particular has artwork that goes beyond the edges of the artboard, and i need this to be cropped. Do you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

Thanks,
allana
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Question by:MMsabry
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Expert Comment

by:daniel416
ID: 12618324
i'm working from memory so please forgive me if i'm missing some details :)

reduce the size of your artboard in document setup. the artboard is the pritable area.

you can also select your object and bring it into photoshop. a new document will be made that fits you illustrator object. it'll be rasterized so you may not want to do this if you need the output to be vector.

hope this helps you solve your problem!

daniel416
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Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 12618407
You can also crop the final PDF directly in Acrobat or Illustrator. Depending on how you create it, it may have a border around it.
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Assisted Solution

by:daniel416
daniel416 earned 500 total points
ID: 12618893
true, you can make crop marks and they'll show in the pdf.

what's the reason that you need the page to be cropped to the artwork's size allana?
if you're designing for print, the artboard should be as big as your print output
if you're designing for web, it doesn't matter how big the page is (you just need the elements to be converted to gifs or whatever).

daniel416
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Author Comment

by:MMsabry
ID: 12619725
i'm designing for print, and the reason for cropping is that i have some vector artwork i want to run off the edge of the page.
i've changed the size of the artboard to the exact measurements i want, and when i go directly from illustrator to my printer, the printer limits itself to printing what is on the artboard, however, when i try to export to a pdf file (which is the preferred format for the printer we are sending to) the pdf file includes not only the artboard, but extends all the way to the end of the vector graphic (which, as stated, runs off of the area i want to be included). I am pretty new with illustrator, so perhaps i'm missing something basic, please tell me, how can i crop the pdf in acrobat/illustrator? i've already tried the photoshop route and the results were not good.

thanks again,
allana
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Accepted Solution

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webwoman earned 500 total points
ID: 12620768
You can crop it in the full version of Acrobat. Where the command is depends to some extent on the version you have, but I think it's under the document menu.

When you export to PDF it will print the ENTIRE area that the graphic takes up, whether it extends off the pasteboard or not.

Can't you do a SAVE AS PDF?
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Author Comment

by:MMsabry
ID: 12625394
sorry, i think i was not clear, i was doing a "save as" pdf, not exporting, and it still takes up the entire area that goes beyond the artboard when i save this way. i've found the crop feature in acrobat however and i was able to crop it that way. thanks to both of you for the advice, i will split the points

could you tell me if illustrator does have cropping capabilities tho?
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Expert Comment

by:daniel416
ID: 12628282
thanks for the points.
glad to know you got your problem solved
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Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 12636254
Thanks also.

AFAIK, Illustrator doesn't crop the PDFs at all. Glad you found the cropping tool in Acrobat, it's come in real handy for me at times.
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Expert Comment

by:cgraefey
ID: 12649766
This question is what drew me into this forum (and ripped $10 out of my wallet). It is disturbing that Illustrator behaves this way since for YEARS I have relied on Save to PDF to crop artwork at the edge of the artboard, and it HAS done that right up until this version. I have spent WAY too many hours trying to find a way around this or ANY documentation on-line explaining WHY they changed this behavior. Annoying to say the least.

Anyway, another way I've worked around this, at least on the Macintosh, is to create a Printer Custom Page Size which is the size of your Illustrator document, and then Print to PDF using the Save as PDF function from the OSX print dialog, but the quality of those PDFs is not usually as good as what AI exports / saves. I've also exported the files as Legacy Illustrator 10 files and opened it in the other application (had both installed) and resaved. Again, WAY too much effort in both of these solutions to accomplish something that SHOULD be as easy as it always was.

I know countless designers who HATE that this has changed. Shame on Adobe! Shame!!!
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Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 12651362
I also hate it when features change drastically, and I really wish that software manufacturers wouldn't do that, or would offer a way to disable something if it totally screws up your workflow.

The other dumb thing is the way Acrobat generates things, like it was using a printer, often including adding margins where they don't exist in the document (but would if you printed to a laser/inkjet printer). I've run into that issue with PageMaker, and it drives me up the wall. The only way I know to get it correctly is to 'print' to oversized pages with crop marks so I can crop them down and get the correct bleeds. I suspect something similar is happening with Illustrator.

And I agree, it's extremely annoying.
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Author Comment

by:MMsabry
ID: 12652155
thanks guys for your comments,
its a bit of a relief to know that sometimes it really is the program that does crazy things, and not just me...
makes me feel a bit better when i get frustrated that it's not totally my fault. these issues seem pretty major tho,
for people using these progs on a regular basis, i'm totally surprised they haven't done much to correct them


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Expert Comment

by:cgraefey
ID: 12715815
EUREKA!!!! I DISCOVERED THE ANSWER!!!

The key to getting AI CS to recognize borders of anything is to make a cropping area (draw a box, keep it selected, and then do Object Menu --> Crop Area --> Make), and then you can save the file directly out of AI as a PDF, and the PDF will only show what is within the crops you set.

This is documented NOWHERE in their documentation as far as I've seen: I've been searching for this ever since the program came out! I hope this isn't coming too late in this thread to be useful!



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Author Comment

by:MMsabry
ID: 12720524
wow, that's awesome, thanks so much for the answer!!!
you ought to tell the people at adobe they should put this in their documentation somewhere,
it was really helpful,

thanks again,
allana
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