I've received a .pdf from someone else that I need to modify slightly in Illustrator. Typically when I want to edit a pdf, I can just drag or place it into Illustrator, click embed, and then edit away. With this particular pdf, something strange happens: when I drag the file (without embedding) onto an art board, I can see everything in the pdf and it looks fine

enter image description here

Then, if I embed it, I lose data (I know the fonts might be hard to recover, but my main concern is losing the images...):

enter image description here

Any help would be appreciated, running CS6 on Mac OSX.

1 Answer 1


A complete guess without having the file...

Conflicting clipping masks.

The PDF may have been constructed with various clipping masks for the raster images. Once the file is embedded those clipping masks conflict causing display issues.

This could be verified by checking Outline Mode (View > Outline) to see if all the elements are there in Outline Mode.

Then it may be a matter of deleting clipping mask paths, and reconstructing the clipping masks.

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