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I am collating several logos into an Illustrator Artboard.

Obviously, to be efficient and productive, I placed them the fastest way I know - by dragging the files from my OS to the Illustrator document window.

When I do so, the placed logos (in .ai format) appear in a box, and the edges of the shapes cannot seem to be edited/selected.

After placing Illustrator files in an Illustrator file, how do I enable editing of the placed files in the final document?

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By default, Illustrator loads it in as a raster object link of the Illustrator file, to fix this.

I was wrong, thanks @Scott for this great insight: (paraphrased)

It loads in the PDF preview which technically − can be referred to as a "raster preview". It links to the vector data in the linked .ai file.

It's closer to a symbol in how it's one object which could be expanded, than it is to a raster image link (which can't be expanded).


You have to embed it in and then;

Ungroup and release all the boatloads of clipping masks and groups that come with it when dragged in.

  • Select all and hit Ctrl+Shift+G a few times to ungroup everything.

  • Select all and hit Ctrl+Alt+7 a few times to release all the clipping masks.


Here's a GIF:

GIF showing the steps
(Notice how the transparency get's lost, not sure why/how to fix that)

  • The files have already been placed in the document, as linked files – MicroMachine Oct 9 '18 at 22:11
  • @MicroMachine yeh, but it places them in as a linked raster preview to the actual ai file, embedding it will embed it as vectors. – WELZ Oct 9 '18 at 22:12
  • How is embedding different than placing? I don't know a "embed" function, only place. I can seem to zoom in infinitely on the placed files, they do not seem to be pixels – MicroMachine Oct 9 '18 at 22:15
  • Unsure, once the file is placed it still needs to be embedded (placing a file only places a "link" with a preview to the file) – WELZ Oct 9 '18 at 22:25
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    Well, I wouldn't say "... loads it in as a raster object link ...". Really it loads the PDF preview which I guess technically can be referred to as a "raster preview". But the reality is, it links to the vector data in the linked ai file. It's closer to a symbol in how it's one object which could be expanded, than it is to a raster image link (which can't be expanded). Semantics pretty much, I'm aware. +1. – Scott Oct 10 '18 at 0:35

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