I make several patterns by open jpeg file on illustrator

and drag the photo into the swatches box and 'save swatches' out of it

and then I saved all of them as 'Save Swatch Library as AI'

now I open my working file where there are line drawings and I open my previous pattern library

I apply that pattern as a fill color for my line drawings

I saved my file in 2 version as AI and also PDF(preserve illustrator editing capabilities and create acrobat layers from top-level layers) and I closed the file

but when I reopen both my AI file and PDF file, all the pattern I made in the line drawing disappeared. So my drawing is filled with nothing.

*I tried unchecking the 'preserve illustrator editing capabilities' and 'create acrobat layers from top-level layers' and it works when I reopen. But I still need file that I can come back to edit it

Can you please help me what step am I missing here? I don't want to redo it again every time I open the file.

  • 3
    AI pattern swatches from jpgs is simply a bad idea in my opinion.
    – Scott
    Feb 20, 2019 at 5:49

1 Answer 1


There is nothing wrong by creating pattern swathes using a jpg or png... I also use this method and I never had any issues.

As you save the file and it does not retain the pattern, it could be a bug.

Try to reset the Illustrator defaults.

Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) or Option+Command+Shift (macOS) as you start Illustrator.

  • I wondered about filepath issues - I've seen that really cause havoc with patterns that are raster-based... have you renamed, moved or deleted the original raster image prior to the re-opening of the ai file? Short of that, I agree with LeoNas - reset your prefs. Feb 20, 2019 at 16:37

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