Generally I create pdf pages in Adobe illustrator and save it as pdf with "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities", "Embed Page Thumbnails" etc for editing it at later. But when I finalize the PDF, I want to save it without "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" or "Embed Page Thumbnails" in order to reduce it's file size. But I can't find a way to change those saving preferences/options at later for the same pdf. It can only be saved after editing.

It is to be noted that after creating the page layouts in illustrator, I use Adobe Acrobat or other pdf maker software to put text fields, radio buttons, check boxes etc on those pages. Once creation of form fields, if I again edit the page layout in illustrator and save it using "Save As" or "Save as Copy" command, all the form fields together with javascript functionalities will be lost. So, I can't save it using "Save As" or "Save As Copy" in order to get the options like "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" and turing off them thereafter. In order to preserve the form fields and javascript, I can only save it directly by "Save" command from illustrator.

My question is, is it possible to change those saving preferences/options once the pdf has been created by Adobe Illustrator and if yes, how?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


3 Answers 3


PDF Job Options are how to alter PDF save settings.

When saving from Illustrator these are called Adobe PDF Presets (No clue why Adobe doesn't use the correct, established, terminology here).

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Simply set things how you want them then click the little "save to disk" icon (circled in red above) to save a preset (Job Option).

In the future you can merely choose the preset from the dropdown list and those settings will be used.

Any alteration to the actual PDF after it has been created, can't be made directly within Illustrator. You must use Acrobat to change things such as editing capabilities. All AI can do is Save (leaving all current options in tact) or Save As using the options you select.

As to the form fields... Illustrator, at this point, has no ability to detect, support, or export active form fields or javascript to a PDF directly. It won't remove them if they exist in a PDF, but Illustrator can't "write" them. This is why Save works but Save As won't.

Until Adobe adds some ability for Illustrator to write more advanced PDF features, I'm afraid you are kind of out of luck where that is concerned.

  • how to change the editing capabilities in Acrobat Pro DC? I am not finding an option to alter this settings (even Adobe preset) Aug 5, 2020 at 2:09

Continue to save your Adobe Illustrator file as a PDF as you have, returning to make layout edits when necessary. When you are ready to finalize the PDF try doing it in Adobe Acrobat. Open the PDF in Acrobat, (Acrobat Reader will not work) and for a simple size reduction based on version compatibility go to File –› Save as Other –› Reduced Size PDF.... Typically, the more recent the version choosen - the leaner the resulting PDF file. For a much more sophisticated option, in Acrobat go to File –› Save as Other –› Optimized PDF... From the resulting panel of settings you will be able to 'touch/tweak' just about every aspect of your PDF file with pinpoint accuracy and reduce file size as much as possible. Once, your most-used optimization choices are established they can be saved as a custom setting to make future visits a one-click pass through. The optimization panel is very extensive and has use beyond size concerns but it's very intuitive. Check it out if you haven't already. This should keep you from needing to rely on Illustrator regarding any file size reduction issues.



Choose File > Save As or File > Save A Copy. Type a filename, and choose a location for the file. Choose Adobe PDF (*.PDF) as the file format, and hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) and click Save.

By holding Alt/Option when you click save it will open the dialog box to change/reset options.

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