I have an Illustrator layer that when exported to a PDF, the objects in that layer are hidden when viewing in a PDF viewer. This doesn't happen when I export the image for web. All objects are simple shapes or text, no linked files.

Similar but different issue: Placed image doesn't show when saving as PDF

  • Which PDF viewer? Try using Adobe Reader.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 19, 2021 at 17:48
  • @BillyKerr I tried using both Adobe Acrobat and Mac Previewer. Both will hide the layer if the Illustrator Layer does not have "Print" checked. I am not sure if all PDF viewers will act the same.
    – AndrewH
    Jan 19, 2021 at 18:01
  • Then AndrewH has given you the correct answer.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 19, 2021 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Make sure the layer is visible for print.

  1. Double-click on the layer to open the Layer Options

  2. Make sure there is a checkmark next to "Print". If this option is unchecked, the layer will not be visible in a PDF viewer and will not print.

Layer Options Preview

This option is useful when adding notes to an Illustrator file but someone casually viewing the PDF does not need to see these notes.

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