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To save time and avoid having dozens of files to sift through, I have one masterfile for some labels that share a background and have varying information. Unfortunately this means that every EPS I save has all of the hidden information for the other 10 flavors, ingredients, dosages, etc.

It makes every EPS file enormous.

Is there a way to save to EPS for the printer, just without all the invisible layers? Or do I need to open every file manually and delete the unimportant stuff after exporting each one? (I'd like to avoid this if I can because we have so many updates/changes that I would be doing this constantly and there's about 30 individual files I'd have to do this to every single time.)

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You must remove the hidden objects, especially for the EPS format.

Hidden objects can reappear when some EPS files are processed.
That doesn't seem to happen with PDF or AI formats (at least I haven't seen it happen.)
I, personally, have filed several bug reports with Adobe regarding this with EPS files from AI.

You might consider a 2-file workflow.
One master file saved as a template which means when you open it, it is a new document containing all the items, but is unsaved. So, open the template, edit, delete the hidden data and save as EPS. Your template remains in tact with all the extra items.

Deleting hidden objects should not take more than a couple seconds via
Command/Ctrl+Option/Alt+2, then hit Delete.

Note that empty layers are never a problem, the problem is hidden objects regardless of what layer those objects may be on or what the visibility state of the layer may be. Using "Hide" for anything, be it for a layer or an object is not trustworthy if you save to the EPS format.


This may ultimately be an X/Y problem and the issue may not be the hidden objects specifically, but rather your overall workflow. But since you haven't really detailed the workflow it's hard to say.

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