I tried to export my AI file from Illustrator (Save As..) as a PDF, but for some reason, the logo come out very badly.

Editable PDF

The exported file ends ups like this : http://d.pr/i/SySs

( I looked at the pdf on dropbox, and it looks fine. But for some strange reasons, in Preview it looks like the image above. It's pretty strange. )

  • 4
    In fact, I cannot see any difference between two files you posted here except for different quality of embedded screenshots. Could you please clarify your problem? Thanks.
    – Const
    Feb 21, 2013 at 11:53
  • 1
    Import as PDF where? in what? Please describe the entire processes as well as provide a sample as Const suggests.
    – Scott
    Feb 21, 2013 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


Apple's Preview application has horrendous issues with some items - spot colors, transparency, overprints, etc. If you see strange behavior in Preview, the first thing you should do is check the PDF in Acrobat or Reader.

That triangle is constructed of several objects all using transparency (Blending modes). Flatten the transparency and it should look as expected in Preview.

If you need to correct the display of a PDF in Preview you have to "dummy down" the objects. Convert spot colors to RGB if possible, flatten transparency, remove overprints, etc.

It's an Apple issue, not a PDF (or Illustrator) issue.


I fiddled with the preferences and found out that using the gpu performance will make the color look dull on Adobe Illustrator but vibrant on the preview on mac. Turning the GPU performance off should do the trick.

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