I have some placed files in an Illustrator document, linked to the originals. When the originals are changed, Illustrator updates the placed versions. However, it keeps them at the same physical size (in centimetres), even if the size of the original was changed.

Is it possible to get Illustrator to keep the same scaling factor instead? If e.g. the placed file was scaled to 250% after importing, is it possible to keep it at the same scale even if the page size of the file was changed?

I found how to do this in InDesign. Is there a solution in Illustrator?

2 Answers 2


Not a perfect answer, but I found that what can be controlled about this is in the Placement Options.

Clicked the placed file, click the file's name on the dynamically changing toolbar, then choose Placement Options.

I managed to make it so that only the height of my placed files can change, but never the width. In this case it was a workable solution to choose the Proportions (fit) placement option and to set the width explicitly. I also needed to change the anchor point on the transformation toolbar and in the placement options.

  • Agreed. "Placement Options" in the Links Palette allows you to control the dimensions of a placed file, either relative to the 'placed' shape, or to the original file's dimensions. Nov 8, 2013 at 18:55

I use Symbols.

  • Create a symbol - Just draw a rectangle and make that a symbol.
  • Double-click the symbol in the Symbol Panel to enter Symbol Editing Mode
  • Delete the Rectangle
  • Place the file while in Symbol Editing Mode
  • Exit Symbol Editing Mode
  • Resize the symbol (which now contains the placed file).

In the future, should you need to update the placed file, simply go back to Symbol Editing mode by double-clicking the Symbol again. Place the new file and align it with the existing file. Then delete the old file and exist Symbol Editing Mode.

Your placed image (inside the symbol) will be updated without any need to rescale or transform the placed file.

Note: Symbols can not contain linked files.

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