I'm trying to create a repeat square out of six pretty heavy (100MB-700MB) Illustrator illustrations. When all six files are placed they weigh in at around 1GB.

I need around 30 of these files placed on the page to complete my repeat square, but this is near-impossible for my computer (iMac 2011 16GB 2.7GHz i5) and Illustrator to handle without crashing.

Is there anything I can do or turn off to help performance or rendering in Illustrator. I'm using Symbols to reference these files so there's only one instance of each file, but I'm still having issues.

Any help with this is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

P.S. I can't raster the files because the printer needs the .ai file.

  • what is a repeat square...? Is there no way to process the files down at all? are you working with the native .ai files or exports?
    – Phlume
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 4:08
  • I created the Symbols using the native .ai files. Not sure if that helps.
    – realph
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 4:09
  • Sorry, A repeat pattern in a square. Essentially I'm trying to create a perfect repeat pattern that I can print.
    – realph
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 4:24
  • how big are you printing?? 100-700 mb is massive for an AI file. what are your DPI settings?
    – Phlume
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


To reduce your file size I would make certain you collapse and/or combine any unnecessary layers into a single layer to help reduce the balloon rate of the file. Also try creating outlines to any specialized fonts to help reduce the load. Lastly, make sure any imported imagery or .eps files are converted into the native .ai file... And link files as opposed to embed them.

Perhaps you can scrutinize the process... save the specific art files out as editable .ai files with all of the layers as needed, and then save a version that is fully collapsed and outlined for input into a working "printable" file. When an edit is needed, go back to the working .ai file as needed, and resave it in the working location, as well as the flattened outlined version.

All of these steps will help you reduce the file size and possibly make things easier to work with.

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