Me and my buddies have a small design studio going on here at our office.

We always work from the network when working on any of our Adobe files.

Our server is on Windows 2012 Standard with 9TB storage space RAID 50. It's got shadow copy turned on and backup on top of that.

It's been working for the last 2 years and has saved us a bunch of times when we accidentally delete files or overwritten the wrong version, we use shadow copy to restore instantly.

However, lately our Illustrator files have been getting bigger and our linked PSD files even bigger to a point we are working on 1GB of total file size between all the linked PSD files, some are 300MB, others are 200MB, 1 might be 500MB.

The problem we have run into lately is that out Adobe Illustrator is running to a slow crawl, to the point where you can't move anything every 1 minute.

This does the same when we work with InDesign using linked images that are big.

We also know that if we embed the images, then we do not get the slowdown or crawling feel.

If we use the linked images with our entire project on our local c: drive or local hard-drive then it runs normal as well.

So what do other design firms do? Especially magazine publishers?

a) do I need to switch to Mac desktop and Mac server using the Unix network protocol (would that fix the linked images on the network issue)?

b) get 10GB network cards and switches and hope that it would work faster?

c) do other big design firms use other third party software such as Xinet (North Plains) or something similar to that in terms of a digital asset management system (and would it solve the whole linked images issue over the network)?

d) or is there another workflow I am totally unaware of?

Adobe Support Claims: no support with any files worked over the network. Recommended workflow - do all your projects in your local hard-drive, then copy to server after project is finished. (Is this why adobe Cue server was abandoned after 2 releases).

I am looking for any help which is greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    There are simply way too many possible network configurations for Adobe to test (and support) them all. If things do work over a network at all, consider yourself lucky. And I believe Version Cue was abandoned because it was found of no use to most users.
    – Scott
    Apr 14, 2014 at 19:37
  • 1
    You really should work locally... you do realize that working off the network you can potentially corrupt all your data in the event of a failure..
    – user9447
    Jun 14, 2014 at 5:40

3 Answers 3


Try bringing all your linked files local while working on it. Later when you put it back on the server, it should update the links to the server versions (where links are always relative to the file location). I know that is how InDesign works at least.

When copying back, you can easily compare to see the newest version of those linked files. Pasting in Windows Explorer prompts you whether to replace files for example. I'd recommend using some versioning software though so you can "check out" assets as you go. This effectively locks them until you check them back in.


If you save an .EPS file version of your images, Illustrator will use a lower-res preview image for the linked file. This may help with your network problem.

(In the Illustrator Preferences, under File Handling and Clipboard, check Use Low Res Proxy for Linked EPS)

However, if your .psd files have many layers and get updated frequently, this may cause more problems than it's worth because everyone would have to update the .eps file version of the file whenever they make a change.


Try lowering the document raster effects to 72 ppi while you are working on the files. Then before you output the file or make a proof move it aback up to 300. It will help your rendering speeds and generally help speed up illustrator. It should also help with the slower network.

  • by chance did you mean raster and not roster?
    – user9447
    Jun 14, 2014 at 17:22
  • Illustrator is a team sport, no? :) I'll fix that. I was typing on my ipad. Jun 14, 2014 at 17:25
  • Ha.. thats cool I do it all the time on my iPad, too.
    – user9447
    Jun 14, 2014 at 17:25

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