I work for a company that mainly sells city and state art transfer-printed, etched, engraved, etc. onto dinnerware.

Most of the time i deal with the art, personally, i see that it contains anywhere from 15,000-30,000 paths but have no problems working with them quickly . However, one of our artist's illustrations always has a tremendous amount of paths in the 150,000-250,000 range...and i wanted to see if there was anything i could do.

What I have tried

  1. Fix bad plug-in global object names(no idea what this meant, just saw it here
  2. Object>Path>simplify (made sure to not include text outlines. Has never worked in a year's worth of attempts.)
  3. Object>Path>Clean up : says it isn't needed.

Image below is of Sixteen pieces of artwork for a square dinner plate. Here is a link to a single piece of artwork from that product, so you can take a look and hopefully help me out.

Do you see anything i can correct in the file supplied? enter image description here


2 Answers 2


Simple steps for that file... although that file isn't problematic here.

First fix the type counters on the arch by filling them with white. Then . . .

  • Select All
  • Object > Expand
  • Pathfinder Panel > Merge
  • Click a white filled object (with the Direct Select Tool - white arrow)
  • Select > Same > Fill & Stroke
  • Hit Delete
  • Draw a no fill, no stroke rectangle
  • Select > Same > Fill & Stroke
  • Hit Delete

This removes at least 50% of the objects in the file.

  • Scott, you're my hero. I just did this to the artwork for one of our Cape Cod products. Started with 240,000 paths, down to 159,000. I can confirm this one was an example of a source file we lost and had to have it retraced from a raster..so it makes sense to still have a LOT of paths...but this was a HUGE difference in terms of rendering performance. You're the man scott...THE MAN.
    – mephisto21
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 13:58
  • I'm glad that helped, @orbitalshocK
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 14:54

If it's for the cause of simplifying paths, I find Inkscape does a much better job then Illustrator. You would need to export it to svg from Illustrotor, import it into inkscape and I suggest you try it one path first: select it and hit CTRL+L. It will tell how many 'nodes' it found and how many are left after simplifying. (Or you can use the menu: Path --> Simplify)

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