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I create PDF files from my Adobe Illustrator files by saving as. I would prefer it to create the pdf file and retain the AI file but sometimes it converts the ai file to a pdf. Not all the time, only sometimes. Why is this? Is there a way to create PDF files without having it convert your current artboard to a PDF file.

  • Unless you tweaked the settings an ai file is a pdf and a pdf is a ai file. But yes it saves the same type as what it opened. – joojaa Apr 5 '16 at 19:51
  • OK, so they both have the same capabilities. My client needs them in PDF format so I can't send him AI files. That's why I save as PDF but I still need to be able to go back and edit. – Christopher Harrod Apr 5 '16 at 19:52
  • When you Save As, it may "replace" your file in Illustrator but your original file will still exist (and you can open it back up). So if your file is AI and you save as PDF the AI file will still exist. You can always use "Save A Copy..." instead if you prefer to keep the original open. – Hanna Apr 5 '16 at 19:53
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    No no they dont have the same capabilities. Its just that ai is embedded inside a PDF file you can remove this but its on by default. If you rename a ai files extension to pdf it just magically works. Its just a unnessesarily big PDF file. – joojaa Apr 5 '16 at 19:56
  • Thanks @johannes I think save a copy is answer to my situation. Easy solution right in front of my eyes! That's what I get for starting at a computer screen all day. – Christopher Harrod Apr 5 '16 at 20:01
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When you Save As, it may "replace" your file in Illustrator but your original file will still exist (and you can open it back up). So if your file is AI and you save as PDF the AI file will still exist.

You can always use "Save A Copy..." instead if you prefer to keep the original open while saving the other format.

Here's a recording I did showing the issue and then showing using "Save A Copy..." http://i.imgur.com/242rdFC.gifv

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You may need to save/name it in different format one for viewing .pdf type & another for editing .ai type. Hope this helps. Thanks

  • That doesn't answer why it happens – Luciano Apr 6 '16 at 12:12

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