Somehow a few lines in a file I'm working on became corrupted. When I load the file I get the message "An error occurred while processing the appearance of an object." I found that if I remove two lines in particular, the problem goes away. There's nothing special about them. Just two straight lines.

The graphical element containing the lines in question were imported from a much older PDF. However, I don't remember getting these error messages when working on the file previously, and, according to the date listed in "Add and Remove programs" (Windows 10), I haven't upgraded Illustrator since I last edited the file.

My questions are:

  1. Is there something I can do to recover corrupted paths? I can easily recreate these lines, but I'm concerned it may happen again to a more complex element that would cause more pain.
  2. Any tips on how to avoid having this happen in the future?

Corrupt files can happen for any number of reasons - Hard drive failures, interruptions when reading/writing, bad or faulty RAM, using remote servers when saving/opening......

There's really nothing you can to to prevent file corruption most of the time except have a good backup system in place, preferably one with double or triple redundancy.


This may not be a corrupted path but rather an object that is too large for Illustrator to process. Try resizing the object and applying the effect again.

If it processes to decide if you can live with a scaled down output. If the final use is an image it can be scaled back up in save for web.

This technique can be used on the offending object as well. Scale it down make the change save it as a jpeg place the jpeg and scale it up.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.