Is there a way to keep the jpg compression in .ai-files with embeded raster graphics?

Ok so I had an .ai-file of 2800kB.

I pasted a 2MB jpg in the document and the file is now 16MB.

So I guess the JPG is converted to some pixel graphic so transforms etc. could be done easily. And maybe also saved an extra time in the PDF-preview.

However I find this a wast of space, since I mostly use jpgs as visualisation/illustration. Is there a lighter way?

  • Try to link them externally... I'm not sure if Illustrator allows that. – Rafael Mar 21 '17 at 5:40

Yep, you can do this. You can either keep them embedded and turn off Create PDF Compatible File, or you can link to the original files (and still turn off Create PDF Compatible File).

Linked files

If you place an image using FilePlace, it will link to the image by default. You can check this by opening WindowLinks — if the Embed Image(s) action is available, it’s linked.

Illustrator Links panel

However, you’ll notice if you now save your file, it‘s bigger. That’s probably because you have Create PDF Compatible File turned on. If you do, Save As, and turn it off.

Create PDF compatible file in Illustrator

Size comparison

I’ve saved some test files with linked and embedded versions. The image and linked file add up to roughly the same size as the embedded file.

Files in Finder

426KB + 924KB = 1,350KB (~1.4MB)

  • good to know that by disabling pdf compatibility teh AI file is nolonger possible to easily embed in indesign for example. – joojaa Mar 21 '17 at 13:32
  • @joojaa Oh, yep, it definitely comes at a price. It’s best to leave it on, if you can! You also lose the preview in the Finder. – Marc Edwards Mar 21 '17 at 13:44
  • Thanks for answer, but I still don't quite get my own calculation. 2800 + 2000 = 16000???? – agiopnl Apr 24 '17 at 12:06
  • 1
    @agiopnl I assume there’s multiple copies of the image and vector data inside the file. I think “PDF compatibility” means there’s a separate PDF portion that’s a duplicate of the Ai data. – Marc Edwards Apr 25 '17 at 0:56
  • Probably something like that, still doesn't add up very well :p – agiopnl Apr 26 '17 at 23:14

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