I was given a .ai file to do a simple change. Illustrator won't let me save to .ai

After saving the file this error message occurred:

When spot colours are used with transparency, changing them to process colours outsitde of Illustrator can generate unexpected results.


An Unknown error has occured

These warnings also showed.

"Only fonts with permission bits will be embedded." "The Document Raster Effects is 72ppi or less."

  • The first means exactly what it states. If you use Spot colors and transparency, on press, the colors can vary and not match the spot color. This isn't an error, but a warning. It's letting you know that colors may change on press. You should be aware of that.

  • The second is the most problematic and is a program error. This may be due to a problem with the file, a problem with Illustrator or a problem with your system. Based upon the third item, the first thing I'd try is unchecking "Create PDF Compatibile File" in teh Save Options dialog. Next thing to try is to Save As.. to a different drive if possible. You may also try and copy everything to a new file and then try saving the new file.

  • The third items are a couple warnings, not errors. The first part about fonts means just what it states. You've used font in the document which do not give you permission to embed the font per its license. This is common with "free" fonts. You may need to use different fonts or purchase the proper license for the fonts you've used. You may or may not be able to create outlines of the fints (in many cases if embedding is not permitted, neither is outlining.) The Document Raster Effects Setting is under the Effects menu and the setting should match your output. If you are outputting for press, you should set it to High (300ppi).

  • I've never fully understood the "When spot colours are used with transparency..." message. Don't spots with transparency always convert to process in Illustrator? If so, what is the relevance of the "changing them ... outside of Illustrator" bit? – e100 Sep 7 '12 at 12:54
  • 1
    Basically if you print the illustrator file, illustrator will render tints where possible. If you print from outside of Illustrator (PDF, Indesign, etc.) then flattening will be controlled by that application. So, AI can't guarantee the app will try and render tints where possible. At least that's how I understand it. – Scott Sep 7 '12 at 17:04
  • Ah, thanks. That explains why I have always been told that tints of a spot should be specified explicitly rather than via transparency. – e100 Sep 10 '12 at 11:31
  • @scott I've had lots of trouble trying to resolve this error "An unknown error has occurred". With these files I've opened them in both Illustrator CS5 and CS6 and I can't save the file, It just shows the error message and won't let me save. I've tried un-ticking the "Create PDF Compatible File" however need that for sending the file to the other computer. – Josh Sep 13 '12 at 5:38
  • You have issues with your operating system or the installation. – Scott Sep 13 '12 at 6:52

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