I'm trying to put some plots that I have in PDF format into my Illustrator document. When I save the Illustrator document as a PDF, all the text in my earlier PDF plots is no longer 'selectable'. I believe the PDFs are being embedded as image objects? Any ideas how to fix this?

  • Just to be clear; you're placing a PDF in an AI and then saving that AI as a PDF, and it's in that final PDF that the text isn't selectable?
    – Cai
    Sep 25, 2017 at 8:09
  • Yes, that's right @Cai Sep 25, 2017 at 8:18
  • Do you have the same font available as in the plots (or in case of matlab its always worng even if you haver the font since it renames the font for some reason when producing the plot)?
    – joojaa
    Sep 25, 2017 at 8:39
  • this is an older case that can give some ideas graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/48986/…
    – user82991
    Sep 25, 2017 at 9:32
  • Are you certain the text is selectable in the original PDF?
    – ispaany
    Oct 25, 2017 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


Instead of Placing the PDF into your Illustrator doc, why don't you FILE > OPEN the PDF within Illustrator? That way you can SELECT ALL, GROUP, COPY and PASTE it into your new Illustrator file. And finally, the last SAVE will contain all the truly native objects. Will this work?

  • That did not work! Sep 25, 2017 at 17:15
  • Which of my 3 steps did not work: Open the original PDF; Select copy paste; or the Save as PDF?
    – jhurley
    Sep 25, 2017 at 19:38
  • Are you sure the original PDF is "selectable" and it's not Acrobat's OCR automatically converting text for you? In other words, is the original PDF really a rasterized image and never was truly text?
    – jhurley
    Sep 25, 2017 at 19:40
  • I'm certain the original PDF has selectable text. It's just the final PDF that doesn't. Sep 26, 2017 at 23:30
  • I can open the PDFs, copy and paste them, but after saving the final PDF the text is unselectable. Sep 26, 2017 at 23:31

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