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#1
rudy

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We've been working on a number of Illustrator files and have noticed them increase in size each time we do a save. When we do a "Save As..." the file size drops dramatically. For instance, one 65 MB dropped to 15 MB with "Save As...", another dropped to 7 MB from almost 100 MB. Nothing is different between the 2 versions. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas why this happens?

#2
TanyaJ

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This is true with any program. 'Save as' replaces the entire document, where 'save' adds the changes on top of the original document. It's always a good idea to hit 'Save as' every now and then.
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#3
rudy

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This is true with any program. 'Save as' replaces the entire document, where 'save' adds the changes on top of the original document. It's always a good idea to hit 'Save as' every now and then.


Obviously "Save As..." is useful in Illustrator but the question is why??? And why such a huge difference in size? No other program that I can remember working with experiences such bloated file sizes.

#4
gregory

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Check the way you attache the bitmaps to your *.ai if you just copy/past it may cause the problem. You should link your images by File/ Place what makes the bitmaps stored as linked files... Sounds a litlle bit obvious but it may be that.

#5
jblairpdx

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It's been a while since I've even used AI, so hopefully I can get past the cobwebs to remember the issue...

AI files are actually just markup language and scripts in a file; you'll see this if you open an (uncompressed) ai file in a text editor. All this text tells the PGL engine how to render all the bells and whistles. As anyone who has worked with automatically generated markup language can attest, a large amount of crap can get created and stored.

For some reason, Adobe decided it would be cool to have a default setting be to have a 'change log' of sorts written in to the ai files. Everything you do from the creation of your file to the time you save is noted. Now imagine how long you've been editing that file, how many little tweaks you've done to the data, etc: every one of those actions has been recorded. The 'save as' function removes these, since the changes do not apply to the shiny, new file.

The obvious recommendation would be to periodically 'save as', in a phoenix-like rebirth. The most annoying thing about the whole issue (aside from the lack of formal documentation from Adobe) is that there is no checkbox that I know of to deactivate the logging. My guess is that the log is to enable a sort of trace-debug for major screwups, but I know of nobody who backtracks via this method.

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#6
rudy

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Thanks for the explanation, Jacob. I vaguely recall now that it is possible to edit AI files in a text editor - probably only useful to do so if the file has been corrupted.

#7
pfyfield

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I believe it is no longer possible to edit Illustrator files in a text editor. I recall a few years ago I had some corruption in a single layer and was able to strip out only that layer and save the rest of the file, but that was in 8.

Seems like I tried that in CS once and things had changed...
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#8
Hans van der Maarel

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IIRC, it was Illustrator 9 that introduced a PDF-based file format, rather than the EPS it was before. PDF can't be edited manually (well, if you speak hex, you could, I suppose)
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#9
Fran├žois Goulet

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It's the same with .mxd as with .ai, .indd, ...

A 1.9Mb mxd was reduced to 0.9Mb using a Save As and yesterday a 36Mb InDesign document was reduced to 12Mb with a Save As...

The Adobe Help Center gave this when I ask "Reduce file size": To save a document under a new name, choose File > Save As, specify a location and file name, and click Save. The newly named file becomes the active document. Using the Save As command might reduce the file size.

It doesn't explain why though, but TaniaJ's explanation makes sense to me.

#10
DaveB

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Regarding ArcMap here is a brief explanation I found in ESRI's Knowledge Base:
http://support.esri....l...how&d=20872
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