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#1
rudy

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Well, this is becoming more of a problem every day . . . . We moved to the CS3 suite in the hopes that things would be better . . . turns out, new isn't always better. <_<

Illustrator files are becoming a bit of a nightmare to work with, particularly when trying to utilize them in a layout in InDesign or other software. 8MB street map files are very slow to draw up in InDesign, even with the text converted to curves and the preview on low. We've tried going back to the old way - i.e. using Freehand for layout pages. Freehand eps files were quick to draw and easy to use; Illustrator eps files are not and the file size when creating an eps - either by saving as an eps or by exporting or printing to a file - seems to grow from the original.

Does anyone have any suggestions for improving the speed and efficiency of our workflow using CS3? Has anyone else experienced this?

#2
peanut

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I have given up using EPS files. I use AI and PDF files almost exclusively and they seem to work great for me. This article provides some interesting info on the three file formats:

http://rwillustrator...e-or-is-it.html

Rich

#3
rudy

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I have given up using EPS files. I use AI and PDF files almost exclusively and they seem to work great for me. This article provides some interesting info on the three file formats:

http://rwillustrator...e-or-is-it.html

Rich


Sure, AI and PDF files have become more flexible and robust but I still run into issues around size and placement/redraw time in InDesign.

#4
ELeFevre

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Hey Rudy,
I realize that your talking about 8mb street map files, but maybe there's something you could tweak with your system (scratch disk, et cetera)? What are the specs on your computer? Any there any linked/placed images or live filters or effects in the maps? Could you use a high res image in place of the EPS? Are there any improvements in speed/redraw if you use a PDF or straight AI file? Have you simplified the line-work before dropping the EPS InDesign and converting to curves? Joined paths?

If you give us more info we could probably be more useful!

I agree...new isn't always better.



#5
Nick Springer

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I recently have been working with a 17MB Illustrator file placed in InDesign with no performance issues even on high-quality display. I placed the file as a native AI file. When looking at your machine specs, don't leave out your video card. If you just have whatever stock card comes with your box or, heaven forbid, an integrated video card that could be your problem. High-end video cards can be had for <$200. Check video game web sites for reviews.

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#6
rudy

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I recently have been working with a 17MB Illustrator file placed in InDesign with no performance issues even on high-quality display. I placed the file as a native AI file. When looking at your machine specs, don't leave out your video card. If you just have whatever stock card comes with your box or, heaven forbid, an integrated video card that could be your problem. High-end video cards can be had for <$200. Check video game web sites for reviews.

That's interesting Nick. Our benchmark here in the office is the way we used to do it - create separate page layout files in Freehand using Freehand eps files - not the most efficient way of doing it. Perhaps we are asking too much. But we are currently using PCs (DuoCore 1.86 MHz 2 GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro NVS 285 128 MB video card) and Macs (G5 with 4.5 GB RAM running OS 10.4, 2 processors @ 2.3 GHz each). Both running CS3.

I have given up using EPS files. I use AI and PDF files almost exclusively and they seem to work great for me. This article provides some interesting info on the three file formats:

http://rwillustrator...e-or-is-it.html

Rich

Rich - I've had a read through Mordy's posting that you linked to. It provides some interesting background information. Placing an Illustrator file in InDesign and being able to crop it to the cropbox is useful but . . . we are dealing with an Illustrator map that covers a large area and essentially want it tiled. This approach would mean that we would need to create a new Illustrator file for each page with a unique crop box - possible but it doesn't seem to be the most efficient way of doing things (18 MB files x 100 pages . . . . what if there are changes to map at a later date?). Cropping a file, printing it to a postscript file, then distilling it resulting in smaller manageable files but time is lost for producing each ps file.

Having a single file displayed repeatedly in multiple pages is more flexible in this regard – once you figure out how much to move the map in InDesign for each page, it is easy to do. However, having a single map poses its own problems – essentially the entire map is in the file for each page, slowing down performance considerably (again, 18 MB x 100 pages . . . ).

I can get the 18 MB Illustrator file down to a 13 MB pdf by printing to a ps file (from an 18 MB original - I miswrote earlier), then distilling it. Perhaps I'm being too impatient and expecting too much?

#7
peanut

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Rudy,

As Erin stated there are probably some ways you can optimize your file before you place it in Indesign. In the past I have had a lot of luck using the path simplify functionality in Illustrator.

In Illustrator unlock your roads layer and lock all other layers. Then do Select>>Object>>Clipping Masks and then Select>>Inverse. This will get a selection that only contains the road linework (Provided you don't have text or other objects on this layer.)

From here select Object>>Path>>Simplify. I usually bump the Curve Precision down to 98% which doesn't hurt the communication of the map but removes about 75% of my points in most cases.

Hope this helps.

Rich

#8
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Now I am not an InDesign person, but Rudy - when you talk about ai vs eps in InDesign - can't you use the ai files exactly as you would use the eps files? (from your posts it sounds like it would be a different workflow)
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#9
rudy

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Now I am not an InDesign person, but Rudy - when you talk about ai vs eps in InDesign - can't you use the ai files exactly as you would use the eps files? (from your posts it sounds like it would be a different workflow)


Yes you can - they're pretty much interchangeable as far as I understand. My experience has been that eps files are a little more useful to other software packages, provided that they're saved back as older versions. One of our options is to go back to our old way of producing layout pages in Freehand - hence the need for eps. But that, I think, is just a short term solution. Eventually it will all need to be ported over to Illustrator/InDesign.




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