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9 Ways to Minimize File Size in Adobe Illustrator

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Articles / Theory/ Comments: 0

Large files can significantly slow down your workflow. Editing, zooming of the screen and just saving the file may take several minutes. In addition large file sizes are often the reason of application crashes resulting in the loss of all or part of the work. Using the autosaving feature of Autosaviour plug-in will help you avoid such losses, but does not eliminate the loss of time during the next saving of a large file. Therefore it is important to know how to reduce the file size for ease of use with the minimum of delay. In todays article, you will learn about 9 ways of minimizing the source vector file.

1. Save Options

When we are saving the file for the first time (File > Save… or File > Save As…) this opens Illustrator’s Options dialog box. To significantly reduce the file size, untick Create PDF Compatible File and tick Use Compression.

Such selection of options reduces the file size significantly. While writing this article, I experimented on a rather complex vector artwork Shield and Sword, which contains blend objects, vector texture, transparent objects, gradient meshes and so on.

Using the Create PDF Compatible File option may be required in some areas of design. In this case, select it during the last save (File > Save As…), when the work will be completely ready. Also Create PDF Compatible File option will help you recover Illustrator files after a crash. However, this recovery is not necessary if you use Autosaviour plug-in, which can create a backup copy of the file.

2. Using Linked Images

Along with vector objects, your artwork may also contain raster images. You can place them in the document or they can be the result of certain processes. For example, raster effects after the Expand Appearance command convert into raster images. Any raster graphic in your Illustrator document can be of two types: Linked Images or Embedded Images. Using the Linked Images only can greatly reduce the file size, especially when dealing with large images of high resolution. For example, the file containing the linked Image of Pink rose from Shutterstock has a size of 380Kb. If you embed this image in a document, the file size after saving will be 5527Kb.

Your file may already contain Embedded Images. In this case, you can relink them by clicking Unembed in the Control panel or hit Relink icon in the Links panel (Window > Links).

You can read full version of this tutorial on AstuteGraphics.com....

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