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Save the Seamless Pattern in the Swatches Panel in EPS10 format

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tips / Small Tutorials/ Comments: 0

Most of you probably noticed that the sample of the seamless pattern in the majority of cases disappears from the Swatches panel after you save your file in eps10 format. This is a minor problem but if you take care of your client and count on long term cooperation then you’ll need to think more about it. Moreover, some microstock websites demand saving the seamless patterns in the Swatches panel (I think Graphicriver for example). Let’s study this problem and try to solve it.

The maximum allowed format of the vector file for the stocks is eps10 which corresponds to the functionality of Adobe Illustrator10 (2001). Can you imagine what dinosaur it is if the current application release has number 18, and it is 2015 after all. No wonder some objects don’t support in the Swatches panel. My little research identified such objects. So, the list of objects which cannot be saved in the Swatches panel under any conditions:

  • Clipping Mask
  • Opacity Mask
  • Gradient Fill
  • Gradient Mesh
  • Gradient on Stroke

And here is a list of objects which can be saved in the Swatches panel in eps10 format:

  • Flat fill
  • Uniform and variable width stroke
  • Brush stroke
  • Objects with transparency
  • Envelope Distort objects

Even if you use these ‘allowed’ objects you’re not hundred percent safe that the pattern swatch still will be saved. Simply if you used the new Pattern Maker Function (Ai CS6-CC18) for saving your seamless pattern then in many cases the pattern swatch will disappear from the Swatches panel. Surely, you can create pattern with the help of this useful tool but you’ll need to prepare the pattern in a very special way:

Drag the pattern from the Swatches panel into your work area. And now the pattern swatch can be deleted from the panel.

Get rid of all clipping masks (Object > Clipping Mask > Release (Alt+Ctrl+7)). Delete the clipping path.

Ungroup all the objects by maximum. Automatic grouping with the help of Pattern Maker function can also cause the disappearance of the pattern swatch.

Make sure that all the objects patterns are selected including the rectangle with no fill and no stroke in the very bottom of stack of objects (this object in most cases limits the visibility of the pattern tile).

Group all the objects (it’s not necessary, I just feel calmer that way) and drag the group back into the Swatches panel.

And now let’s try saving the file in the eps10 format. Here we go! Our swatch of seamless pattern remained in the Swatches panel.

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