Import Adobe PDF files

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Create documents
      3. Tools Default keyboard shortcuts | Illustrator
      4. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      5. Artboards
      6. Customize the workspace
      7. Properties panel
      8. Set preferences
      9. Touch Workspace
      10. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      11. Recovery, undo, and automation
      12. Rotate view
      13. Rulers, grids, and guides
      14. Accessibility in Illustrator
      15. Safe Mode
      16. View artwork
      17. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      18. Files and templates
      19. Synchronize settings using Adobe Creative Cloud
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      4. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D effects and Adobe Substance materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Create 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Create text
      2. Fonts and typography
      3. Format type
      4. Import and export text
      5. Format paragraphs
      6. Special characters
      7. Create type on a path
      8. Character and paragraph styles
      9. Tabs
      10. Text and type
      11. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      12. Update text from Illustrator 10
      13. Arabic and Hebrew type
      14. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      15. Create 3D text effect
      16. Creative typography designs
      17. Scale and rotate type
      18. Line and character spacing
      19. Hyphenation and line breaks
      20. Text enhancements
      21. Spelling and language dictionaries
      22. Format Asian characters
      23. Composers for Asian scripts
      24. Create text designs with blend objects
      25. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Import artwork files
      2. Import bitmap images
      3. Import artwork from Photoshop
      4. Place multiple files | Illustrator CC
      5. Unembed images
      6. Import Adobe PDF files
      7. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
      8. Links information
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Export artwork
      2. Collect assets and export in batches
      3. Package files
      4. Create Adobe PDF files
      5. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      6. Adobe PDF options
      7. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash on launch issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. GPU device driver issues
    5. Wacom device issues
    6. DLL file issues
    7. Memory issues
    8. Preferences file issues
    9. Font issues
    10. Printer issues
    11. Share crash report with Adobe

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is a versatile file format that can represent both vector and bitmap data. You can bring artwork from PDF files into Illustrator using the Open command, the Place command, the Paste command, and the drag-and-drop feature.

  • Starting from the March 2018 release of Illustrator CC (version 22.1), use the Open command to import a PDF file into Illustrator. Use the PDF Import Options dialog box to specify if you want to open a single page, a range of pages, or all pages of the PDF file as linked or embedded pages in the Illustrator document.
  • Use the Place command with the Link option selected to import a PDF file (or one page of the PDF if it is a multi-page document) as a single image. You can modify the linked image using transformation tools; however, you cannot select and edit its individual components.
  • Use the Place command with the Link option deselected to edit the contents of a PDF file. Illustrator recognizes the individual components in the PDF artwork and lets you edit each component as a discrete object.
  • Use the Paste command or the drag-and-drop feature to import selected components from a PDF file, including vector objects, bitmap images, and text.

Note: If you are color-managing artwork in a document, embedded PDF images are part of the document and therefore color-managed when sent to a printing device. In contrast, linked PDF images are not color-managed, even if color management is turned on for the rest of the document.

Import an Adobe PDF file

Introduced in the March 2018 release of Illustrator CC

When you open an Adobe PDF file in Illustrator using the File > Open command, you specify which pages you want to import. You can open a single page, a range of pages, or all pages. The page range options appear in the PDF Import Options dialog box. You can view a thumbnail of a page in this dialog box before you import them.

PDF Import Options dialog box

A. Preview a page B. Specify a page number to view its thumbnail C. Import a range of pages D. Import all pages E. Import as a linked file 

  1. In Illustrator, choose File > Open.

  2. In the Open dialog box, select the PDF file, and click Open.

  3. In the PDF Import Options dialog box, do one of the following:

    • To open specific pages, choose Range and then, specify the page numbers.
    • To open the entire document, choose All.

    Note:

    When you import a linked or multi-page PDF, you create a new document. When you import an embedded, single-page PDF, you can either update the original PDF using the Save command or create a new document using the Save As command.

  4. To open the pages of your PDF file as links, check the Import PDF Pages As Links For Optimal Performance check box.

    Note:

    • If you choose All to import the entire PDF document, this check box is selected by default and Illustrator open the pages as links.
    • If you specify a range of pages that you want to import, this checkbox is deselected by default and Illustrator embeds the pages in the document.
  5. Click OK to continue.

    Note:

    When you open a multi-page PDF that exceeds the canvas size, Illustrator displays the following error message: Could not open the complete PDF file, because it exceeds the available drawing area.

    You can click OK to continue.

Adobe PDF placement options

When you place an Adobe PDF file using the File > Place command, you specify which page you want to import. You also choose how to crop the artwork by selecting a Crop To option:

Bounding Box

Places the PDF page’s bounding box, or the minimum area that encloses the objects on the page, including page marks.

Art

Places the PDF only in the area defined by a rectangle that the author created as placeable artwork (for example, clip art).

Crop

Places the PDF only in the area that is displayed or printed by Adobe Acrobat.

Trim

Identifies the place where the final produced page will be physically cut in the production process, if trim marks are present.

Bleed

Places only the area that represents where all page content should be clipped, if a bleed area is present. This information is useful if the page is being output in a production environment. Note that the printed page may include page marks that fall outside the bleed area.

Media

Places the area that represents the physical paper size of the original PDF document (for example, the dimensions of an A4 sheet of paper), including page marks.

Import monotone, duotone, and tritone images from Adobe PDF files

When you import artwork from an Adobe PDF file, it’s possible to introduce data that you can’t create within Illustrator. This is called non-native art and includes monotone, duotone, and tritone images. You can also generate non-native art within Illustrator by using the Flatten Transparency command to preserve spot colors.

Note:

Illustrator’s ability to preserve non-native art is useful in many situations. For example, Illustrator maintains the spot color information in linked PDF files when you output color separations.

By default, non-native art is labeled <Non-Native Art> in the Layers and Appearance panels. You can select, move, save, and perform basic transformations (such as scaling, rotating, or skewing) on non-native art. However, you cannot select and edit its individual components. In addition, you must rasterize non-native art before editing it with the liquify tools.

To convert non-native art to an Illustrator object, choose Object > Rasterize.

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