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Thread: Converting pdf file into a Illustrator or Photoshop file

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Converting pdf file into a Illustrator or Photoshop file

    Hi all,

    Is there a way to convert a pdf file into an .ai or .psd file preserving all my layers that I had in my .ai and .psd file?

    From Acrobat I did do a "Save As" a .eps file and when I open it and even "Place" it into Illustrator it groups the image into one layer and then sublayers. I would like all the graphic pieces on separate layers (as how my original file was). And/or is there any way to ungroup the image?

    Any help or suggestions as to how I can covert the only file I have - which is my pdf file into a layered Illustrator or Photoshop file?


  2. #2

    instead of place, just use 'open'

    if it's a multipage, I have no idea.

    (pdfs and ai share the same postscript format, they are more or less similar)

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Hi mlk,

    thanks for your response. It's not multi-page, and the "Open" just opens the file and places it on the working area.

    Maybe a software program might do the trick? Not sure which one though.

    Any other suggestions?


  4. #4
    could you post a sample, I have trouble understanding your problem ?

    Are you looking for a way to ungroup path items and have them as single level 0 elements (ie no groups, no layers, no clipping paths) ?

  5. #5
    with your initial save to a pdf from illustrator; did you select 'retain illustration editability?"

  6. #6
    @soulty even if you didn't most of the artwork can still be edited

  7. #7
    and besides, who said it's his pdf.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mlk View Post
    @soulty even if you didn't most of the artwork can still be edited
    yeah, i know what you mean, just sounded like he wanted to retain how the original ai and psd doc's had with their layer structure via the pdf. If you don't tick this in AI all your work is grouped or flattened to one layer when you try to open the pdf in ai.

    and puppy you never know, might be materials he got from his clients or a external design department.

  9. #9
    You cannot convert a .pdf into a working .psd file with active layers. Once a .pdf has been created via illustrator, quark, photoshop .. etc .. that file is useless in terms of a working .psd.

    Besides, if you open a .pdf that wasn't created in Photoshop, you have to rasterize the file before photoshop even thinks about opening it. Therefore = no layers ..

    As far as loading or being able to edit a .pdf in Illustrator, yes I know this is possible. Like .soulty mentioned you can save a .pdf so that it is not flattened. Off the top of my head I can't give you specific directions, but I know if an .ai document is saved as a .pdf it can be re-opened in Illustrator and edited.

  10. #10
    Well I guess it's impossible convert PDF to Ill. or Phot. with lossless

  11. #11
    by lossless, do you mean merged layers or image quality ?
    (if you're not using smart objects, you are bound to lose quality as you are working with raster/bitmap objects)

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Hi all,

    thanks so much for everyone's responses - it's really appreciated! At least with the my previous versions of my Illustrator and Photoshop (version 9 or at least CS) files, I swear I was able to re-open my pdf files in Illustrator or Photoshop and keep all layers and everything intact.

    I probably didn't check the box to retain my layers and so I confidently deleted my psd and ai files (to save space). So now I only have my pdf file and when I do a "Save As" I can save into an .eps file, but that doesn't help me at all because it puts all my graphics still on one layer. But now I know what I can't do now (which is convert my pdf file to an .ai or .psd) and what I need to do in the future (check the box to retain layers).

    Thanks again

  13. #13
    glad to help, just a question though, Are you sure you opened a psd from a pdf file? or did you open the pdf in photoshop?

    I don't think you can 'link' your .psd within a pdf and then safely deleted that psd. In theory you shouldn't be able to open the psd from a saved pdf without the .psd file, even if it was linked or embedded (well embedded you will only be able to edit the graphic which will be a flattened image).

  14. #14
    Registered User
    hi there soulty,

    as far as i can remember, i was able to open my pdf file in photoshop, and when I opened it all my layers that i had created in photoshop were still there, but i guess i'm remembering incorrectly since obviously there is no way for me to do that now.

    but again i really appreciate all the responses and thoughts.

    thanks again!

  15. #15

    Photoshop _ They CAN DO IT _ But, they WON'Y _ And we PAY for that !!!

    If you think of the process to import a PDF into Photoshop, then you easily find out that, at one point or another, Photoshop handles the multiple layers of images, vector designs ... etc, and then rasterizes all this to the dimension that you've chosen.
    If this wasn't the case, this would result, for instance, in getting a very blurry layer whenever you decide to import a rather small PDF vector design to a much bigger dimension ... THIS IS NOT THE CASE. In fact the vector information is kept until the rasterization process within Photoshop.
    Why did Adobe decide not to give you access to the vector layers ? Well that's another BIG question !!!

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