Embed same image many times in Illustrator?
August 6, 2010 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to embed the same jpg image many times in a single PDF in Illustrator CS5?

I'm working on a multipage document in Illustrator CS5. I need to send it to the client as a PDF file.

There is a big jpg image that I need to embed in every page. The problem is that Illustrator is treating every instance of this image as a new object and the resulting file is huge. Is there a way to tell it to reuse the same embedded image?

I know that I can keep the jpg outside illustrator and link to it many times, but this is not an option because I need to send one single multipage file to the client.

Help please?

posted by Tom-B to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
This should be called a symbol, but I don't know whether it will prevail in the PDF. Can you convert the image to a symbol and try?
posted by oxit at 10:36 AM on August 6, 2010

I don't understand. Is the Illustrator file huge or the PDF? Frankly, if it's a high-res jpg and it has to be on every page of the document, it's probably going to be a big PDF, especially if you can't downsample it. If you can downsample it, then work with it as linked image while you create the file, then specify the amount of downsampling the file can tolerate when you export to PDF.
posted by devinemissk at 10:38 AM on August 6, 2010

Also, do you need to be working in Illustrator? Can you work in InDesign and just use Illustrator to create the vector-based images you need? InDesign handles jpgs better than Illustrator, in my experience.
posted by devinemissk at 10:40 AM on August 6, 2010

Honestly, this is the danger of using Illustrater for multipage layouts; It simply doesn't have all the layout tools of InDesign.

The problem is that Illustrator is treating every instance of this image as a new object and the resulting file is huge.

Define huge and for what purpose are you calling it huge? Is it too huge to send over email? Too huge for the client to swiftly open? Defining that could help people give you more helpful answers.
posted by nomadicink at 10:45 AM on August 6, 2010

Hi, thanks for the interest everyone. More info:

This is what I'm working on:

It's a typography & UX guide for a big corporate website (please don't mention this client's name in thread so we're safe from Google).

The destination format is a PDF for emailing and online viewing.

Essentialy, it's the same screenshots repeated over and over with diagrams pointing to the various items. In these two pages we have a site screenshot repeated 3 times - once for a full-page overview, once on the next page as an icon and a blown-up detail view.

Why a single jpg? The designers are still working on small details, and we want to be able to update the "official" site screenshot once and have the change replicated automatically for the whole document. So, slicing and dicing it in Photoshop is not an option.

Why downsampling is not an option: It's a style guide, so the images must be extra crisp.

Why illustrator? It's my favorite app :-) Also, we need to draw and redraw various diagrams. The ones on the spread I'm showing you are simple, but things get complicated later on.

Also, I am making the blowup view by placing the whole jpg, applying a rectangular clipping mask and blurring out the edges with 4 smaller rectangles with white -> transparent gradients over the edges - is that stupid?

Anyway, in the whole document I'm using 2 site screenshots, they're 1.5MB each. They repeat 16 times. Intelligence says the resulting filesize should be around 3MB+vectors. Acceptable.

The resulting PDF weighs around 7MB, not acceptable anymore.

My concern: I go on doing it like this, end up with huge files and have to redo it in some other way.

So what's the smart move?
posted by Tom-B at 7:06 AM on August 10, 2010

The resulting PDF weighs around 7MB, not acceptable anymore.

Why? 7mb isn't that much, is their corporate limit small? Or is there another reason?

In this situations, I just put the PDF on my website and send the client a link to it so they can download it or view it online.
posted by nomadicink at 10:22 AM on August 10, 2010

Yeah, it's 7MB for 9 pages and 2 jpgs, but what happens when it grows to say 30 pages and 10 jpgs?
posted by Tom-B at 6:19 AM on August 11, 2010

Seriously, this is why people do page layout in InDesign.

Did you try the making the image a Symbol in Illustrator? What happened there?
posted by nomadicink at 6:26 AM on August 11, 2010

thanks oxit, symbols are the way to go.
posted by Tom-B at 7:21 PM on October 22, 2010

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