Help me paste graphics into Adobe Illustrator
February 19, 2007 2:20 AM   Subscribe

I can't paste graphics from any other application to Adobe Illustrator CS2, on a Mac. Whenever I try, i get the inane message, 'Quicktime and a TIFF (uncompressed) decompressor are need to see this picture'. Needless to say, I have QuickTime installed.

For example, open Safari, go to apple.com, right-click any picture and hit 'Copy image'. Go to Illustrator, hit cmd-V. A frame appears containing the error message. I have QuickTime, and it seems fairly clear from Google that it should support TIFF by default.

Questions:

1. Is this normal behaviour? Can anyone ever do this successfully?

2. Have I somehow broken my QuickTime installation? Currently, /Library/QuickTime/ contains: Flip4Mac WMV Import.component, AppleIntermediateCodec.component, OggImport.component, DivX Decoder.component, Perian.component, DivX Encoder.component, Theora.component, Flip4Mac WMV Export.component. Am I missing something from the standard set? Is one of these codecs notoriously broken?
posted by beniamino to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
 
Have you tried saving the image from Safari, and then File -> Place in Illustrator?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:35 AM on February 19, 2007


Yes, that (and anything else involving saving and loading into Illustrator) works fine. It's only the clipboard that is broken.
posted by beniamino at 2:56 AM on February 19, 2007


I'd suggest your CS2 installation is broken.

Currently, /Library/QuickTime/ contains

That folder starts off empty and is for adding plugins. It might be worth moving them all out to see if one of them is breaking it.

The standard QuickTime plugins are stored in /System/Library/QuickTime/, though I'd imagine things like TIFF support aren't plug-ins at all.

(btw, This distinction between /Library/ and /System/Library/ applies for everything, not just QuickTime)
posted by cillit bang at 3:05 AM on February 19, 2007


I'm not sure you'll find a solution, since the only plug-in to view TIFF files in Safari is the Quicktime TIFF plug-in, so you're stuck with however it is encoding the image data before putting it into the Clipboard.

You might want to change your workflow so as to not deal with TIFF files to begin with, instead working with (for example) PNG files, if you need to copy and paste. This may or may not be possible for you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:11 AM on February 19, 2007


Just to be clear, I'm not using any TIFF files at any point.
posted by beniamino at 4:03 AM on February 19, 2007


I've never been able to do this (paste jpgs or gifs directly from the clipboard to Illustrator) going back to PS7 and AI10. I always copy/paste to Photoshop first and then copy/paste from PS to Illustrator.
posted by maniactown at 4:11 AM on February 19, 2007


Is this just using Safari? I can't drag images from Safari straight into Illustrator (exact error you describe) but dragging from Firefox is fine. Try copying from Firefox.

Can you copy from Photoshop then paste into Illustrator?
posted by twistedonion at 4:53 AM on February 19, 2007


The action you describe is normal.
I don't know the actual mechanics for it, but I think it goes something like this:

When you do a "copy image" from, for instance, Safari, you are copying the actual data...the pixels...and not an actual file (the jpeg, gif or whatever). If you notice, when you do that "copy" from Safari, Illustrator doesn't even recognize that there's anything on the clipboard to paste ("Paste" is grayed-out). It doesn't recognize the mass of pixels as anything it knows.

This is the same when you try a copy/paste from Photoshop into Illustrator. You can't just grab a handful of pixels and paste them into Illustrator. Oddly, you CAN drag/drop an image from Photoshop into an open Illustrator file. I believe this action converts the image into a psuedo-file (or, at least, a container) that Illustrator can handle.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:58 AM on February 19, 2007


Remember, Illustrator is a vector-based editor...not a raster-based editor (despite all the raster-based effects it can now apply) It's just doesn't know what to do with a bunch o' loose pixels.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:59 AM on February 19, 2007


Remember, Illustrator is a vector-based editor...not a raster-based editor (despite all the raster-based effects it can now apply) It's just doesn't know what to do with a bunch o' loose pixels.

That is false. You can insert raster data into Illustrator documents. It's pasting that's broken, specifically.

This is a bug in Illustrator, as far as I know. The workaround is to use the Place command.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:02 AM on February 19, 2007


Just download the latest version of quicktime and reinstall. If that doesn't work just take the photoshop installer and reinstall from there. Unless you did some sort of custom install to begin with where files were placed in non-traditional locations you'll restore things that need to be there, and third party files like flip4mac will not be disturbed.

This isn't a bug in Illustrator... I just did it using CS2. Pasting from Illustrator to Photoshop offfers a choice of placing the data a few different ways: actual pixels, smart object, shape layer, path
posted by bcnarc at 9:05 AM on February 19, 2007


I've gotten this a lot too, it only seems to happen when copying from Safari to Illustrator. I always figured that Adobe just rushed CS2 and broke some stuff in the process.
posted by lekvar at 1:21 PM on February 19, 2007


I get the same message dragging images from iPhoto to Photoshop... I think it might be some kind of rosetta weirdness as I'm on an intel MacBook Pro. I presume this will be fixed with the UB releases of CS3

If I 'show info' on the picture, open it in finder then open with Photoshop, it works fine. It's only the drag-n-drop functionality that seems to be pissed off.
posted by ReiToei at 8:18 AM on February 21, 2007


This isn't a bug in Illustrator... I just did it using CS2. Pasting from Illustrator to Photoshop offfers a choice of placing the data a few different ways: actual pixels, smart object, shape layer, path

That doesn't rule out "bug". It simply means that you cannot trigger whatever it is.
posted by Mikey-San at 10:14 PM on February 28, 2007


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