Adobe Illustrator, as with other Adobe programs, is built on core PDF technology. In fact, the native Adobe Illustrator file format is PDF, and as such it is one of the best applications supporting direct export to PDF.
Illustrator has evolved to a sophisticated integration with PDF and supports the following: transparency, editing capability, layers, blending modes, text, and filters.
Further integration with the program in non- PDF workflows embraces exports for Web design where its current iteration supports one-step optimization for formats such as GIF, JPEG, PNG, SWF, and SVG.
To export PDF files from Adobe Illustrator, you use the File > Save command. The format options available to you include the native Illustrator format (Adobe Illustrator Document), Illustrator EPS (eps), Illustrator Template (ait), Adobe PDF (pdf), SVG Compressed (scgz), and SVG (svg).
Illustrator, choose File > Save from a new document window. A Save dialog box opens that enables you to name the file, choose the destination, and select one of the formats just noted. Additional file formats appear in the Export dialog box (File > Export).
Formats supported in this dialog box include BMP (bmp), Targa (tga), PNG (png), AutoCAD Drawing (dwg), AutoCAD Interchange File (dxf), Enhanced Metafile (emf), Macromedia Flash (swf)—soon to be labeled Adobe Flash, JPEG (jpg), Macintosh PICT (pct), Photoshop (psd), TIFF (tif), Text Format (txt), and Windows Metafile (wmf).
If you choose Adobe Illustrator (.AI) as the file format click Save, the Illustrator Options dialog box opens. In this dialog box you have an option to Create a PDF Compatible File. Check the box and click OK and your Illustrator document is saved in native format that can be opened directly in Acrobat. No other PDF conversion is necessary.
If you want to convert to PDF from a layered Illustrator document and have the layers appear in Acrobat, you need to save your Illustrator file as Adobe PDF. (*.PDF) When you select Acrobat PDF and click the Save button, the Save Adobe PDF dialog box opens with many similar settings found when saving Photoshop files.
A few differences appear in the Save Adobe PDF dialog box when you compare the options to Photoshop. These options are as follows:
- General. In the General tab you find two additional settings. The Create Adobe PDF Layers from Top Level Layers check box is active for Acrobat 6 compatibility files and later. Check the box when you want an Illustrator file exported to PDF with Adobe PDF Layers.
- Compression. The appearance of the Compression pane is different than Photoshop but you have all the options for downsampling files and the same compression options as found in Photoshop.
- Marks and Bleeds. Click Marks and Bleeds in the left pane and the options in the right pane change to settings you can apply for setting printer’s marks. Options are similar to those you find when setting marks in the Acrobat Print dialog box.
- Output. The same color conversion and support for PDF/X compliance options are available to Illustrator as found in Photoshop. One option is added in Illustrator to mark the file if the source document uses trapping.
- Advanced. Illustrator has an Advanced pane where Font subsetting, overprint assignments, and transparency flattening options appear, as shown in Figure 1.