Adobe Illustrator is an illustration program that comes with the Adobe Creative Suite. It also has the capability of opening and saving PDF files. In fact, when you save an Illustrator file as a PDF, it automatically turns on the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities so you can open it in Illustrator again to do editing.

Because Illustrator allows you to open PDF files, some people try to use it as a general PDF editor. This is not generally a good idea. You run the risk of ruining your PDF file, especially if it is created by a non-Adobe application. Often you’ll get a warning about this as you’re opening a file.

I created a PDF in Microsoft Word using PostScript Type 1 Bauer Bodoni. This is what it looks like when the PDF is viewed in Adobe Acrobat.





When I try to open this PDF on another computer where Bauer Bodoni is not installed to edit it, I get the message that the PDF will be reinterpreted with a substitute font. This is the way it opens up.






If the PDF has very simple content, say a vector logo, it may work. But often subtle changes will occur to the file, and it won’t print correctly. It’s better to use an application that’s intended for PDF editing, like Enfocus Pitstop to edit PDF files.











Examining the PDF you send to your printer gives you more control over your job, and assures you that it will print the way you expect.