Adobe Illustrator problem - linked images errors

I’ve been using Illustrator for all my files, and suddenly I’m having problems. I am not an expert with it by any means, but I’ve been using it for years now for everything I make to cut.

I make items to sell, and have the base items saved. When I get custom orders, I edit the file and save a copy, with images embedded. I’ve done this thousands of times.

About two weeks ago, after saving a file and trying to open it in Glowforge, I get a linked images error. Ok, I think maybe it defaulted to linked and I missed that. I go back, resave the file (which I had left open) under a different name, am very careful about choosing embedded, but same problem. I’m not sure what’s causing it. Once it starts doing it, I usually can’t get any file to save without this issue. The original file will still open in Glowforge without errors, though. It happens almost every day now.

When this error has cropped up, I see that Illustrator has created a folder in the location where I saved the edited version, with a name like A78F8F48.png, which is empty, and a file A78F8F48.png.tmp$$. I don’t get any error messages during saving. I don’t see the folder or temp file when I save the file and it all works properly.

If I close the edited file in Illustrator, then try to open it in Illustrator again, I get the error:
Could not find the linked file “”. Choose replace to select another file or Ignore to leave the link unchanged.
I’ve tried replacing, with no success.
If I ignore, I see:
Some files are missing or modified in the Links panel. Would you like to update them now?
If I try yes, it gives me the “could not find…” again.

This time, for the first time, I was able to go back to my edited file (which I keep open in Illustrator) and saved it with a new name, and it opened in Glowforge just fine. Usually, that doesn’t work. Normally what I end up doing is closing Illustrator and restarting Illustrator and having to edit the original file again (which can be really annoying, especially if I’ve already sent my customer a sample image, and then I’m trying to make sure it’s exactly the same. (But at least I have the sample!)

This is adding SO much time to my work, and is getting extremely frustrating, because I have no idea what’s causing it. It seems so random.

Is anyone seeing anything similar, or have any ideas what I should check? I’m afraid I have no experience with linked images in Illustrator. I see that there was an update to Illustrator a few days ago, but the problem began before that. I’m not sure if there was a previous update about the time this started.

What format are you saving to, ai? Do you get the same error saving as Illustrator .pdf?

This is very elementary - but do you reboot often? As in at least a few times a week?
Adobe run time errors tend to compound if you don’t.

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Embedding is a two step process, requiring that you click the linked images whilst in AI and embed then. When saving as SVG (for example), you need to specify embed instead of link, or the save process will extract them to temp files that are linked to the main file.


That’s how it works in Inkscape. Haven’t used Illustrator in years but seems like it was the same, you get to choose.

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I pretty much only ever save files as .svg. It has been working for years only specifying ‘embed’ while saving, I’ve never done it any other way. I haven’t changed this recently, so I’m not sure why the sudden, sporadic difficulty.

And these are also generally not images that I’ve added from elsewhere. Usually it’s text I add in AI then rasterize. I’ve never clicked on anything and specified embed - I didn’t even know that was an option.

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You’re missing out for general saving purposes, SVG is a pretty limited file format.
Give PDF a try? Preserves all of AI’s capabilities and can be uploaded to GF.
If PDF works you’ve at least narrowed the problem down to the SVG saving workflow.

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As stated above, SVG does not automatically embed images, it’s just a container file format despite the misleading name.

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Save as PDF, no matter what your source files are, always edit then save as PDF. Your original source file will remain untouched, the PDF will include all the edits, and it’s easier to keep things organized this way because you have the option of naming the file in a manner that identifies the client.

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Just change to embed in the image location dropdown when saving as an SVG.


I can try that. When I started, I saw that SVG was a file type I could cut, so I just stuck with that, since it worked fine, and did what I needed it to do.

What does PDF add?

Yes, I do know that with SVG I need to specify to embed. I’ve been doing it this way for years, and once in a great while I forget to check and I might accidentally save as linked. That’s not what’s happening here, though. What’s bugging me is how inconsistent it is. It’ll work every time one day, then the next day, on the fourth file, it’ll mess up. And I definitely did select ‘embed’ when saving.

I will try rebooting much more frequently, and see if that helps.

I haven’t had any problems other than this suddenly starting two weeks ago. I have my originals saved as SVG, open one, add customization, and save a copy under another name. It’s worked fine.

I can try PDF and see if it’s better. I hadn’t realized that was a format I could use for Glowforge, and hadn’t previously had any reason to look for another method.

I can’t help but feel that some Illustrator update messed things up, because I haven’t changed anything on my end, but I’m not seeing anyone else complaining of this behavior.

Sorry for my ignorance. I’d never used Illustrator prior to getting the Glowforge, so I just taught myself what I needed. I don’t know all the finer points.


SVG is fine for a final output file to send to GF or share with others but it’s not great as a working file type because it won’t retain any Illustrator specific features like layers, brush styles, live paint, text effects, etc. This matters if you ever want to go back and make changes.
The native .AI format retains the most, in recent versions of AI the Illustrator PDF format option, with “preserver Illustrator editing capabilities” checked, will retain everything, too. :slight_smile:
PDF also eliminates the SVG scaling problem some people run into.

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