How to save as PDF, not as internet file

****edited to add: I found a way to set the default app to something else, but now I can’t find a pdf app for windows 10 that will let me edit the document in inkscape. Does anyone have an idea? I tried Sumatra PDF but it doesn’t allow edits. Thanks!

I’m having a problem that keeps cropping up, and google searches aren’t helping…
I recently got a new computer and every time I try to design a file or use an application (such as a box generator), it saves as an epdf instead of an actual PDF, basically just saving the link. Therefore I am unable to make edits in Inkscape. I’m a newbie (just getting started with design), but I never had this problem with my old computer! Anyone know how I can change this? Is there some sort of settings I’m missing TIA!
5 inch box.pdf (15.6 KB)

Maybe tied to the settings? Do the programs you’re using have an option to save as another file type? (sometimes they are really sneaky about it). If not, may just be that program just doesn’t allow it…

My limited experience with Inkscape is it’s vector based–I’ve not tried opening a pdf file with it. You may be able to import it, though.

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When the eFile opens up, right click on it and choose Save As from the popout. It should download to your usual Downloads folder.

You might be right, but I did find that make a box website through this forum:

I just assumed it would be compatible somehow?

Thanks for the help, but it just gives the option “save link as…”. Do you know if Inkscape is able to edit pdf files? Or do they have to be svg?

Using a Windows10 laptop at, once you click on the Download PDF button, a copy of that PDF is automatically saved to your Downloads folder.

If you want to open that in Inkscape, open Inkscape and choose File> Import. Then browse to your Downloads folder to open it.

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I don’t use my windows machines for design at all, but I notice that the default PDF viewer on mine is Microsoft Edge.
Have you tried using Adobe Reader as the default PDF viewer? Makes more sense to me than Edge.

and here’s how to do it, in case you don’t know:
Change default programs in Windows 10

  1. On the Start menu, select Settings .
  2. Select Apps > Default apps.
  3. Select which default you want to set, and then choose the app. You can also get new apps in Microsoft Store. …
  4. To choose default apps by file type (for example, .pdf files), scroll down and select Choose default apps by file type.

Thanks for your reply. When I do that, I get this pop up. When I click ‘ok’ it appears as one cohesive unit (like a screenshot), and I’m unable to edit it.

Thank you. My problem now is Inkscape won’t let me edit a PDF file :confused:

Sorry, I can’t help with inkscape. FWIW, the PDF you posted in opens fine for me in illustrator, and the are no obvious problems with it. I’ve re-saved it as an SVG for you to mess with while you wait for an inkscape user to show up here and give insight.



One thing that most people don’t realize is that a PDF can contain either rasterized content or vector content. (I don’t generally use make-a-box, it sounds like it might be coming over rasterized.)

You can use the Inkscape Auto-Trace program to turn the bitmap image into a quick editable vector file, but make sure you do a Centerline Trace - otherwise you’ll get double cut lines.

Update: Ignore this.


I will try it, thank you!!!

I don’t think that’s the case, the PDF they posted was all vector.

Some earlier versions had issues with PDF. The current build should handle them fine.

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Yeah, was trying to avoid having to open it in Inkscape, but just opened it in Inkscape…it’s vector, all you need to do is Ungroup it.

Path> Break Apart. Then Ungroup. (And it comes across with 0% opacity, no stroke settings, so you need to set those up first.)


I was just about to post that all I had to do was ungroup facepalm, when I saw your post. I feel like an idiot. Thx


Just a little shot of adrenaline, nothing all of us haven’t experienced before. Welcome to the club! :sunglasses:


Thanks so much for the help, @Jules and @jbv!

It sounds like you’re good to go now, but I want to make sure before closing this thread. Are you still having any trouble getting your files to save in the correct format?

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Nope, I’m good to go, thanks for checking!

Great! If you have any other questions, please let us know. You can start a new thread, or email us at Happy printing!