Monday, April 5, 2010

Illustrator CS3 Unknown Error when trying to save a file

I had a user who couldn't save their Illustrator files, but had no trouble doing it the week before. It didn't matter whether she was saving locally or to the server. I tried rebooting and repairing the permissions, but neither worked. Then I trashed the Illustrator CS3 preferences and things went back to normal. If this happens to you and you don't want to lose your file, do a Save As, then pick EPS as the format. It appears that it will still let you save it as an EPS even if you can't save it as an AI file.

This was a Mac OS X 10.4.11 machine. If you're seeing this problem on a Windows install, sorry, but I don't have a fix for you. If you're not familiar with deleting preference files on a Mac, the following will explain what to do. If you have custom settings in Illustrator CS3 I'd suggest writing them down beforehand since removing the preference file will reset Illustrator to its defaults.

1. Close Illustrator CS3 if it is open
2. Go to Macintosh HD->Users->username->Library->Preferences, but substitute your actual username in where it says username
3. This is where your user account preferences are stored. Look for the com.adobe.illustrator.plist file. Move it to your Trash, but you don't need to empty it
4. Now, within your Preferences folder, find the "Adobe Illustrator CS3 Settings" folder and move that to the Trash, but do not empty it
5. Start Illustrator CS3. This should create new preferences files containing the default settings for Illustrator CS3.
6. Open or create a document, then try to save

If you get to step 6 and it works, then you're set. If you had customized settings in Illustrator you will need to set those up again since removing the preferences also removes any customizations to the settings. If you had them but do not remember what they were, you can get your preference files from the Trash, restore them to where you found them, then open Illustrator again. That way you can see what your customizations were, remove the preferences again, then set up the preferences while working with a good set of preference files that allow you to save.

If you still can't save after step #6, you have the option to put the preference files (com.adobe.illustrator.plist and Adobe Illustrator CS3 Settings) back into your Preferences folder and restart Illustrator. That way your settings will be back and you can go on troubleshooting your problem saving without losing any customizations to the application.


{the vintage wren} said...

You are amazing, thanks so much for this info it worked like a charm. Now I can save again, unfortunately I lost some work along the way but I'm so happy to have this problem resolve, and so easily too.

rslygh said...

Thanks for the comment, and I'm glad it worked for you