March 17, 2011

Convert PDF Pages to Illustrator Artboards

Each time I show someone the Artboards feature in Illustrator, inevitably, the first question I get is always "so can I open a multi-page PDF file in Illustrator and have it open as a single Illustrator will multiple artboards"?

Sadly, Illustrator can still only open or place one page of a PDF at a time. So you'd have a lot of manual work on your hands -- basically creating your own artboards and then importing the PDF pages one at a time....

OR, you can do it the efficient way and use a script :)

Back when Artboards was first introduced in CS4, my friend and scripting guru Shane Stanley created an AppleScript that would basically allow you to drop any multipage PDF file on it -- and it would turn it into a mutli-artboard Illustrator file, with all the PDF pages -- in one step! Being that the script is written in AppleScript, it will only run on MacOS. The original script didn't support CS5 or Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

I'm happy to announce that Shane has graciously taken the time to update his script, so it now works for CS5 and also works on Mac OS 10.6. If you use the script, Shane has humbly requested that in lieu of paying him, you instead make a donation to help those in need in Christchurch and Japan. He suggested this organization, or the Red Cross.

You can download the script here.
**UPDATE** People have reported that the script works in CS6 and CC as well.

92 comments:

Gary Spedding said...

Ok Mordy - the inevitable question. What chance for a Windows platform version of this script?

Mordy Golding said...

I can't say, Gary. Shane is an AppleScript guru, so I don't know if he knows how to convert this to VB Script to run on Windows.

אלכסיי קלצל said...

Thank you, Mordy.

אלכסיי קלצל said...

Thank you, Mordy.

Komodo Island is the New 7 Wonders of The World said...

hi many thanks for sharing the pdf converter that...I have download the script...

best regards :)

Anonymous said...

still doesn't work for cs5

Stompy said...

Many Thanks it worked a treat

Anonymous said...

What am I missing....I push my PDF file on top of the .app and it opens the application but it doesnt' seem to do anything. Would love to have this working. Please help.

Scott said...

It works great, I just unzipped, dragged to my desktop and made sure I had CS5 open already. It created a document with 64 pages/artboards with out a hickup. Thanks for the script!

Anonymous said...

It worked perfectly for me. I had Illustrator CS5 open, dragged the pdf onto the app (inside of the app directory) and it converted the pdf pages to artboards inside of a single ai document.

Many thanks Mordy/Shane

Chris said...

Yeah. Still doesn't work. What am I missing? Anyone?

Richard said...

@ Chris, the script is a drag and drop application. Drop your PDF file on the icon and then the script will run. Illustrator CS5 doesn't have to be running because the script will open it. Do not place inside the Illustrator scripting folder and try and work it from the application because it will not work. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Is this script still available for Illustrator CS4?

HAppyHAnds said...

Love the ide, but me aswell as another cant get it to work with cs5, the dialog box taht shows when installing said something with cs4..- but when i drag my pdf to my illustrator icon nothing new happens. Im still asked witch i want to open...

Nicolás Franky said...

Thank you very much, works like a charm.

Xaime Aneiros said...

I was wrong! it really works even in CS5.1 the problem was the distance between the pages, I let it in default and it was just too much and the pages where place out of the working area, I change that to 1cm and work really good!

Thanks!

Unknown said...

Thank you! It worked fantastic and you just saved me something like two hours of work!

basquiatgirl said...

OMG I super appreciate this!! Thank you so much for sharing! YOU super rock! Happy Halloween!

Anonymous said...

Thanks bud, saves alot of hassle

Rachel Loh said...

Does this work with Windows 7? The icon is not showing. When I drag the PDF to PkgInfo nothing happens. Correct me if I'm wrong.

chris said...

donation made! thanks!

Anonymous said...

I would really love to get this working but am having the same problem that it looks like a few others have had. I saw the comment by Richard about how to install, which is what I did, and it still only opens the application but no document in illustrator. This could be really helpful - anyone have ideas? I have CS5 and mac 10.5.8

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. Worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, I just posted a win/mac script in the Adobe forums, get the script and follow the comments here
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/946055?tstart=0

or get the script here
http://www.fileswap.com/dl/QDc2eDC9v4/AI_openMultiPagePDF_CS4_CS5.zip.html

enjoy
Carlos Canto

Tampa Photographer said...

It worked! Very cool. I mostly use Photoshop, but this will definitely come in handy for my Illustrator stuff.

Anonymous said...

thankyou so much! Shane is the MAN!!!!!!! That has saved me time and effort and more importantly my patience!!!! thankyou xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!! I'm using CS5. On my first attempts something was goin wrong in the 9th page. But then I discovered that that artboards weren't fitting tha illustrator page. So, for multi(many)pages PDF file, its recommended to reduce the spacing of artboards and use more columns!
Thx a lot again!

Anonymous said...

SHANE IS A BALLER!!!

evo said...

Doesn't seem to work with Lion :(

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!! Works great for me, OS X Lion, CS 5.5


Cheers

nathan said...

Thanks!!! Works great for me, OS X Lion, CS 5.5


Cheers

jago said...

THANK you it worked great. You are a hero. One question. All of my text, logos, art is created to outlines - is there an easy fix for this or do I have to paste all of the text back?

YOU ROCK!

jago said...

Hello : sorry for the double post but I'm not sure my first one posted... ONE QUESTION: the converter worked! YOU ARE A GENIUS.. but now all my text is separated into single lines and words - anyway to avoid having to retype the text?

mitko_zephyr said...

Hi, :) evereybody!

A long time ago Im searching for script wich convert AI layers to AI artboards. There was only on plugin wich convert layers directly into the pdf pages, but it is very slow.
Is there a script wich convert layers to artboards?

thank you !!!

Southpaw Grafix said...

Thank you very much!!!!!

Wm said...

IT WORKED...... Thank you so much. I have been fighting this problem for so long.

Tiff Time said...

I am so happy right now! Lots of hours saved by using this script. Thanks so much!

Tiff Time said...

Great script. Has saved me hours of work. Thanks so much!

Craig Kean said...

Big advantage is that it also works in CS6!

Craig Kean said...

Big advantage is that it also works in CS6! Fantastic little script

Paolo Leone said...

should it work also on Illustrator Cs6 (Italian version?) I drag a PDF on the icon, it starts and also starts AI, but.. that's all - no artowrk is created :8 Any suggestion? TIA,
Paolo

Neha Malhotra said...

Woah! Thank you so much! Been struggling with this for days, it worked great for me.

Paolo Leone said...

It works now - I was trying using it dragging from a LAN server. I dragged the files on my desktop, then in the script's icon.. voilà!

THANKS!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I also got it to work on CS5. Had to place both the script and the file on the desktop and then it worked great.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much. This saved me a lot of work and frustration!

hainesmorgan said...

This is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Thanks for saving me a ton of time!

Carol said...

Hey it won't work for me I really want it to work but keeps saying

Adobe Illustrator got an error: Can’t get page item 1 of document 1. (-1728)

Event: doProcess(1, 20.0, 9, "acrossdown", false)
Script: application

and then
Adobe Illustrator got an error: Can’t get page item 1 of document 1. (-1728)

Event: action button id -115 of window id -102
Script: button "ok" of window "main" of application


Can anyone help? I am using CS5 on a Mac.

Hilton said...

Fantastic script.
Well worth a donation.
Many thanks.

boyfeature said...

this is awesome!! Thx so much!!!

Anantjeet said...

Fantastic! Shane & Mordy, hats off to you. A BIG heartfelt thankyou! :)

Anonymous said...

Works like a charm on CS5 on OSX, but I have the weirdest problem. All my text boxes didn't convert to outlines or separate into multiple text boxes - instead, the words that were in the boxes converted to symbols entirely, like "Shape" became "$!#"&". So now my artwork's titles all look like swear words haha. What a weird little quirk.

RINA said...

Thanks for sharing this, I was about to start writing a script with the same goal. Also thank your friend for me!

Cheers from Brazil.

Fikri said...

great script!! thanks

Daniel Cavanaugh said...

This script isn't working for me. I'm using Illustrator CS5 and Mac OS 10.6

Anyone else have this problem and found a way to resolve?

Anonymous said...

Saved my life! THANK YOU!

kristin adkins said...

Won't work for CS6, fyi.

kristin adkins said...

Won't work in CS6, fyi

Anonymous said...

Beautiful script. It worked for me as well.
Only one improvement suggestion, all the text is converted to graphics. So I am not able to edit any of the text, I have to write all the text again.

If this feature can be added in future, it would prove very useful.

btw. I used OSX Lion 10.8.3 and Illustrator CS6
So it seems to work with higher OS versions.

Unknown said...

Works fine here, Mac OS 10.6.8 and Illustrator CS5 (15.0)

AWesome!

Gordon Burns said...

Yes all the text is line by line text objects. To edit the text you really need to remove and start again. Is there any way to merge text objects into one. changing a headline or page number is easy and it works great. This on Mac 10.6 and CS5

Ira Ali said...

It works on the CS6 as well! Thank you so much for making our lives easier Shane! lol

Apostle Wilkerson said...

Thank you so much, Shane! This also works in CC, folks. Now, if you could bless us with one for PC, lol. Shane, you are a blessing, sir! And thank you as well Mordy, please give my regards to all the gang at InDesign Secrets and Lynda.

YBIH,

wing wah said...

YEAH!!!! BOOM WORKS SO WELL MASSIVE HELP!

rhare said...

Thanks. Works with CS5 on my MacPro

Anonymous said...

Big thanks!

Andrea said...

Massive help on CS6!

Anonymous said...

coreldraw is the answer

Yoram Oshri said...

Hi
I need the script but it is not available
Can someone send it 2 me
Many 10x in advance
Yoram Oshri

NORTY said...

OMG uve saved me hours of work - THANKYOU :)

Daniel Ruuth said...

Seems to have stopped working in Maverick for obvious reasons, anyone seen a fix around?

/D

Simon Rudduck said...

Daniel Ruuth,

Yes, sadly I have had no luck using it on Mavericks also. Sigh. I have an AWFUL lot of files to process and this would have saved me 15 hours this week.

Steve Austin said...

I just wet myself watching it save me about 30 minutes of work.

The issues with Maverick is exactly why I never upgrade until the new OS has been out for a while.

Anonymous said...

Worked very well using CS6 and Mavericks. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!! Works perfect!!!

Cristian Farres Grau said...

Hello!! I have a problem running the app on Mavericks 10.9.1 and AI CC. When I drag a PDF into it, Illustrator runs but does not open the app importing menu, instead of this, appears a message that says "Can't make {missing value, " ", missing value} into type string. (-1700) Event: run current application Script: application". Could you please help me to solve it? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! It works fine on OS X Mavericks and CS5

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! Worked for my CC version on OSX 10.8.5!!!!

Tania Ryan said...

I am having trouble opening in OSX10.9 and CS6. Says it can't be opened because it's from an unidentified developer. I had it working before I upgraded to Maverick.
I can't do the Help Center suggestion to open in shortcut menu, because I don't have the shortcut menu option...
One one know a way around this?
Really would love to have this app working again as it's so handy.

Tania Ryan said...

Can't open since I've upgraded to Maverick. Using OSX10.9 and CS6.
Says it is an unidentified developer. Have tried the Help Center but that isn't working either.
Would really love to get this working again. Anyone got any hints?

hughcolohan said...

Thank you so much! This has made my life SO much easier

Jennifer Soucy said...

Tania, hold down the Control button and double-click the script - the same "unidentified developer" window will pop up, BUT with the option to open the app. It'll probably error out when you do, but then you can use it normally as you've approved it once.

Tim Buening said...

No work here - Illustrator CS6 and CC, english version, legal license, doesn't work.
:( I've been looking for such a script for years, i'd even pay for it.

Carlos Canto said...

here's a script for Windows users (it works on mac too)

http://aiscripts.com/ai-scripts/openmultipagepdf/

Rebeccah Kahn said...

So I downloaded the script, opened the app and dropped my PDF on the icon.. nothing happened. Then I realized "maybe it doesn't work with files that are being pulled from a server through a network" and saved a copy of the file to my desktop. IT WORKS! Just an FYI for people who typically work through a network connection. I have a Mac running the most recent OS version and am using CS5 and it works lie a charm! Thank you! Do you still want donations to go to Japan?

Rebeccah Kahn said...

Oops my bad, its CS6. ;)

Peter - Lyme Bay Press said...

Worked brilliantly though its important to have a file open in illustrator to make it work. Can't thank you enough!!

Saved me a ton of work...most of our files from clients are multipage pdf's!

Anonymous said...

plz 4 windows plz m8

Anna Kerbo said...

That's perfect feature. Big thanks

The Karr Family said...

I agree with the others that I would pay to have the developer update the script to work with Mavericks and Adobe CC.

The Karr Family said...

Name the price Shane!

Sheraz said...

Excellent...its working for cs6

Anonymous said...

You, good sir, are amazing.