Hidden Illustrator layers show up in PDF files when reading in non-Adobe Reader: solution

Invisible layers will magically reappear when an Illustrator PDF is loaded in certain non-Adobe products (for example, the Mac PDF reader Preview). To avoid this issue, deselect “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capability” and “Create Acrobat Layers from top-level Layers” in the Save Adobe PDF dialog that pops up after choosing Save A Copy… from the File menu in Illustrator.


  1. This is great thanks. I did notice, however, that this removes certain effects such as a Drop Shadow on text if it overlaps. Not on the PDF – but through the 3rd party viewer. Any suggestions?

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