The other week, I had a file that kept getting corrupted when I would send it to a printer. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and spent forever sending emails, zipping files, examining outlines and so on. I came to realize, it was an obscure brush I was experimenting with early along in the project. I didn’t even use it in the final version! After that fiasco, I will always clean up my files!
This tutorial was created with Illustrator CS3.
Clean Up Files With Actions
Start by opening the Action Panel and expanding the Default Actions. Select Delete Unused Panel Items and press the Play button at the bottom of the panel. Click Yes on the following dialog boxes. This will delete any unused Symbols, Graphic Styles, Brushes, and Swatches. Less clutter is great even if you are not giving the file to a printer. It can even cut down the document file size. The Delete Unused Panel Items is another great example of the strength of Actions. You can check out more tips on the Actions Panel by viewing my previous post Automate Actions in Illustrator.
Below is great example of this Action in practice. With this illustration, I tried out a number of brushes and swatches. By the time I was ready to upload to iStock, there were many unused brushes and swatches that were making the files size big. I used the Delete Unused Panel Items action and created a cleaner and smaller file!