We often receive files from customers in PDF or Illustrator format that include embedded images. Some of the time we get requests from the customer to modify the embedded images within the PDF or Illustrator file but, yes, you guessed it, they don’t have the original embedded image to modify.
Modifying Embedded Images
Once you embed an image you are not able to pull up the menu that says “Edit Original” within Illustrator. So what can you do if you don’t have the original image to re-link?
Open it in Photoshop! Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you? Unless you already knew this trick.
When you open a PDF in Photoshop, a dialog box will pop up asking you whether you would like to import the PDF pages or images.
The best part of doing it this way is that Photoshop will open the embedded image in its original size whether it was scaled down in Illustrator originally. You can now modify it as you like and save it.
Confirm Your Image Size And Details
Save the file in a folder where you have the original PDF so that you keep your files organized in case you ever need to go back.
Re-Linking An Image In Illustrator
The final step in this process is to re-link the image in your PDF or Illustrator file with the new edited file you made.
In Illustrator, select the embedded image that you want to replace with the selection tool (V), click “Image” at the top and the Relink icon. Once you do this, your folder dialog will pop up and ask you to find the file you would like to relink the original with. Simply navigate to the folder you neatly saved your edited file to and select it.
Wallah! You now have the image un-embedded and available to you for future modifications if necessary.