Trending September 2023 # Repair Corrupted Adobe Illustrator Projects With Recovery Toolbox # Suggested October 2023 # Top 13 Popular |

Trending September 2023 # Repair Corrupted Adobe Illustrator Projects With Recovery Toolbox # Suggested October 2023 # Top 13 Popular

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This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Recovery Toolbox. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.

Adobe Illustrator users are almost always by definition professional users. The software is pricey and made for professional designers and illustrators, and very few design civilians ever cross its path. But it is of course a recognised de-facto standard for vector graphics worldwide.

The scourge of my design life, especially when I’ve ploughed a lot of man hours into a design, is the corrupted file. Anything that can rescue my artwork from the clutches of destruction is automatically a boon. Adobe themselves offer no kind of corrupted file recovery, so it’s down to third-party utility developers to fill this gap. This is where Recovery Toolbox for Illustrator comes in.

Design Recovery

Recovery Toolbox for Illustrator is a simple one-job tool which examines a corrupted Adobe Illustrator file and repairs any flaws in the file format which might prevent it from opening or running. This is a hard problem – a file that was saved (so you haven’t lost it) but will no longer open. Or that it opens but is in some other way broken or distorted.

This software’s AI knows all the kinds of ways that a vector graphics file can be disrupted and has built-in tools to automatically repair and resurrect the file. It also gives you a report on what was repaired. It’s simple to use but powerful under the hood and includes both an offline standalone utility and an online version.

The online service is pay-as-you-go, charging a $10 fee for each file you repair – if it doesn’t repair the file, you don’t pay. The standalone software download (for Windows only) will allow you to see if the file can be recovered before you register the software for unlimited repairs.

The software saves both AI and PDF versions of the file. The reason for this is because sometimes the AI is so damaged that nothing meaningful can be salvaged; however, there may be enough to spit out a decent PDF from the file, which the software does. This can then be reloaded into Illustrator and picked apart and resaved as an AI. It’s double-barrelled insurance.

Repairing the Broken Files

Using the software is very easy. You need to first load the corrupted file.

Once loaded, the file will be processed to analyse which parts of it are broken.

Once the file is repaired, you can save it. Although it says “save AI,” both an AI and PDF version will be saved at your chosen location to double the chances you can extract the data no matter the state of the recovered file.

Finally you are given some stats about what was fixed.

I like that it gives a bit of useful feedback about what the problem was. Often, repair utilities do their job without reporting what was fixed, probably for the sake of speed and efficiency. In this case you actually get a short report about what was salvaged and what the problem was.

Often this is just of academic interest, but in some cases it might provide a vital clue to what is causing a repeated file corruption and data loss problem. If it happens to you quite often and you don’t know why, this might be very useful information.

The final screen of the online version is slightly different, as it is a pay-as-you-go affair.

I’d call this software a “hamster,” a one-job bit of software that just works all day, like a hamster running around on a wheel. It does its one job very well. There are no cons to this and very few moving parts so to speak, so there’s not much to go wrong with it, really.


Recovery Toolbox for Illustrator is a simple and sturdy tool for designers and illustrators, providing you with most welcome corruption insurance. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

The software is compatible with the current Illustrator CC all the way back to Illustrator CS2. For all the benefits it provides, I don’t think the software is expensive. A personal license for Recovery Toolbox for Illustrator for personal use and for noncommercial purposes is a mere $27. The business license for use in commercial and government environments is $45. For bigger enterprises you might consider a site license, covering usage on up to 100 computers spread over one business for $60.

The free trial will let you check to see if the software can actually save your specific file before you register the full version, and the same goes for the online web app, as it allows you to try before you buy, which seems fair.

For more details regarding purchasing and to download a trial of the software, go to Recovery Toolbox for Illustrator.

Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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