Aug 15, 2005

Error when you save or export a PDF or Illustrator file (Mac OS)

Source: Photoshop Support Knowledgebase

Issue: When you try to save or export a file as a PDF file from InDesign CS2, Photoshop CS2, Acrobat 7 or Illustrator CS2, or save a file in Illustrator format from Illustrator CS2, you either get an error message when you save the file, or an error message when you open the resulting PDF or Illustrator file.


You left the computer running, and the Adobe application was idle for several days.

The error message you see varies depending on the application:

– Saving file as a Photoshop PDF from Photoshop CS2: “Could not save as ‘[file name]‘ because of a disk error.”

– Saving a PDF file from Acrobat 7: “The document could not be saved. A file error has occurred.”

– Saving as an Illustrator file or a PDF file from Illustrator CS2: “A file error has occurred.”

– Exporting a PDF file from InDesign CS2: The file appears to save without error, but when you open the file with Acrobat you see the error “Acrobat could not open ‘[file name]‘ because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn’t correctly decoded). To create an Adobe PDF document, go to the source application. Then print the document to Adobe PDF.”

Solution: Save the file, and then restart the application.

Save the file as a non PDF file if necessary, and then restart the Adobe application before you save or export to a PDF or an Illustrator file.

Note: To save an Illustrator CS2 file in a non PDF format, deselect Create PDF Compatible File in the Illustrator Options dialog box when you save the Illustrator file.

Background information

When you save or export PDF files from Photoshop CS2, Acrobat 7, Illustrator CS2, or InDesign CS2, the application must reference the TemporaryItems file located in /tmp/501. Mac OS X regularly deletes files in the /tmp folder that have not been used or modified within a certain period (approximately two or three days). If an Adobe application is running but unused for several days, Mac OS X will delete the TemporaryItems file. When you save or export a file as PDF, the Adobe application attempts to reference the no-longer existing TemporaryItems file which results in errors or faulty PDF creation.

When you restarting the Adobe application and then save or export a PDF, the application rebuilds the TemporaryItems file.

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