How To Reduce Illustrator File Size

Do you need more space on your device? That is no reason to quit making art and illustrations. A quick solution for storage problems is to save your files in a smaller size. The default file size for Adobe Illustrator is huge and takes up plenty of space. 

To reduce Illustrator file size, you can delete unused panels, reduce the resolution of the raster effects, make symbols of items, flatten the transparency, and tweak some options when saving the file to your device. 

Please continue reading to learn how to use these options and accomplish your goals. 

Delete Unused Panels To Reduce Illustrator File Size

When making art in Illustrator, there may be some panels that you do not use, but they still take up space in the final file that you save. Some examples of these are swatches and brushes. Look at the instructions below to delete the unused panels to get a smaller file. 

Once you’re done with your design: 

  1. Go to Windows in the panel on top.
  2. In the drop-down, click on the Actions option.
  3. A window will open up. Here, choose the “Delete Unused Panel.”
  4. On the bottom of the window, hit the play button. 
  5. This will show you all the unused panels and delete them. 

To learn more about the methods discussed in this article, watch this youtube video: 

Reduce The Resolution Of The Raster Effects To Reduce Illustrator File Size

Reducing the resolution of the raster effects does not compromise the quality of the image, but it can be helpful when the file size needs to be reduced. 

Raster VS Vector Effects

Raster effects are special effects that can be applied to bitmap images and raster graphics. These can create various visual effects, such as blurring, sharpening, adjusting contrast, adjusting saturation, and more. 

Raster effects are made up of pixels, and vector effects are created using mathematical equations. Vector effects can produce more complex and precise shapes than raster effects. Vector effects are also easier to edit and manipulate than raster effects.

How To Reduce The Resolution Of The Raster Effects?

To reduce the resolution of the raster effects: 

  1. Go to Effect from the top panel.
  2. Choose “Document Raster Effect Settings.”
  3. Choose the Resolution to Medium (150 ppi) or Screen (72 ppi) in the window that pops up.
  4. Click OK once you are done. 

Make Symbols To Reduce File Size In Illustrator

Making symbols of the items you have introduced in your work reduces the file size and makes coming back to your work and using the symbol repeatedly a lot easier. 

To make symbols: 

  1. Choose the item that you wish to duplicate. 
  2. Go to Windows. Scroll down to find the Symbols tool. 
  3. Open up the symbols window. 
  4. Select the item by dragging the cursor over the item and making a selection. 
  5. Go to the symbols window and click on the dots in the top right corner.
  6. Select New Symbol.
  7. A window will appear to name the symbol the way you like.
  8. Click OK. 

How To Use The Symbol Later?

You will need to use the symbol later and to do so:

  1. Go to Windows and select Symbols. 
  2. The symbols window will appear.
  3. In the window, select the symbol that you wish to use. 
  4. Go to the tools panel and select Symbol Sprayer.
  5. Now click on the canvas wherever you want. The symbol will keep printing easily. 

Tweak The Saving Settings To Reduce Illustrator File Size

Illustrator has some default settings that might increase the file of your size. To fix them and reduce the file size, follow the steps given ahead. 

  1. Go to File and click Save as. 
  2. In the window that appears, name the file and click save.
  3. Another window will open in Illustrator.
  4. Here, uncheck the “Create Pdf Compatible File” option.
  5. Then, check the “Use Compression” option. 
  6. Click OK. 

Flatten Transparency To Reduce File Size

The flattened transparency tool allows you to reduce the resolution of panels which you otherwise might not be able to do. 

Follow the instructions below to reduce the resolution:

  1. Go to Object in the options shown in the top panel.
  2. Then choose Flatten Transparency.
  3. Reduce the resolution on all of the following:
    • Preset
    • Line Art And Text Resolution
    • Gradient And Mesh Resolution
  4. Check the “Convert all strokes to outlines” option. 
  5. Click OK and save your file as you normally would. 


We have offered you five different options to reduce the file size in Illustrator. The number of options is so great because some of these methods might not work for the preferences you have for your work. Depending on your priority, you can choose from any of these to save some space.