Illustrator: cannot undo sometime

Adobe, Illustrator

When I was editing an illustrator file, I got quite a scare when all of sudden “undo” doesn’t work anymore. Not just the cmd+z doesn’t work, the whole “undo” function is ineffective. After taking some deep breath, when I was able to think again, I noticed that “undo” was only ineffective after I changed certain objects, in this case, a symbol. Changes of other elements were fine. I noticed a little framed “+” icon at the right bottom corner of the symbol thumbnail, now I learn that it is an icon to indicate that it is a “dynamic symbol”. Something like this:


Changing the symbol to “Static Symbol” fixed all the problems!!

Now I learned that “What you can’t do is move, delete, or even scale those individual elements.”
Learn more about dynamic symbol: Using Illustrator’s New Dynamic Symbols

I hope it helps you if you encountered something similar.


Illustrator: Create a new document based on a customised profile


You can create a new document in Illustrator, you can choose the profile of that new document. In the newly created file, all symbols, swatches and Artboards will be the same as the template.


If you save an *.ai, or *.ait (illustrator template) file in the right place, you will see this template in this list as well.

Here is the place:

Users > $your_user_name# > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator $version number# > $language# > New Document Profiles


Now, give it a try!!

Access to Illustrator CC Preferences Files in Mac OS


Every online instruction would tell you to access this folder:
/Users/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 17 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs

Access Library folder

However, by default the “Library” folder is hidden.
At least two ways you can access this hidden folder without changing any system preferences:

  1. Simply type “Library” in Spotlight
  2. In Terminal type:
    Open Library

Find & Open the Preference File

In the now opened “Library” folder, you can find the “Adobe Illustrator Prefs” file under: “Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 17 Settings/xx_xx/” folder. If you have another version of Illustrator, well, just find the folder with your version number.
The “xx_xx” here is the language and country code. For example: “en_US“, “en_GB“, etc. That depends on the language you’ve chosen when you installed Illustrator.

Make sure you open the “Adobe Illustrator Prefs” file with a text editing tool (Right-click & choose a plain text editor). The default application for this file is Illustrator and you will only get a simple and also pretty useless dialog.


A Flash Player Installer!


This morning when I started up windows I got a big surprise: An automatic Flash Player Update. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got Adobe Flash or not. I am very happy to see there is finally an installer for Flash Player. The installation is smooth and very fast. Another pleasant experience. I hope that everyone updates Flash Player to version 10.1. It really fixes many problems. I guess the Flash Player 10.1 might be one of the reasons that Apple starts to be more open to the idea of allowing Flash on their devices.

Flash Player 10.1 – A descent Flash Player at last

Adobe, Reviews

Today when I start up Windows (or Chrome, I’m not sure) a window popup informing me that there is a new Flash Player Plug-in available. In the update notes I see many enhancement, however, the one that attracts me the most is

a better memory management

Lately I am quite annoyed by the unexpected seemingly random APPCRASH of Flash Player. I think most of the times the APPCRASH I encountered caused by poor memory management. Of course it could very well caused by improper coding. Here is a website to test (Try it with Firefox if possible) It crashes earlier versions of Flash Player, but not Flash Player 10.1.

As to the memory problem, it’s pretty obvious. Just open a swf file via a standalone Flash Player and check the Task Manager…


The memory comparison between Flash Player 10.0x and Flash Player 10.1

I have a large swf file that contains many classes, loads lots of external files at launching, a good testing subject.

When using Flash Player 10.02 to launch the swf file, it eats up around 250 MB to begin with. Eventually it creeps up to 267MB and then crash…

When using Flash Player 10.1 however, the swf file “only” costs 112 MB at the beginning. And it stabilized at around 160 MB after hours. As a consequence, the Flash Player no long crashes (for now)

112 MB = 44.8% * 250

Big improvement, right?

Standalone Flash Player – Set the swf files to use the latest Flash Player

Adobe, Tutorial

One thing I find particularly un-user-friendly and uncomfortable is that when you add a new Flash Player, swf files or flash projects do not automatically use the latest version. You need to deliberately tell the swf files and flash projects to utilize the latest version of Flash Player (or any version you’d like). It’s not at all user-friendly!!

A very simple installer would fix the problem

It’s usually a hell to explain to my clients that they suppose to follow a tutorial to play the file I made for them. It’s ridiculous! It has become a liability issue for me.

First of all,

Standalone Flash Player and Flash Player plug-in for browsers is not the same thing!

You might have just update the Flash Player Plug-in for your browser. But it’s not the one that can play standalone flash format files (flash projects, AIR applications, FLEX applications, loose swf files and Flash Video, flv files). You need a standalone Flash Player! It’s a standalone application.

B.t.w. not distinguishing the name for Flash Player Plug-in and standalone Flash Player is the opposite of user-friendly. They are both called “Flash Player” which causes many unnecessary confusion in my opinion.

Here is the link for downloading the standalone Flash Players


Manually set the swf files to use the latest version

The whatever version of flashplayer_*.exe you’ve got is the Flash Player itself. It’s not a installer! So, there is no way for the operation system or swf files to know that there is a new Flash Player around.

You need to tell all the flash related files to use the new version of Flash Player

Right click a swf file –> Open with… –> Choose default program… –> locate the flashplayer_*.exe file manually and do not forget to check “Always use the selected program…”

Now you are finally all set.