Finally, when you've assembled your figure and you are happy with it, there is the question of where will you use it. In the beginning of the Figure Preparation Guidelines, we discussed the different potential different outlets for your figure:
Sometimes you'll want to produce the figure that will suffice for all four. Depending on what you are going to use it for, you may need a different file format, and different file sizes.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but you will find that *.png s are much easier to share via email, on websites, etc. and use in web pages, presentations, or reports because they are so much smaller. If you wish to download all the various flavors of the figures shown in the videos and mentioned above download
One of the downsides to making figures in Adobe Illustrator is that the file sizes can become quite large. As such there are a few basic tricks to give you control:
It is simple to save your Adobe Illustrator file as a PDF from AI. This preserves the full editing capabilities, but also allows you to share the PDF with anyone with a PDF reader.
Exporting from AI using the save for web allows you to save flat raster images of your figures in a variety of formats (e.g. PNG, JPG, GIF). You can resize the images to any size you prefer too.
Sometimes the PDFs you save from Adobe Illustrator (above) can be quite large. If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro installed (part of CS suite), I walk you below through two ways you can achieve much smaller file sizes. The first relies on using the 'Save as Reduced File Size PDF' option in Acrobat. The second uses the convert image to PDF. The second is much more efficient (often resulting in over an order of magnitude reduction in file size), but requires you to export a raster image using the save for web (above) option. The video shows the simple steps: