Adobe brought transparency to the Illustrator world back with version 9. One of the many complaints about the poor-selling AI9 (and believe me, if you used it, you could see why nobody liked it after only 5 minutes of use!) was the inability of linked spot color EPS photos to interact with all the transparency features. In order for the Pantone colors to output correctly, you HAD to embed the photo in AI, which resulted in absolutely huge file sizes and a pretty decent wait while the file saved. If you forgot to embed the photo, AI would output it as a CMYK or RGB image, depending on what document color space you were in. Illustrator finally fixed this with version 11 (Illustrator CS). You can now link spot color EPS images into AI and not embed them – Even if you have an object with a drop shadow on top of it. This is great because you can keep a more modular workflow this way. Of course, there are very few instances where I would use a placed photo in Illustrator to begin with (at least in the advertising design business anyway). But, this is one old habit I’m happy to say I can finally break!