Can Photoshop open AI files?
In this article we will answer possible doubts about the formats used by Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop and in what way you can open files from one in the other.
AI files are vector file formats created with Adobe Illustrator. These files are popular for graphic design, illustration and vector image creation.
Adobe Photoshop is a well-known photo and graphic editing software. It is used by all kinds of designers. It is therefore natural for users to want to know if it is possible to open Illustrator AI files in Photoshop, as they both belong to Adobe, and many know that some of the files used by Creative Cloud software are mutually compatible.
What is an AI file?
AI (Adobe Illustrator) files are vector image files, made up of dots and lines rather than pixels as found in a JPG or PNG image.
Vector files can be scaled without loss of quality and take up little space, making them ideal for print and multimedia design.
AI files also contain color information, text, layers, vector effects and styles, as well as other design elements that can be edited with the Adobe Illustrator graphics software.
What is the difference between Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator files?
Adobe Photoshop is the most widely used pixel-based image editor.On the other hand, Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphics software that is used to create logos, illustrations, diagrams and other artwork.
Unlike Photoshop, Illustrator does not use pixels to store and manipulate images, but instead uses mathematical equations to determine the shapes and colors of objects.
Photoshop files can be imported into Illustrator, but what happens if we open an .ai file in Photoshop? Is it possible to do so?
But first let’s understand two concepts that differentiate the way the two design applications work: rasterize and vectorize.
What is rasterizing and vectorizing?
Rasterize and vectorize are concepts related to the storage of images in files for editing or visualization.
Rasterizing is a process of transforming vector data into a bitmap representation. The process is performed for the purpose of displaying graphics on a screen or printing them on a printer. Bitmaps are formed from points (pixels) that form an image. This means that when a raster image is enlarged, the pixels become visible and the image is distorted.
Vectorizing refers to the process of transforming an image into a vector-based digital representation. This is achieved by storing the image as lines and patterns rather than as a bitmap image. Therefore, when enlarging a vectorized image, the image elements are enlarged without distortion, as they are composed of lines and curves. This means that the vectorized image maintains its quality and details, even when printed or enlarged. It is very useful for logos, graphics and illustrations with clear outlines.
Can Photoshop open AI files?
Since they belong to the same company, it is logical to think that Photoshop can open Illustrator’s native format without a problem. It can, but with nuances.
Opening an AI file in Photoshop will open a PDF import window. Photoshop will therefore treat this file type as if it were a PDF page.
The image will then be rasterized. Therefore, it will no longer be a vector image. We can see that, by zooming in on the image, we can see the pixels at the edges.
Export AI to PSD
There are some alternatives to open an AI file in Photoshop. These alternatives are related to converting the file to a more appropriate format for Photoshop (PSD, PNG, EPS…).
One of the options, perhaps the most recommended, is to export the file from Illustrator to PSD format. This will allow us to keep the layers and we will be able to open the file in Photoshop without any problem.
On the other hand, we can use a file converter like Convertio (online application) without the need to purchase an Adobe Illustrator license.
Fast-track your knowledge by signing up for this easy-to-follow Adobe Photoshop online course with videos compiled by our graphic designer teacher. Learn Adobe Photoshop shortcuts, tips and techniques to get the maximum out of this top design course.
Try 20+ Adobe creative apps, including Photoshop and Acrobat Pro, plus all the perks of membership.