Adobe illustrator artwork

A simple explanation of what an AI file is và how lớn open an AI file even if you don"t have sầu Adobe Illustrator.

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Graphic designers commonly work with vector images. The files are small, yet the images themselves are infinitely resizable. They"re perfect for drawings, và especially for things like logos & icons.

The AI file is the most common type of vector image. It"s a proprietary Adobe Illustrator format, so it can be tricky khổng lồ open AI files if you don"t have Illustrator. How you vị it depends on what you want to lớn vì with it.

Put simply, it"s easy khổng lồ open an AI file just khổng lồ view, but editing it is less straightforward. In this article, we take a look at both scenartiện ích ios...


How to Open AI Files Without Illustrator

If you have an AI tệp tin you need lớn view but not edit, there are lots of programs that can bởi it.

The mặc định save settings for AI files in Illustrator mean that the files are saved with PDF content embedded. This means you can view them in most apps that tư vấn PDF viewing.

In Windows, you need to lớn change the AI file extension lớn PDF. Highlight the file và hit F2 on your keyboard. Add PDF to lớn the kết thúc of the filename and confirm the change when prompted. Now, double-cliông xã the file & it will open in your default PDF viewer. On a Mac, you can view AI files in Preview without any changes. You can also upload AI files lớn Google Drive và view them there.

If you want to lớn add the tệp tin to a larger collection of artwork và have sầu a way to browse through it easily, try Adobe Bridge. This is one of the best không lấy phí Adobe apps, & lets you open & view Illustrator files.


In all these instances, you"ll be looking at a flat, uneditable image.

Open AI Files in Photoshop or GIMP

Should you need khổng lồ incorporate an AI image into a larger piece of artwork without editing it directly, you can vày so using Photoshop or its không lấy phí equivalent, GIMP.

When you open the image in these apps, it is imported as a PDF. You"ll see an Import dialog box, & you can normally accept the default suggestions.


Import AI files as PDF with the correct settings
The main thing khổng lồ remember is to lớn import the image at a large form size. You"ll chiến bại the benefits of vector graphics when importing, so it"s better to lớn import a large image & shrink it down than it is to import a small image và enlarge it.

When you"re done, you can copy and paste the image onlớn its own layer in another piece of artwork or add additional layers to this file. You"ll have sầu to save sầu it in a different format afterward.


If none of the above sầu options work, try changing the tệp tin extension lớn EPS (another vector image format) khổng lồ see if that helps. If not, you"ll need to convert the image to lớn a different format. We"ll look at that next.


How to Edit AI Files Without Illustrator

When you tải về an Illustrator template or get sent an AI tệp tin that you need to lớn edit, things get trickier. There aren"t many mainstream apps that can edit AI files natively; you normally have to lớn convert it khổng lồ a different format first.

Convert AI to lớn SVG or EPS Online

If you are going lớn convert the tệp tin yourself, you should convert it lớn SVG. This is an open format with wide support, although it"s designed primarily for website use. If you"re working in print, try EPS instead.


convert ai to lớn svg
Cliông xã Select File and choose the file from your hard drive sầu. Next, clichồng Convert to và choose either SVG, EPS, or WMF listed under Vector. If you"ve sầu got text in your image, cliông xã the wrench ibé & set Text To Path khổng lồ Yes. This will make your fonts look more accurate, although the text will no longer be directly editable. Select Convert and wait. When it"s done, cliông xã Download lớn save your newly converted tệp tin.

Problems With Editing Converted AI Files

Whenever you try to edit AI files without Illustrator, there are a few potential problems you need lớn be aware of.

Conversions are not always 100 percent accurate.

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This is especially true when the original tệp tin used features or effects quality to Illustrator. You"ll often lose layer information. This can make complex files difficult to lớn navigate since all the elements will no longer be labeled. You often cannot save or export your edited file in the AI format (và Illustrator can"t read the proprietary format of your editing app either). Save sầu in a format like SVG or EPS for widest compatibility.

Whether or not you need to lớn convert your file first depends on what software you"re using. Here are the best apps for editing AI files.


Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a great Illustrator alternative. It"s a cloud-based phầm mềm that runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, or directly in your browser so you can open và edit AI files online.

To work with AI files, you need to convert them to lớn the SVG format first, as outlined above sầu. Once that"s done, simply drag the file into the Gravit Designer window lớn open it.


gravit designer
As is often the case, all parts of the image are grouped into a single layer, but they can be edited individually.

The app has a very modern và user-friendly interface. Although there"s plenty of power beneath the hood, it makes working with vector art very accessible. It"s especially good for things lượt thích logos, icons, & symbols, và you can unloông chồng more features via an annual subscription.


Inkscape

The most well-known không tính phí Illustrator alternative is the open-source Inkscape. It"s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can open AI files directly in Inkscape. It doesn"t support drag-and-drop, so you need khổng lồ go to lớn File > Open and then select the document from your hard drive.

The tệp tin is then imported as a PDF. Like Photocửa hàng, you have sầu to lớn click through some Import settings first—you can accept the defaults here—but unlike Photocửa hàng, the resulting image is fully editable.


Inkscape can import AI files
All the parts of the image are grouped together. The easiest way to select a specific element is khổng lồ hit F2 lớn activate the "Edit nodes" tool, then hover over the image until the part you want is highlighted. Then, click to lớn select it.


You can"t save sầu edited images in the AI format. SVG and EPS are supported as alternatives.

Download: Inkscape (Free)


Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a commercial graphic design package available for Windows và Mac. We rate it as the best Adobe Illustrator alternative. It"s aimed at the same pro users, but is subscription-free—it"ll cost you less than three months of an equivalent Adobe sub.


The program can open AI files as long as they have sầu been saved with PDF content (the default in Illustrator). This means you lose the layer information, as usual, & cannot save the tệp tin in its original format.

If you want khổng lồ be able khổng lồ open your edited image in Illustrator again, you need to save sầu it in PDF, SVG, or EPS format.


Affinity Designer is a powerful and popular piece of software with an impressive sầu feature list. It could be a good option for anyone looking to transition away from Illustrator.


CorelDRAW Standard

CorelDRAW Standard is a professional graphic thiết kế program for Windows. It"s designed for graphics enthusiasts, & is quite pricey, although still works out cheaper than an Illustrator subscription in the long run, while offering full AI tư vấn.


You need khổng lồ import your AI files by going lớn File > Import, then clicking through the Import settings (which you"ll only see for the PDF-based files).

The main option to lớn consider here is whether khổng lồ have sầu the text rendered as text (which makes it editable but may chiến bại some effects), or as curves. This will be a more accurate conversion, but the text won"t be editable.


When you have finished editing the Illustrator tệp tin, you can export it back to lớn the AI format. However, if you"ve sầu used any features quality khổng lồ CorelDRAW, these won"t be supported in Illustrator.


Corel also makes Paint Shop Pro, the Photoshop alternative. This ứng dụng can open & save sầu AI files natively, but is generally less suitable for vector graphics work.

Download: CorelDRAW Standard (Free trial available)


Sketch

Sketch is a Mac-only kiến thiết suite & it"s among the best vector software for Mac designers on a budget. If you"re looking to open and edit AI files on a Mac, it"s a viable choice.


The program has limited native sầu support for Illustrator files. You can open them as you would any other file, but they will only be displayed as a single flattened layer. This is the equivalent of opening it in Photosiêu thị, & means the image is not editable.

Some users have reported success by changing the file extension from AI to lớn PDF. Select the file on your computer and add PDF lớn the over of the filename. Drag it inlớn Sketch to lớn get an editable image. Your results here may depend on the complexity of the file, however.


A more foolproof solution is to lớn convert the tệp tin to lớn the SVG format using CloudConvert. Since you cannot save sầu files in the AI format, this also represents the best way of ensuring your edited tệp tin can be reopened in Illustrator in the future.

Download: Sketch (Free trial available)


Moving Away From Adobe Illustrator

Opening any proprietary tệp tin outside of the tiện ích for which it was intended can produce mixed results. It"s the same when you open a PSD tệp tin without Photocửa hàng.

But apart from a few limitations, support for AI files is generally pretty good. In fact, while Illustrator is still the industry standard, more casual users don"t really need it.


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