How to open AI files without Adobe Illustrator software

How to open AI files without Adobe Illustrator software

Adobe Illustrator Software is a professional drawing and design application that saves drawings in vector graphics format with the ai file extension. This means that any file with the .ai extension is a native Adobe Illustrator file.

Because of this, you can open files of this type in almost any Adobe application, including Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat, and Flash. But opening AI files can be difficult if you don’t have Illustrator, so in this article, we’ll show you how. Opening AI files without Adobe Illustrator

How to open AI files without Illustrator software

There are many programs that can open AI files, but you cannot edit them. The default AI file storage setting in Illustrator allows saving files with embedded PDF content. This means that users can view it in most applications that support PDF viewing.

1. In Windows, you need to change the extension to PDF by selecting the file and pressing F2Then add .PDF file Append the file name and confirm changes when prompted. Now double click on the file. The file will then open in the default PDF viewer.

2. On Mac, You can view the AI ​​file in preview without making any changes.

3. You can also download AI files to Google Drive and view them there.

Open the AI ​​file in Photoshop or GIMP.

If you want to integrate AI images into your work without directly editing them, You can use the free Photoshop or GIMP software, for example, in the case of a logo created in Illustrator and want to add a poster designed in Photoshop.

When opening images in these applications The image will be imported as a PDF. You will see import dialog box and accept the default offer. One thing you should know is that You should import large images. If you don’t want to lose the features of vector graphics Then you can scale it out if you want.

When finished You can copy and paste the image into an existing layer or add additional layers to this file. Then choose to save in a different format.

If the above options don’t work It’s possible that the default settings were changed when the original file was saved. If so Try changing the file type to EPS (another vector image format). Try converting the image to a different format as well.

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How to edit AI files without using Illustrator

When you download an Illustrator template or receive an AI file that you want to edit, things get more complicated. There aren’t many mainstream apps that can edit AI files. You usually need to convert them to another format first.

Convert AI to SVG or EPS online

If you are going to convert the files yourself You should convert it to SVG. This is an open format with broad support. Even though it is designed primarily for web use. If you’re working in print, consider using EPS instead.

To convert your image:

Go to

click Select file and select files from your hard drive.

Then click Choose a format and select SVG or EPS from the list below. Vector.

choose Start conversionand wait

When finished, click download to save your newly converted file.

Problems editing converted AI files

Whenever you try to edit an AI file without Illustrator, there may be some issues you need to be aware of.

  • Conversions aren’t always 100 percent accurate. This is especially true when the source file uses Illustrator-specific features or effects.
  • You often lose many layers of data. This can make complex files difficult to navigate. This is because all elements will no longer have labels.
  • You often can’t save or export your edited files in AI format (and Illustrator can’t read your editing app’s proprietary formats either). Save in a format like SVG or EPS to Widest compatibility

Whether you need to convert the file first depends on the software you use. Best Apps for Editing Adobe Illustrator (AI) Files

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Best Apps for Editing Adobe Illustrator (AI) Files

1. Gravity designer

Gravit Designer is a great free alternative to Illustrator. It’s a cloud-based app that works on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, or directly in your browser. So you can open and edit AI files online.

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To work with AI files, you must first convert them to SVG format, as described above. When finished Just drag the file into the Gravit Designer window to open it.

Normally, all parts of an image are grouped into a single layer. But it can be edited individually.

The app has a modern and easy-to-use interface. Although there was a lot of power beneath it. But it also makes working with vector art very accessible. Ideal for things like logos, icons, and symbols.

download: Gravit Designer (Free)

2. Inscape

The most well-known free Illustrator alternative is the open-source Inkscape, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can open AI files directly in Inkscape. Drag and drop is not supported. So you have to go to File > Open Then select the document from your hard drive.

The file is then imported as a PDF. Just like Photoshop, you have to click through some parts. import Settings first You can accept the default values ​​here. But unlike Photoshop, the resulting image is fully editable.

All parts of the image are grouped together. The easiest way to select a specific element is to press F2 to launch the “Edit Nodes” tool, then move your mouse over the image until the section you want is highlighted. Then click to select.

You cannot save edited images in AI format. SVG and EPS are supported as alternatives.

download: Inscape (free)

3. Sketch

Sketch is a Mac-only design suite and is one of the best vector software for Mac designers on a budget. If you want to open and edit AI files on your Mac, this is the way to go.

The program has limited support for Illustrator files. You can open them like any other file. But it will show as only one smooth layer.

This is equivalent to opening it in Photoshop, which means the image cannot be edited.

Some users have reported success in changing the file extension from AI to PDF. Select the file on your computer and add it. .PDF file Append to file name

Drag it to Sketch to get an editable image. Your results here may depend on the complexity of the file.

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A more foolproof solution is to convert the file to SVG format using CloudConvert.

We can re-open it because you can’t save files in AI format. This is the best way to ensure files you edit in Illustrator in the future.

download: Sketch (free trial)

4. Relationship designer

Affinity Designer is a commercial graphic design package for Windows and Mac. We rate it as the best Adobe Illustrator alternative.

It is aimed at the same group of professional users. But you don’t need to apply for membership. It costs less than 3 months for the equivalent Adobe sub.

The program can open AI files as long as they’re saved as PDF content (the default in Illustrator), which means you’ll lose layer information as usual. And the file cannot be saved in its original format.

If you want to open the edited image in Illustrator again, you’ll need to save the image in PDF, SVG, or EPS format.

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

download: Affinity Designer (Free Trial)

5. CorelDraw

CorelDraw is a graphic design program for Windows Home & Student Suite that is affordable for the average user. While there are also more deluxe offerings for professionals. Either way You will be supported by AI.

This software works with native AI files created with Illustrator versions up to and including CS6, or with PDF-enabled files created in more recent versions.

You need to import the file by going to File > Import Then click through. import Settings (where you will see only PDF files)

The main options to consider here are The message will be displayed as text. (which can be edited but may lose some effects) or as a curve. This will be a more accurate conversion. But the message cannot be edited.

When you’re done editing your Illustrator file, you can export it back to AI format. However, if you’re using CorelDraw-specific features, these features aren’t supported in Illustrator.

Corel also makes Paint Shop Pro, a Photoshop alternative. The app can open and save AI files normally, but it’s generally not suitable for vector graphics.

download: CorelDraw (Free Trial)

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