A simple explanation of what an AI tệp tin is & how to xuất hiện an AI file even if you don"t have Adobe Illustrator.

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open-ai-without-illustrator 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 lượt thích logos và icons.

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

Put simply, it"s easy to mở cửa an AI tệp tin just to view, but editing it is less straightforward. In this article, we take a look at both scenarios...

How to mở cửa 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 vị it.

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

In Windows, you need lớn change the AI tệp tin extension lớn PDF. Highlight the file và hit F2 on your keyboard. Add PDF lớn the kết thúc of the filename & confirm the change when prompted. Now, double-click the file & it will open in your mặc định 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 địa chỉ cửa hàng the file to a larger collection of artwork & have a way to browse through it easily, try Adobe Bridge. This is one of the best free Adobe apps, & lets you mở cửa and 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 do so using Photoshop or its không tính phí equivalent, GIMP.

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

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

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

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

How lớn Edit AI Files Without Illustrator

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

Convert AI to SVG or EPS Online

If you are going lớn convert the file yourself, you should convert it to 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 to convert your image:

Click Select File and choose the file from your hard drive. Next, click Convert to and choose either SVG, EPS, or WMF listed under Vector. If you"ve got text in your image, click the wrench icon & set Text lớn 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, click Download to save your newly converted file.

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. This is especially true when the original file used features or effects chất lượng to Illustrator. You"ll often thất bại layer information.

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This can make complex files difficult to navigate since all the elements will no longer be labeled. You often cannot save or export your edited file in the AI format (and Illustrator can"t read the proprietary format of your editing phầm mềm either). Save in a format lượt thích SVG or EPS for widest compatibility.

Whether or not you need khổng lồ 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 tiện ích that runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, or directly in your browser so you can open and edit AI files online.

to lớn work with AI files, you need khổng lồ convert them lớn the SVG format first, as outlined above. Once that"s done, simply drag the file into the Gravit Designer window to mở cửa 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 tiện ích has a very modern & user-friendly interface. Although there"s plenty of nguồn beneath the hood, it makes working with vector art very accessible. It"s especially good for things like logos, icons, & symbols, và you can unlock more features via an annual subscription.


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

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

The file is then imported as a PDF. Like Photoshop, you have to click through some Import settings first—you can accept the defaults here—but unlike Photoshop, the resulting image is fully editable.

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

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

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a commercial graphic design package available for Windows and 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 xuất hiện AI files as long as they have been saved with PDF content (the mặc định in Illustrator). This means you thua kém the layer information, as usual, & cannot save the file in its original format.

If you want to be able to mở cửa your edited image in Illustrator again, you need to lớn save it in PDF, SVG, or EPS format.

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

CorelDRAW Standard

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

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

The main option khổng lồ consider here is whether to have the text rendered as text (which makes it editable but may lose 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 file, you can export it back to lớn the AI format. However, if you"ve used any features chất lượng to CorelDRAW, these won"t be supported in Illustrator.

Corel also makes Paint shop Pro, the Photoshop alternative. This ứng dụng can mở cửa and save AI files natively, but is generally less suitable for vector graphics work.

Download: CorelDRAW Standard (Free trial available)


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

The program has limited native 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 Photoshop, & means the image is not editable.

Some users have reported success by changing the file extension from AI khổng lồ PDF. Select the file on your computer and add PDF to the over of the filename. Drag it into Sketch khổng lồ 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 file to the SVG format using CloudConvert. Since you cannot save 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 app for which it was intended can produce mixed results. It"s the same when you open a PSD file without Photoshop.

But apart from a few limitations, tư vấn 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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