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Import Illustrator CS2-CS3 artwork into Photoshop CS2-CS3
In Adobe Photoshop, you can import Adobe Illustrator artwork in
several different ways, each of which offers a different level of
control. When you open or place AI, EPS, or PDF files created by
Illustrator, Photoshop rasterizes vector artwork and removes the
ability to edit transparency, fonts, layers, and paths. To retain
more control over imported Illustrator artwork, Adobe recommends
that you drag or paste it into a Photoshop image or export it in
Drag Illustrator artwork
Dragging Illustrator artwork is the quickest way to import it
into Photoshop. By default, Photoshop creates a new layer for the
dragged artwork and imports the artwork as a Vector Smart Object.
(For more information, see "Smart Objects" in the Photoshop Help.)
You can import dragged vector artwork as a work path, however, by
holding down Control (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) while dragging.
To center imported artwork in the Photoshop image, hold down Shift
To import dragged type as a work
path, you must first convert it to outlines in Illustrator. For
more information, see "Modifying letterforms as graphic objects" in
Paste Illustrator artwork into
When you copy Illustrator artwork, you can paste it into
Photoshop and retain many Illustrator features. To do so, however,
you must properly configure Clipboard preferences in
Clipboard preferences in Illustrator
The Illustrator Clipboard supports a variety of formats
including: PICT, PDF, and AICB. Though Illustrator always copies
PICT data to the clipboard, you can configure Illustrator so that
it also copies PDF or AICB format. These two formats allow you to
retain Illustrator features in artwork pasted in Photoshop. PDF
retains Illustrator transparency, while AICB format retains
You should only select the AICB format by itself if you are
going to be pasting paths in to Photoshop. In all other cases,
select the PDF format or the PDF format in conjunction with AICB.
The PDF format retains transparency and other features in
Illustrator such as extended support for spot colors.
To configure Clipboard preferences in Illustrator:
Paste options in Photoshop
- Choose Edit > Preferences > Files & Clipboard
(Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > Files &
Clipboard (Mac OS X).
- In the Clipboard section, select the desired format.
- If you selected AICB, select either Preserve Paths or Preserve
- Click OK.
When you use the Paste command to import copied Illustrator
artwork, Photoshop provides the following options in the Paste
Export Illustrator files in
- Paste as Smart Object: Pastes the art as a Vector Smart Object
that can be scaled, transformed, or moved without degrading the
image before it's placed into the Photoshop document. As the art is
placed, its file data is embedded in the Photoshop document and the
art is rasterized on a separate layer.
- Paste as Pixels: Pastes the copied artwork in a new layer and
rasterizes it at the resolution of the Photoshop image. Use this
option when pasting raster objects.
Note: When you use this option, clipping
masks for raster images are not retained as paths. These masks
still clip images, however.
- Paste as Path: Pastes the copied artwork as a work path.
- Paste as Shape Layer: Pastes the copied artwork in a new vector
shape layer. Compound Illustrator shapes retain their attributes
and remain editable. Multiple copied paths and clipping masks are
pasted as multiple paths that use the unite attribute .
Note: When you use this option,
pasted objects use the foreground color in Photoshop, not the fill
color they use in Illustrator. Likewise, transparent objects become
Exporting Illustrator documents files in Photoshop format gives
you the most control over Illustrator artwork in Photoshop. With
this method, you can specify resolution and enable anti-aliasing
for rasterized artwork. You can also retain the following
- Editable text
- ICC profiles
- Layers, including nested and hidden layers
- Compound shapes
- Slices and image maps
A compound shape must have
either no stroke or a stroke with a round join that uses whole
integers for the stroke weight. However, the compound shape can
reside on a layer with other objects. In that situation, Photoshop
places the other objects on a separate layer in the same layer
For more information about exporting Illustrator files in
Photoshop format, see "Photoshop export options" in Illustrator
Open Illustrator (AI) files in
You can open AI files in Photoshop if you save them using the
Create PDF Compatible File option.
To save an AI file using the Create PDF Compatible File
- Choose File > Save As.
- Choose Illustrator (*.AI) as the file format, and click
- Click Create PDF Compatible File in the Illustrator Options
dialog box, and click OK.