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I have a design in a Photoshop layer that one I want to open as an AI file. Is there any quick way to export to an AI file?

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Photoshop does not save Illustrator (AI) files. If your design is vector artwork (Photoshop paths), you can copy the paths and paste in Illustrator. Non-vector artwork can also be directly pasted from PS into AI, but you won't be able to make further edits in AI for non-vector work.

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If the document is constructed of vector/shape layers, you can use File > Export > Paths to Illustrator . . . to save the paths as an .ai file.

Be aware, this save only the paths. No fills, no strokes, nothing. So when you open the file in Illustrator it will appear blank. Switch to Outline Mode (View > Outline) and you can see the paths and select them to add fills and strokes.


If the document is not created using vector/shape layers there is no direct way to create an Illustrator file from a Photoshop file. You would have to look into tracing if you only have a raster-based document.
(Click the blue text for a related question about tracing)

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If you have a Vector Smart Object layer in Photoshop (PS) – which is what you typically get when you place an Illustrator (AI) file in PS – you can open it with a right-click on the layer in the Layer panel and then select Edit Contents. The Layer will be opened automatically in AI.

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Alternatively you can double-click the thumbnail area of the layer with the same result.

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If you edit the Artwork in AI and save it, the changes will be transferred back to PSD. If you want to keep the AI file, you need to save it seperately, or use Export Contents....

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