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For reasons, I would like all my .ai files saved as .svg too. I have hundreds, if not thousands, saved in different folders. Is there a way that I can script this using Illustrator?

Why?

Amazon Photos offers free, unlimited backups of photos. From what I can tell, it considers a .svg a photo, but does not consider .ai one. Hence I would like to save all my .ai files as .svg so I can have some form of additional, off-site backup.

  • 4
    One thing: SVG doesn't support everything that Illustrator can make. You can lose many effects or at least their editability, they will be rasterized. In addition SVG:s can be very big if there's much (thousands) objects because they are text files . Consider to explore other cloud storage options which are not file type sensitive. Google for ex. gives gigabytes for people who can live with the fact that Google reads and analyzes everything and tries to push advertisements in every turn. A real backup is your own real disk, stored out of your house. Clouds can disappear. – user287001 Oct 7 '19 at 8:01
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    @user287001 You raise a lot of valid points, but I am aware of these issues. The reason I ask is because I have access to the amazon photo service regardless, and I might as well use it as additional off-site backup/mirror of some of my files. This is why I contemplated not adding my reason - I just want to know if I could, not if I should – Joren Vaes Oct 7 '19 at 8:58
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SZCZERZO KŁY brought up a great idea, however, I want to add to it.

Why do you even need to convert it to .svg? If Amazon counts any .svg extension file as an image, why not just use a command to suffix all files with .svg as their file type.

Run this comand in local directory with all your ai files (Windows):

ren *.ai *.ai.svg

They won't function as an SVG, but you are just using this as a backup, if you ever need it you can fetch those files and remove the .SVG suffix.

This would also avoid the problem of losing Illustrators edit ability by actually saving it as an SVG, since you are just switching the file extension without actually changing anything.


If you need to find all your .ai files since they are scattered around your computer, you can use a program like Everything (which indexes your entire drive for fast search) and enter *.ai into search field to find all local .ai files.

Then through everything just drag and drop (while holding down Ctrl) to copy them to a new folder (can be off program on desktop).


Note, you can do this with .PNG .JPG .GIF etc.

You can also reverse the above command if you downloaded a bunch of files and need them to be editable.

ren *.ai.svg *.ai
  • This might be worth a shot. I assumed (because it seems too easy to 'cheat' this way) that amazon would do some basic file-checking to see it was that type of file, and that if you try to cheat this way they will revoke your unlimited access. – Joren Vaes Oct 7 '19 at 13:06
  • I signed up for Amazon Drive back when it was $60/year for unlimited storage. It was pretty nice not having to think about storage, then just a few months after I signed up they switched it to 1TB. – WELZ Oct 7 '19 at 13:08
  • In my head, they still owe me unlimited storage :D – WELZ Oct 7 '19 at 13:12
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I don't see a need to script the whole procedure.
First I would copy (or move) all those files into one place (just because I'm skewed in file storing that way) with wildcards (assuming you're working in Windows).

copy *.<extension> <other folder>

And then just record an action of opening ai and saving as svg. Then run the batch.

Side note: As I've done some batch ai conversion to svg, if you have hundreds of files be prepared to have your computer working on it for a couple of days. Set your energy saving to never switch off and your monitor to stay on (so you can see what is happening without needing to wake the screen up).

  • I did this once for 20 000 ai files (yes exactly 20 000). Well it took a on average 5 seconds per file so 100 000 seconds or about 2 workdays (and the night in between). Be sure to have your files backed up before you do this ;) Wait, your trying to back up... Oh? Also make sure you have enough disk space svg files not zipped are huge (biut so is pdf embedding) – joojaa Oct 7 '19 at 13:56

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