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I created a poster in Inkscape, but the person I created it for would like to edit it in Adobe Illustrator. The Inkscape file (saved in both Inkscape SVG and EPS format) contains text, images and paths. The text is made with fonts that were downloaded from an external source and are not normally found within Inkscape or other applications.

I do not use Adobe Illustrator, but I downloaded the free trial to try to troubleshoot the problem on my own. When I open the Inkscape SVG file in Illustrator, I'm able to edit text and move individual objects, but the poster does not appear as it did in Inkscape (i.e. Most of the text incorrectly placed or off the page completely). When I open the EPS file in Illustrator, I cannot edit anything and I get a warning that the font is not found within the system. Even if I correct this, I would still have the issue of not being able to edit the file as it is in Illustrator. Finally, I exported the Inkscape file as PDF, and when I open this in Illustrator, but I encounter the error: "An unknown imaging construct was encountered." According to a quick Google search, this means that "certain PDF objects have been damaged, and may not display or print as expected", so now I'm concerned about quality (this person plans to use this in various ways, both in digital and print). The images that are not paths are high resolution, but if they are heavily compressed when exported to PDF and then brought into Illustrator, I'm worried that I will lose the quality of those images if they are copied and pasted into another software, such as InDesign.

I've read a few forums of people going from Illustrator to Inkscape, but I'm finding it difficult to find solutions for the other way around. I want this person to be able to edit the original poster and not have to fix text, etc. before editing/extracting portions of this poster for their own use, and I don't want them to lose quality on individual objects, as I know they plan to export portions of this poster for other use.

I hope this makes sense. I'm using Inkscape version 1.0.2-2 and Illustrator version 25.3.1. Any help would be appreciated.

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  • Nearly impossible to assist without seeing files - which is off topic really. In theory Inkscape > EPS or PDF > AI should be fine. But construction of the original file may make a great deal of difference. In addition, where fonts are concerned, platform may make a difference and actual font files may make a difference (the same font name from different foundries is often not the "same" font Adobe Garamond ≠ ITC Garamond, etc.)
    – Scott
    Jul 10 at 0:52
  • Okay, thank you! I think PDF will work as long as I re-add my fonts to Illustrator. I was considering switching to Illustrator, and this may be my reason to start! Appreciate the clarification.
    – jl748795
    Jul 10 at 1:26
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Try this:

In Inkscape open the SVG, and then do File > Save As, then set the file type to "Optimized SVG". This can be used to remove all of the Inkscape specific XML which if left will probably just confuse Illustrator. Remember to give the file a new name if you don't want to overwrite the original.

Set up the options like this:

enter image description here

When you open in the optimized SVG file in Illustrator, it should work, for the most part.

Note however that some Inkscape-specific features might not work as expected in this format, i.e. some features which are specific to Inkscape, such as Path Effects. These will likely be rendered as paths with the effects baked in, gradient meshes will likely be rasterized, etc. If the SVG is fairly simple though, there shouldn't be any problems.

Here's an example document, flipping between the SVG as it appears in Inkscape versus Illustrator. It contains some graphics and text.

enter image description here

Note also that the other person editing the artwork will need to have the same fonts installed on their system, otherwise Illustrator will try to substitute them with fonts installed on the other user's system. This will also be a problem if both you and the other person are using Illustrator. It's not a problem with Inkscape.

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  • Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for!
    – jl748795
    Jul 13 at 11:55

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