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I have a PSD file which I prepared to print a brochure. The whole thing is prepared in photoshop. Now the print guy wants the file in ai format. According to him, it will help to print small letters in a better way. He wants me to recreate the whole thing in ai. This will be a tedious and heavy job to do because the whole 3 fold brochure has 500+ different fields which I need to recreate.

Things I have tried so far to convert the PSD to eps/ai:

  1. Opened the PSD in AI. Only got 2 layers after opening in AI.

enter image description here

  1. Placed the PSD file in AI. Same, Didn't get any layer.
  2. Saved the PSD as eps. Then tried to open the file in AI. Got this error. error message
  3. To avoid the large file size I merged all other layers except text layers. The result was the same when opened the eps file in AI.
  4. Tried to covert the texts into path by creating work path in photoshop. That didn't work out either because of so many text layers.
  5. Dragged and dropped the text layers in AI. It came as <image>

Help me please, if I have to try something else please let me know.

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  • It's not uncommon for a print provider to specifically ask for a format they are aware or are guessing that you know little about and which will require much more effort on your part. This can often be a slightly more polite way of saying "your files are a mess and I don't want to work with them." -- not statin this is the case here.. but it's possible. Few, if any, print providers ask for ai files... or .psd files... most will request PDF. But online printers tend to accept anything just so they can have the work.
    – Scott
    Jul 21 at 22:17
  • Why dont you go via pdf instead of eps?
    – joojaa
    Jul 21 at 23:04
  • @joojaa he asked for the vector. Will exporting/saving as pdf solve the problem? Jul 22 at 4:53
  • @TuhinSubhra PDF is the replacement of EPS. So yes everything that was vector in EPS will be vector in PDF. It just removes the print specific code tweaks. IN either case uyou can also export layers separately.
    – joojaa
    Jul 22 at 10:50
  • Looking at the images in the question? Is this a 24 page piece all done in Photoshop?
    – Scott
    Jul 22 at 19:09
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The request to re-do it all in AI is not reasonable in my opinion. Also asking for AI files is not really something I would expect a printer to ask for. Not everything for print is necessarily done using Illustrator.

If the text in your PSD is still editable text layers, then you should export as a PDF. Text will still be vector. That should be enough to fix the issue with small text. Using PDFs in this way is standard practice in the print industry.

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  • I'll try this approach and let you know about the result :) Jul 22 at 4:54
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I fixed the above-mentioned issue.

My file was heavy, with lots of layers. I thought that was the problem. But actually what I learned is Illustrator doesn't understand layer style from photoshop.

So if you want to open your PSD in AI (keeping all layers), either remove the layer style or rasterize the layer with layer style in photoshop and then open the PSD in Illustrator. I believe then you can easily open the PSD file in AI and you'll find all the text layers editable.

Lots of thanks to those who have given me the suggestion to export pdf directly from Photoshop for print purposes. I'll try it too.

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  • You do realize rasterizing everything pretty much defeats the purpose of using Illustrator entirely, right? I mean, you may as well merge layers in Photoshop and export. Same difference.
    – Scott
    Jul 22 at 18:39
  • You are right but I didn't say anything about rasterising text layers. If someone does that, it definitely defeats the purpose of using illustrator. But if you have a small logo in png and if you want to keep the drop shadow then you can either rasterize in Ps with the effect or you can add drop shadow again in illustrator. It'll be a raster in illustrator too. Jul 22 at 20:46
  • @TuhinSubhra well logos should preferably not have drop shadows. Having one makes it harder to manufacture logos on all substrates. But no a drop shadow does not need to be rasterized. Though a naive drop shadow is...
    – joojaa
    Jul 23 at 13:03
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Never send native files to a printer. Only send PDFs as mentioned above. Native files contain information from your own computer that doesn't follow the file when you release it to the vendor. If you send native files like ai or psd, you risk missing font problems or the printer making his needed changes to the files that will affect the overall design. A pdf contains all the information the printer needs to print the document. *Edit - it's also a vector file so there should be no issue with smaller character pixelating when printed.

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