Is it possible to import a Illustrator document into Photoshop and keep the layers - we need to supply a multi layered document to a client in this way asap...

We have tried exporting the doc as a PSD from Illustrator - but the 'write layers' option is disabled for some reason!

Any advice?



5 Answers 5


In Illustrator,

File > Export... >

Format: Photoshop (psd), Use Artboards, All

The Color Mode must match the color mode used for the document (my guess is this is what you are doing differently)

Photoshop Export Options from Adobe Illustrator

  • 1
    And unless there have been vast improvements in CS6, it doesn't like nested layers. That's a big one for my teams. Apr 29, 2013 at 17:59
  • @plainclothes in my simple test file using CS6, nested layers work fine. They appear in Photoshop inside of folders. Apr 29, 2013 at 18:59
  • Glad to hear it! Apr 29, 2013 at 19:00
  • Cheers Dave - Write layers is always diabled when I try the above for this particular doc though - maybe due to linked PS files in the Illustrator Doc? Cant think of any other reason myself!
    – Paul
    May 8, 2013 at 11:09

Keep in mind that illustrator export the "Groups" as photoshop layers.

Write to layers options is disabled because your artwork has one layer containing all the objects. You can follow this method.

1) Select the layer in layers panel.
2) Choose "Release to layers (Sequence)" from the flyout menu.

It will automatically convert all the separate objects into separate groups within that layer. You'll find Export to layers enabled this time.

File > Export > PSD. (Enable Write Layers)

Alternatively. You can group different objects manually if you want them to be merged in one layer.


There is a very simple way:

  • Save as AI with Illustrator
  • Open AI in Fireworks
  • Save as PSD with Fireworks
  • Open in Photoshop

In Photoshop, use the Open As command in the File menu. PS will read the .AI file and convert it to layers


Ctr + A , Un group . Choose release to layers (sequence)

  • 1
    Hi there and welcome to GD - this is a little thin on information, could you please edit your answer to be more descriptive? There is a chance it might get deleted for this reason, but the best thing would be if you added more and clearer information.
    – benteh
    Aug 17, 2014 at 17:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.