I am importing a DWG into Adobe Illustrator, saving it there as a .AI, copying by Ctrl + C to Photoshop, inserting it by selecting Smart Object in the Box that appears but... instead of giving me a Smart Object linked to Illustrator I end up with a Vector Smart Object that opens a new tab in Photoshop.

Where do I make the mistake?

Thanks a lot,


2 Answers 2


Your clipboard preferences in Illustrator need to be set accordingly so that vector data is retained.

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Ensure Both PDF and AICB are checked. You may also want to relaunch the apps and possibly reboot the system if you haven't done that. THis is more of a tech support issue because by default you can copy/paste objects from Illustrator as a vector smart object in Photoshop and double-clicking a vector smart object in Photoshop should open the embedded file in Illustrator.

There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with your workflow, but it does sound like things are not operating as they should.

  • Thanks a lot, in fact I swiched to the computer of a friend where it worked perfectly. The IT guys of my uni did a new setup of my own computer's profile and now it works also here.
    – Sara
    Dec 8, 2013 at 14:50

Don't use Copy/Paste to insert the file. That just uses the data from the system's clipboard.

Instead, go to Edit > Place to get the file you want.

  • Copy/paste should work fine. I use it 99.9% of the time.
    – Scott
    Dec 4, 2013 at 18:17

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