I am working with someone who likes to use Photoshop for their scientific figure layouts, but I prefer Illustrator. When I finish with editing in Illustrator I want to give it to them such that it is ready to go for editing in Photoshop and will not cause them problems or confusion. Can I convert my Illustrator file into a Photoshop document such that things like text, arrows, lines remain editable? I do not want them converted into some abstract "shape" when imported/converted into Photoshop.

I understand that Illustrator and Photoshop are fundamentally different in that Illustrator is mostly vector based whereas Photoshop is mostly pixel based. On the other hand, both programs share things such as scalable text (and I think the same goes for scalable arrows/lines as well)

  • 1
    Not easily. In theory you could script the creation of corresponding text layers. Anyway people usually prefer phtoshop mainly because they have never tried to use illustrator.
    – joojaa
    Feb 20, 2014 at 5:45

2 Answers 2


You can export your Illustrator file to a PSD. This will maintain what can be maintained. That won't include everything, but text and shapes can be exported as text and shapes.

Simply choose File > Export... and choose "Photoshop (psd)" from the drop down menu. Then click the EXPORT button and a second dialog will pop up....


Be certain to export to the color model the Illustrator document is in and tick the "Write Layers" option.

It helps if you avoid all transparency and blend modes in Illustrator. If you do have transparency settings, including glows and shadows, some Illustrator artwork can be flattened upon the export to maintain the overall appearance. It is best to never add any shadows or glows or blending options within Illustrator before the export.


Actually check out my method. Let's say you want to edit the text of illustrator to have the effcts of photoshop. What I do is use is make the txt in illustrator and then copy it and go into Photoshop control N for new file.... It sizes the file perfect!! Then paste and keep it a smart object. Edit the text in Photoshop then save the PSD.... Then go back to illustrator and go to file...place the PSD :) now you have full control of it!!! The resolution stays awesome and if you ever wanna change the text you can by editing the Photoshop file from illustrator then double clicking the smart object that will automatically open back in illustrator.... ;) pretty neat!!!

  • can you illustrate that with some screenshots? Someone with more rep can activate them (just leave the leading ! out).
    – Mensch
    Oct 15, 2015 at 23:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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