I'm creating a very simple logo with text and just one Smart Object leaf.

I want to create an .eps file so my client can print without any trouble.

The thing is, the Smart Object is a leaf that originated from a Photoshop Website template and it has 5 effects on it.

My question is this: How can I export the Smart Object from Photoshop to Illustrator without losing the vector data?

I know the long way is to basically recreate the Smart Object from scratch in Illustrator and just add in the text (which has nothing fancy on it), but I don't have enough billable time to work with to go that route. Is this even possible? I'm using Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. Thanks!

  • "originated [from] a Photoshop Website template" does that mean it's a raster image inside the smart object? And what type of effects?
    – Scott
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:08
  • @Scott Thanks for your fast response! To be honest, I don't know if it has a raster image inside, but I believe it should since all Smart Objects start out as raster images right? And the effects are Inner Shadow, Inner Glow, Gradient Overlay, and Drop Shadow. Thanks!
    – Carlo71
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:31
  • Much like an EPS, a smart object can be 100% raster, 100% vector or something in between. There's really no way to transfer Layer Styles to Illustrator other than a 100% raster image which completely negates any eps format. Raster eps files are not resolution independent.
    – Scott
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:37
  • @Scott Thanks, I am doing more research right now and it seems that it really is impossible. I'm just going to have to accept that i will have to recreate it from scratch in illustrator. Thanks again!
    – Carlo71
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:44
  • You do realize that glows, shadows, and other raster effects created in Illustrator Wont' scale if you save the file as an EPS, right? EPS is a flat file format. Anything you create with shadows and glows will basically end up being vector clipping shapes with raster images used as fills in an eps.
    – Scott
    Mar 1, 2014 at 0:20

2 Answers 2


Photoshop layers styles can not be exported to Illustrator as anything other than raster images. In other words, styles are not transferable, only their visual appearance, as a flat raster image, can be transferred.

In addition, EPS is a flat file format. That means only 1 bit for transparency. Something is either transparent or opaque. You can't have subtle fading to transparent effects in an EPS file.

Due to this, anything created in Illustrator, and using raster effects such as shadows or glows, will result in the EPS file being constructed of vector clipping masks with embedded raster images to create the shadow/glow. These raster images will be bound by all traditional raster limitations and will not be resolution independent like vector data is.

While it's certainly possible to transfer a vector shape from Photoshop to Illustrator, if the desire is to also transfer layer styles, there's little point. You can rebuild an appearance in Illustrator. Meaning, rather than using the drop shadow effect, you can manually use a gradient or mesh, etc. This would result in vector effect. However, only if the file is saved as a native .ai file or .pdf (version dependent). But saving as an .eps file will always result in raster images if you are using a fade-to-transparent object within Illustrator.


If you don't care about the effects and just want the option to export to .ai, instead of .PSB, here is a fix that allows you to at least export the object from .PSD to .ai, regardless of the effects that are active. This will NOT transfer the effects, but will at least allow you to export the object if intending to work with it in .ai.

-click and highlight individual object in layers panel -right click object in panel -choose "export contents" -if showing option to export to .ai, choose to export to .ai and rename object.

IF only option showing is "export to .psb":

-Right click on object in layers panel -choose to "Edit Contents" instead of "export contents" -Choose to "Keep layers" in warning prompt. -New window opens with object and effects -Right click object to be exported in layers panel -Now showing option to export to .ai. -Export to .ai and rename object. -Now open in .ai and have at it!

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