I have a world map in Illustrator with a layer for each individual country. I want to copy and paste all layers into photoshop so that I can edit the colour blend for each individual country. I do not want to copy and paste 200 times to get 200 shape layers. Can I copy then another way so i can edit each country individually?

5 Answers 5


You should make an export of your .ai file as a .psd.

After File > Export..., at the bottom of the dialog you must choose psd as your exporting format and when you click save you get a new dialog in which you can choose if you are exporting as a flat image or with the different layers. To do this you must check the Write Layers option. After that you would be good to open that file in Photoshop and tune your individual countries.

  • Hi, Thanks for that. Unfortunately, It did not work. I cannot select any individual country, I actually cannot change anything.. Can you help?
    – Jim
    Jul 10, 2014 at 10:11
  • I'm not sure what's the issue now. Didn't create the layers in Photoshop?
    – raulalgo
    Jul 10, 2014 at 10:43
  • Hi raulailgo, It did not create layers. Just one layer which I cannot change. Strange! i will keep trying.. Thanks!
    – Jim
    Jul 10, 2014 at 10:58
  • I am wondering if it has anything to do with transparency? The countries are at 100% opacity...
    – Jim
    Jul 10, 2014 at 11:27
  • 1
    Hi Scott, Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. I still only saves as one layer. However, I am a complete novice and I wonder it is because every individual country vector is a 'sublayer'? Perhaps this is where I am going wrong? Any advice appreciated! Thanks again!
    – Jim
    Jul 14, 2014 at 14:18

Here is your problem, before you export you need to create each item on it's own layer - that way you tell Illustrator to create multiple layers, then PSD will pick those up.

Hope this helps.

P.S:Everything else to do is correct.


what i do is open your AI file in Adobe Fireworks then save as a PSD file.

Now your file should have all the shapes in Photoshop on their own layer as vector shapes.

simples :)

  • Thanks Sat. I downloaded Fireworks but it will not open any .AI files. I get an 'Internal Error' message. Seems this is a common roble. Thanks anyway for you help!
    – Jim
    Jul 14, 2014 at 14:13

I encountered this problem today and the solution stated above did not work for me. With so much trial, experiment and research here's what worked for me..

I created new layers in AI for all my images... then click the image each and drag each one to new layers I've created.

After that, I exported that file ticking Options: Write layers, etc.. and saved it as PSD file.

When I opened it on Photoshop .. all layers are now visible.. ! Hope this will help others you'll encounter such problem.

  • Hi JenL, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Jul 24, 2015 at 10:41

this was super simple, highlight the layers you want to export into a new .psd and then drag them on top of a new canvas. EASY.

  • Hi Doug, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your input. Could you please explain a bit more? What kind of canvas, in Photoshop or Illustrator? Thanks! If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Jul 19, 2016 at 8:32

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