When I open an Adobe Illustrator CS6 document with the previous version, CS5, I get the error:

Created with a newer version of Illustrator

and can't use the file.

Is there a way around this?


If you still have access to CS6 (the higher version of both) you can simply go to File > Save As and save it downwards, that's possible in all Versions of Illustrator. It appears the standard Save As Dialog where you can set your Version. In your case click the Drop Down and select CS5 like:

enter image description here

  • This doesn't really answer the actual question being asked. This answers "how to save a CS6 file for CS5", not how to open a CS6 file with CS5. What if a user does not have access to CS6 or CC? – Scott Apr 16 '15 at 21:59

Install a virtual machine with CS6 evaluation. Edit, ungroup, whatever, save as CS5. Freeze VM for the next time.

  • Hi Baked Egg, this is not a bad suggestion. Could you expand your answer a bit, for example detailing how to install a VM, where to find the evaluation version of CS6, etc. I'm also not sure about the legal implications of this method. – PieBie Jun 30 '15 at 11:59

If you have Adobe Acrobat, open the AICS6 file with that. Then save as PDF.. then open the PDF in AICS5.

Be aware, some art may be flattened or expanded when opening the PDF in Illustrator CS5. And this assumes the CS6 file was saved with PDF compatibility on.

The easiest solution is to find someone with CS6 or newer and ask them to re-save the file to CS5.

  • still all merge, can't ungroup them a change any elements ;( – Makamik Jan 13 '15 at 15:15
  • There are some things CS6 does which simply do not translate to CS5. The only sure-fire solution is to use CS6 or newer. – Scott Jan 13 '15 at 15:17
  • hi, tis it helped me for something else ;) but still can manipulate object separately on the cs6 file ;( – Makamik Jan 15 '15 at 14:33

I'm not sure this will work, but I've used this to open Illustrator CC files in Illustrator CS6, so it might work two versions back:

  1. Download and install a script to open multipage PDF (you might get different/better results with either): Open Multipage PDF or Multi-Page PDF loader
  2. Use on the .ai file instead of .pdf

I suspects it works by reading the pdf compatible info within the .ai. Hope it helps!


You can figure out the color mode by opening the file first in cs5 or cs6 and when the error comes up saying it was created in a newer version, open a new document with the same color mode. In the new document, "place" the .eps or .ai file and then embed the image. This works unless there are missing fonts, in which case they would still be missing even if you had a newer version. I'm a graphic designer at a printing company so I run into that all the time since we don't have CC.


Tried and worked opening an Illustrator CS6 file in a Illustrator CS5 version: You just have to create a new file, and then go to menu FILE... PLACE unchecked the link box... PLACE and that´s all! Enjoy! :)


A workaround I have used if I cannot access the original version is to open the AI6 file with Adobe Acrobat and save it as a PDF. Then you should be able to open the PDF with AI5.


I just opened the AI6 eps file in Preview on Mac, saved it as a pdf, then opened it in AI5, it all came in as one layer but I just went inside the layers and put what I wanted to change on a new layer. Same as using acrobat really. I find Preview sometimes does things others can't.

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