I am wondering about ways of cataloging the work I do in Illustrator. I was thinking to use Adobe Lightroom by exporting my final AI files as JPEGs(for instance) and then create a catalog in Lightroom only for that purpose, although it would be perfect to link those JPEG files to the folders where the AI files are stored.

Do you use or know any better way to do it? Is there any program that does for vectors what programs as Adobe Lightroom or Picasa do with images? (for organization, I mean)

  • 2
    Adobe Bridge? It shows .ai files as thumbnails.
    – Reactive
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 18:01
  • Yes, thank you:) I always found Bridge a bit clumsy in terms of cataloging and organization. Maybe because is open to all the kind of files (images, psd, ai, txt, mp3, etc). Unlike Lightroom, there is no catalog system where you can build a proper portfolio (in this case a illustration portfolio). The only way is by collections that work (and look) like folders (sub-folders not possible); there are some times when AI files have no preview image and sometimes eps cannot even have keywords associated, etc. But you are right, at least shows AI files as thumbnails.
    – viery365
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    Create the catalog in InDesign and simply link to the .ai files.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 19:55

2 Answers 2


I would use Filemaker - I know its expensive, but it is the "Non-programmer's Programming Program" You can create virtually any type of database to file, catalog, organize, Group, find, show, etc. and you can design it anyway you want. I made a database for my Job intake and invoices. another to catalog all our halloween decorations, and another for all of our design projects. The databases can cross-referrence and Autofill among other things. but best of all you can create one as simple or complicated as you want.

  • OR you can create a portfolio pretty easily in Adobe Muse. You don't have to make it public if you don't want to.
    – Ron
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 9:15

If you have Adobe Indesign as many do these days via the CC subscription, Just create a new InDesign document. Set up a grid of image frames and link each frame to a different .ai file (or even to an artboard within an .ai file).

  • You can export the InDesign file as a PDF (or epub, html, etc) for quick reference.

  • Open the InDesign file, option-double-click any of the links and it'll open the Illustrator file.

  • When an .ai file is changed, the associated link in inDesign will update (or ask you if you want to update it).

  • You can even include figure captions in the InDesign file to include the name of the Illustrator file and other file specific data. (Via Object > Captions)

This method does not require any extra work on the .ai files or the creation of additional jpgs or other formats. It'll work with the .ai files as they are.


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.