I want to convert an Adobe Illustrator file (.ai) to an equivalent Photoshop (.psd), preserving layers, text and so on.

I would like to know if there is something like imagemagick to do this, because I have not Adobe Illustrator installed. I tried this online tool, but the result is corrupted (from Photoshop point-of-view).

  • I dont understand why you cant make a smart object?
    – user9447
    Mar 31, 2015 at 12:57
  • I don't know, I opened it as a Smart Object but it shows up as a single layer, which I cannot modify.
    – gc5
    Mar 31, 2015 at 17:16

3 Answers 3


Without having a version of Illustrator the same as or later than the version used to create the .ai file, there's not much you can do. I haven't come across any tool that will give you an accurate conversion of any but the simplest file.

Even with Illustrator, a direct conversion to an "equivalent PSD" (and I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that) is not a straightforward task. In essence, you would be building a PSD from scratch by importing the elements from Illustrator. You can't just copy and paste a text object from Ai to Ps, for example. Vector objects can be pasted in as Smart Objects (which will retain their appearance), or as shapes (which generally won't).

You may be able to use the imported .ai (Smart Object) as a template to build a matching PSD on top of it, but because the feature sets and possible effects are so different between the two programs you may find there are some things that are very difficult to reproduce.

From the question, I'm assuming that you need to end up with a fully editable Photoshop file. In that case, even if you have Illustrator available, there are almost certain to be one or several elements in the original that you would have to recreate in Photoshop, but using Photoshop's tools.

  • I just ended as you proposed: "You may be able to use the imported .ai (Smart Object) as a template to build a matching PSD on top of it". Thanks
    – gc5
    Apr 2, 2015 at 19:23
  • You're welcome. From your description, it did seem like the most straightforward approach. Apr 4, 2015 at 2:49

You could always "right click" on the file, and choose "Open With" "Photoshop." Unless the file was created in a version of Illustrator that is completely incompatible with your version of Photoshop, you shouldn't have a problem doing that.

Once opened in Photoshop, I would choose "Smart Object" as the method to open the file, so that in the future, if this PSD is ever on a computer with both Photoshop and Illustrator, you can still edit that layer in Illustrator.

  • Or just open Photoshop and drag the file onto it. Or choose file>open.
    – PieBie
    Mar 31, 2015 at 12:18
  • Unfortunately, it does not work. I am unable to see layers..
    – gc5
    Mar 31, 2015 at 12:21

Just Drag the AI file into Acrobat and convert it into .eps or .JPG or save it as .PDF' or just drag the.AI` file into Photoshop directly.

I have to mention that the AI file should be saved in a way that preserve internal .PDF version of the same .AI file.

  • Unfortunately, it does not work. I am unable to see layers here too..
    – gc5
    Mar 31, 2015 at 12:21

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