I am designing screens for an app for iPad. I would like to easily preview my artboards on my iPad.

My method to do that is:

  • export the .ai document to a .pdf document
  • copy the .pdf file to my "books" in iTunes
  • then, open this new .pdf file with the books app on my iPad

Is there a more clever way than what I an doing right now?

EDIT: The resason I want to preview is to compare 2 ou more screens. A good point in the process I use in that with a swipe I can compare two artboards.


5 Answers 5


Skala is a great free app that mirrors your screen on to mobile devices. It can link directly to photoshop and also send over JPGs and clipboard.

Skala: http://bjango.com/mac/skalapreview/

  • Does Skala work with Illustrator too? I thought it is only for Photoshop …
    – Afterlame
    Apr 17, 2015 at 13:07
  • No, it is not very compatible. For instance, I have tested it, and my .ai file has several art boards but only the first one is previewed...
    – Colas
    Apr 17, 2015 at 13:10
  • BUT, it is very handy to design one screen! I like it! When I save, it automatically updates the image displayed in the iPad! Great!
    – Colas
    Apr 17, 2015 at 13:35
  • Yes, Skala Preview can send AI and PDF files, but just the first artboard or page. However, you can reorder the artboards in Illustrator to send any artboard. Apr 17, 2015 at 22:44

I've been using an app called iDraw from the app store. It let's me open .AI files directly on my iPad and I can connect it to my dropbox. So I save the file on my computer in my dropbox and then I can easily open it on my iPad almost immediately.

Here's a couple screenshots of the iDraw app:



Also, you may want to try this app called Astropad. It lets you use your iPad as second screen and also a drawing tablet with Illustrator. It has no lag and works great. Plus you can try it for free.


Download iTools or similar software to manage your iPad Device albums. Then you can export your work to .jpg and import to your device.

iTools Official Website: www.itools.cn


I have an amazingly easy solution / tweak

  1. Tap that ai file to open
  2. It will open up the Share Sheet
  3. Tap Print
  4. Pinch to zoom that file to preview


Or if you want to use app Documents by Readdle allows you to preview Ai files !!

  • This somewhat hidden trick let’s you natively convert ai to pdf! No apps needed.
    – Duvrai
    May 9, 2019 at 9:49

Export the .ai document in PhotoShop as a link file Use Adobe Preview CC to view your file directly in your iPad

  • 3
    Hey there WitoldW. Can you please provide a little more detail in your answer? In order to "Export the AI document from Photoshop", you have to open the AI file in Photoshop first... are there any options that are going to pop up if the user tries to File > Open > filename.ai ? What does "export as link file" mean? It's best assume the person asking the the question (and anyone who comes across it later) is a beginner. Clear, step-by-step instructions are great!
    – Vicki
    Sep 1, 2016 at 23:37

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