I have a huge problem. I made a design for a packaging with Adobe Photoshop. Now the printer wants to have the design in CDR and not in PSD.

I have already converted the PSD to AI and then opened the Illustrator file with Corel Draw and saved it as CDR. But now in Corel Draw I don't have the layers and vectors anymore. And my printer needs those to set up the printing machine...

How can I convert the PSD to CDR as they want it?

  • There is a good chance that you have used functionality in Photoshop that isn't vector-based, but pixel-based. Photoshop is a pixel-based program after all. If you did, these pixels will be embedded into the .ai and thus the .cdr, and will never become vectors.
    – Vincent
    Sep 20, 2017 at 12:57
  • That means? Not possible?
    – Jan
    Sep 20, 2017 at 13:03
  • 3
    You might want to double-check with your printer for the definitive answer to that question.
    – Vincent
    Sep 20, 2017 at 13:15
  • It may be possible to recover a lot of work by exporting individual PS layers and then using a trace tool or hand tracing on each exported layer to rebuild large portions of the art. Hard to say without seeing it. I doubt that there will be an automated solution.
    – Yorik
    Sep 20, 2017 at 16:16

3 Answers 3


If you save your PSD file with layers, not flattened, you can IMPORT the PSD file into your Corel Draw programme and it should have all the layers intact. If you can UNGROUP the PSD image(s) in Corel Draw, then the layers are there. If the 'separate elements'/layers are all there, but they are all on one layer, ungroup and place each one (in hierarchy) in a separate layer, and save.


You have 3 problems, and all caused by yourself.

The first one, you did not ask the requirements beforehand.

The second, you used PhotoIShouldNotUSeItForEverythingShop.

No. Depending on the assets included, and the type of design, there is a biiiiiig chance you need to make it correctly. In a vector-based program.

If you really used paths in Photoshop, (Which means you used almost entirely the pen tool) you can export the paths to illustrator, and simply open these paths in Corel.

The third one. If someone asks a file in an editable program, it could mean that they do not trust your work to be properly prepared.

In this case, it is obvious that you do not know how to prepare a file to be printed as it needs to be.

Does it have the correct bleeding, color separation, spot colors, vector-based texts, overprint settings, a separate layer for the cut, and a big etcetera?

I must say. I work in Corel Draw and I Never, ever send a Corel Draw file.

I always send a PDF file with "no mistakes" on it, to be printed in the plates directly.


the only time a printer asked me for a CorelDraw file is because they wanted each colour on a layer for screen printing . so you could seperate the colours on layers

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