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I purchased some vectors in Adobe Stock. They are multiple images on a page and download as an ai file. I open them in photoshop and cannot figure out how to separate out the individual images. The layers are not visible in the file. I have tried searching for this answer but all the answers seem to be for separating the file in illustrator. I would like to stick with PS if possible. Thank you.

  • Illustrator files are only edited in Illustrator. You can Place linked that file in Photoshop. When you double click the layer thumbnail it will open that file in Illustrator for editing it. After saved it will be updated back in Photoshop. – LeoNas Oct 9 '17 at 14:13
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An ai file is an Adobe Illustrator file. If you want to edit the contents of the file then you will need to open the file in Illustrator.

If you want to, you could open the file in Illustrator and export the file as a PSD, see the following question: Illustrator document to Photoshop - Preserve Layers?

You can also open the file in Illustrator and copy what you want and paste/place the image into Photoshop.

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Strictly using Photoshop . . .

  • You can create a layer mask to hide elements on the layer.
  • Then duplicate the layer and adjust the mask.

Or. . .

  • you can create a Marquee Selection around an element
  • Edit > Copy
  • Open a New Document (it should be the size of your selection by default)
  • Edit > Paste

This will give you each item in a separate document. However, the pasted elements will be raster elements and no longer vector.


If you want to edit Illustrator vector content, and retain it as vectors, then using Illustrator, or some other compatible vector editor, is really the only way.

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