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Cannot import AI file into PS (with layers, and all boxes checked correctly) and preserve layers

Jun 22, 2012 3:19 PM

Tags: #file #photoshop #layers #importing #into #ai #help_with

I think the title speaks for itself. Someone has sent me an Illustrator file CS6. I open it in AI CS6 and can see all the layers. I don't use AI much (newbie) and want to sub an image and add another layer in PS (CS6).

I export the file, with all layers intact, as a PSD. I have the "write layers" and "preserve text editability" and "maximum editability" checked.  I then drag into PS and the image is there as a single layer only.  I've reviewed a video tutorial and appear to be doing exactly what is shown (except his opens up showing layers).


Any suggestions gratefully received. TIA, Antonia

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2012 12:23 AM   in reply to Antonia52

    That is correct - Photoshop knows nothing about the layer structure from other applications in PDF/AI files.

    Photoshop also uses a different blending model from AI and couldn't retain the appearance of the file even if Photoshop could read the layers.


    But AI can export their document as a PSD with most of the appearance preserved -- so you should have a PSD file with layers.

    If not, something has gone wrong in the AI export process.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2012 3:42 AM   in reply to Antonia52

    Could you post a screenshot of the ai file with Layers Panel visible?

    Does the Illustrator file employ a lot of effects, Blend Modes etc.?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2012 7:09 AM   in reply to Antonia52

    I then drag into PS and the image is there as a single layer only.


    If it gets flattened, then this is dictated by how you structured your layers. Opacity tricks, clipping masks, blending modes and effects in AI all cause rasterization on export in order to retain appearance. Same for how theyy are grouped and certain types of fills and strokes. Anyway, without seeing the AI file, nobody can really tell you what to do to sort this out.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 5:40 PM   in reply to Antonia52

    A couple of tips...


    Ps will merge anything over 5 levels deep into one layer. For best export, try and minimised the number and depth of layers in AI.


    If you're remaking files in InD, try a copy/paste from AI. In InD prefs/clipboard handling, make sure 'prefer pdf when pasting' is off if you want components to be editable. Text won't be editable, shapes will be separate and individually scaleable. InD will need to be closed and reopened for this pref to take effect.


    If the InD pref 'prefer pdf...' is on, the entire artwork will be one vector block.

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