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the file is an unknown format and cannot be opened (.ai file)

May 31, 2011 6:38 AM

Hi. I am on XP and working with AI CS4.


I cannot open an Illustrator file that I created last year. I did NOT have this file emailed to me. I just need to make a couple edits and reprint it.

This is what I have tried to do:


I tried zipping the file and opening it.

I tried Ctrl + Shift + Alt clicking on Open when trying to open the file fro the Open dialog box.

I tried copying & pasting the file to another directory to open it.

I tried using another version of Illustrator, 10.

I tried right clicking and selecting Open With Illustrator.


I found another post on this topic that mentions to enable content recovery mode:


It is just here, it says it can be risky and I am afraid to damage other Illustrator files. There are a lot on the system.


I was just wondering if there was another way. I do not have a backup of this file (didn't think it was important). I may have a jpg, but I'd like the actual Illustrator file to work with if possible.


Thank you.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2011 6:42 AM   in reply to Stella1251



    Did you try to create a new document and File>Place the damamged file in it, to see what may be recovered that way?


    Any risk only applies to the file you are changing; you may work on a copy.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2011 8:05 AM   in reply to Stella1251



    I saved the file, but took the extension out.


    I am uncertain about this statement.


    Another thought: have you tried opening the file in Acrobat (relevant if saved with PDF compatibility, which may rescue a possibly simplified version of the artwork)?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2011 10:40 AM   in reply to Stella1251

    Congratulations, Stella.


    File recovery is very difficult, and often fails whichever the effort.

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