Archive for March, 2011

March 29, 2011

File Formats of Illustrator CS5

The definition of ‘file format‘ states that ‘a file format is a particular way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file‘. Inter-application workflows are guided by specific file formats and, Illustrator, being a creation tool, deals with a lot of such file formats. Our interaction with our users tells us that usage pattern of Ai is different in different segments, and while some formats are popular in some segments, others are simply important to the workflow even if they are not as commonly used. Ability to exchange content in different formats has helped Ai users in their varied workflows. We keep hearing queries like … does Illustrator open DXF files? … what about SVG?I have Freehand files, can I open those in Ai, directly?

To present a detailed picture of all the formats that Illustrator CS5 saves, imports, and exports, below is the list.

File > Save (and Save As)

  • Adobe Illustrator (ai)
  • Illustrator EPS (eps)
  • Illustrator Template (ait)
  • Adobe PDF (pdf)
  • Adobe FXG (fxg)
  • SVG Compressed (svgz)
  • SVG (svg)


Formats that can be opened or placed in Ai

  • Adobe FXG (fxg)
  • SVG Compressed (svgz)
  • SVG (svg)
  • AutoCAD Interchange File (dxf)
  • AutoCAD Drawing (dwg)
  • Freehand (fh7, fh8, fh9, fh10, fh11, ft11)
  • GIF89a (gif)
  • JPEG2000 (jpf, jpx, jp2, j2k, j2c, jpc)
  • JPEG (jpg, jpe, jpeg)
  • Macintosh PICT (pic, pct)
  • Enhanced Metafile (emf)
  • Windows Metafile (wmf)
  • Encapsulated Postscript (eps, epsf, ps)
  • Text (txt)
  • Microsoft Word DOCX (docx)
  • Microsoft Word (doc)
  • Microsoft RTF (rtf)
  • CorelDraw 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (cdr)
  • Computer Graphics Metafile (cgm)
  • TIFF (tif, tiff)
  • Photoshop (psd, pdd)
  • Adobe PDF (pdf)
  • BMP (bmp, rle, dib)
  • PCX (pcx)
  • Pixar (pxr)
  • PNG (png)
  • Targa (tga, vda, icb, vst)
  • Adobe Illustrator (ai, ait)


Formats that Ai can export to:

  • PNG (png)
    Also through ‘Save for Microsoft Office’ and ‘Save for Web & Devices’
  • BMP (bmp)
  • AutoCAD Drawing (dwg)
  • AutoCAD Interchange (dxf)
  • Enhanced Metafile (emf)
  • Flash (swf)
    Also through ‘Save for Web & Devices’
  • JPEG (jpg)
    Also through ‘Save for Web & Devices’
  • Macintosh PICT (pct)
  • Photoshop (psd)
  • TIFF (tif)
  • Targa (tga)
  • Text Format (txt)
  • Windows Metafile (wmf)
  • GIF
    Also through ‘Save for Web & Devices’
  • SVG
    Also through ‘Save for Web & Devices’ and via ‘Save / Save As…’
  • WBMP
    Only through ‘Save for Web & Devices’


The list does not comprise of formats that are part of the HTML5 Pack for Illustrator CS5.

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