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Move designs between Photoshop and Illustrator

Learn how to import and export designs between Photoshop and Illustrator.

Importing Illustrator files for editing in Photoshop and the opposite way opens up exciting possibilities when designing artwork involving a combination of vector and bitmap objects. Read on to learn how to choose a workflow that is best suited to your design outcome.

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
    8. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and other Adobe products and services
    1. Work with Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
    2. Work with Photoshop files in InDesign
    3. Substance 3D Materials for Photoshop
    4. Photoshop and Adobe Stock
    5. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
    6. Creative Cloud Libraries
    7. Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop
    8. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    9. Grid and guides
    10. Creating actions
    11. Undo and history
  4. Photoshop on the iPad
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. Edit your image size
    23. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    25. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop
    26. Work with Camera Raw files
    27. Create and work with Smart Objects
    28. Adjust exposure in your images with Dodge and Burn
  5. Photoshop on the web beta
    1. Common questions | Photoshop on the web beta 
    2. Introduction to the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the web beta
    4. Keyboard shortcuts | Photoshop on the web beta
    5. Supported file types | Photoshop on the web beta
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Collaborate with stakeholders
    8. Apply limited edits to your cloud documents
  6. Cloud documents
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
    6. Solve Photoshop cloud document errors
    7. Collect cloud document sync logs
    8. Share access and edit your cloud documents
    9. Share files and comment in-app
  7. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Learn faster with the Photoshop Discover Panel
    3. Create documents
    4. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    5. Tool galleries
    6. Performance preferences
    7. Use tools
    8. Touch gestures
    9. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    10. Technology previews
    11. Metadata and notes
    12. Default keyboard shortcuts
    13. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    14. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    15. Preferences
    16. Default keyboard shortcuts
    17. Rulers
    18. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    19. Specify columns for an image
    20. Undo and history
    21. Panels and menus
    22. Place files
    23. Position elements with snapping
    24. Position with the Ruler tool
    25. Presets
    26. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    27. Grid and guides
  8. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  9. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
    12. Convert between color modes
    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  10. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
    16. Reveal layers with clipping masks
    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
    26. Layer
    27. Flattening
    28. Composite
    29. Background
  11. Selections
    1. Select and Mask workspace
    2. Make quick selections
    3. Get started with selections
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Select a color range in an image
    7. Adjust pixel selections
    8. Convert between paths and selection borders
    9. Channel basics
    10. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    11. Create a temporary quick mask
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
    16. Selection
    17. Bounding box
  12. Image adjustments
    1. Perspective warp
    2. Reduce camera shake blurring
    3. Healing brush examples
    4. Export color lookup tables
    5. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    6. Understand color adjustments
    7. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    8. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    9. Levels adjustment
    10. Adjust hue and saturation
    11. Adjust vibrance
    12. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    13. Make quick tonal adjustments
    14. Apply special color effects to images
    15. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    16. High dynamic range images
    17. View histograms and pixel values
    18. Match colors in your image
    19. How to crop and straighten photos
    20. Convert a color image to black and white
    21. Adjustment and fill layers
    22. Curves adjustment
    23. Blending modes
    24. Target images for press
    25. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    26. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    27. Filter
    28. Blur
    29. Dodge or burn image areas
    30. Make selective color adjustments
    31. Replace object colors
  13. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  15. Image transformations
    1. Transform objects
    2. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    3. How to crop and straighten photos
    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
    10. Warp
    11. Transform
    12. Panorama
  16. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Gradient interpolation
    14. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    15. Draw with the Pen tools
    16. Create patterns
    17. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    18. Manage paths
    19. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    20. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    21. Create textured brushes
    22. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    23. Gradient
    24. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    25. Paint with a pattern
    26. Sync presets on multiple devices
  17. Text
    1. Add and edit the text
    2. Unified Text Engine
    3. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    4. Format characters
    5. Format paragraphs
    6. How to create type effects
    7. Edit text
    8. Line and character spacing
    9. Arabic and Hebrew type
    10. Fonts
    11. Troubleshoot fonts
    12. Asian type
    13. Create type
    14. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
  18. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  19. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  20. Saving and exporting
    1. Save your files in Photoshop
    2. Export your files in Photoshop
    3. Supported file formats
    4. Save files in graphics formats
    5. Move designs between Photoshop and Illustrator
    6. Save and export video and animations
    7. Save PDF files
    8. Digimarc copyright protection
  21. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Duotones
    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  22. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  23. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors
  24. Content authenticity
    1. Learn about content credentials
    2. Identity and provenance for NFTs
    3. Connect accounts for creative attribution
  25. 3D and technical imaging
    1. Photoshop 3D | Common questions around discontinued 3D features
    2. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    3. Print 3D objects
    4. 3D painting
    5. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    6. Essential 3D concepts and tools
    7. 3D rendering and saving
    8. Create 3D objects and animations
    9. Image stacks
    10. 3D workflow
    11. Measurement
    12. DICOM files
    13. Photoshop and MATLAB
    14. Count objects in an image
    15. Combine and convert 3D objects
    16. 3D texture editing
    17. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    18. 3D panel settings

Work with Photoshop designs in Illustrator

There are several methods available for putting Photoshop images and artwork into Illustrator. The best option for you depends on how you plan to use the design in Illustrator.

To learn more about a workflow that suits your design objectives, check out any of the resources listed below:

Looking to work with Illustrator design in Photoshop? See Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop.

Open Photoshop files in Illustrator

If you want to preserve layers, text, and paths when bringing your Photoshop designs into Illustrator, do the following:

  1. In Illustrator, choose File > Open.

  2. Locate the Photoshop file in the Open File dialog box and click Open.

  3. Choose the appropriate options in the Photoshop import dialog box and click OK.

    Open Photoshop in Illustrator

    Photoshop Import Options

    • Convert Photoshop Layers To Objects: This option converts the layers to Illustrator objects. It preserves masks, blend modes, transparency, and (optionally) slices and image maps. However, it does not support Photoshop adjustment layers and layer effects.
    • Flatten Photoshop Layers To A Single Image: This option merges all layers into a single layer. It preserves the look of the image, but individual layers cannot be edited.

    For other import options and details, see Import artwork from Photoshop.

Place Photoshop files in Illustrator

These methods are good choices if you want to preserve layers, text, and paths when bringing the artwork into Illustrator. Illustrator supports most Photoshop data, including layer comps, layers, editable text, and paths. Adjustment layers that have visibility turned off are imported (though inaccessible) into Illustrator and restored if exported back to Photoshop.

Place a linked Photoshop image into an Illustrator file 

When your artwork is linked instead of being embedded in the file, changes made to the source artwork in Photoshop are reflected in Illustrator. Illustrator centers the image in the open illustration. A red X through the image indicates it is linked, and therefore not editable.

  1. In Illustrator, choose File > Place

  2. Locate the desired Photoshop file from the Place dialog box, check the Link option, and click Place

Embed a Photoshop image into an existing Illustrator file

When you embed a Photoshop artwork into an Illustrator file, it copies the full resolution artwork that increases the file size. If you do not want your artwork to get updated when the original Photoshop file is edited, do the following:

  1. In Illustrator, choose File > Place.

  2. Locate the desired Photoshop file from the Place dialog box, verify that the Link option is not checked.

  3. Ensure Show Import Options is checked and click Place. 

  4. Choose the appropriate options in the Photoshop import dialog box and click OK.

Copy pixel selections to Illustrator

These methods are a good choice if you want to copy a selection of pixels to incorporate into your Illustrator design. 

Paste pixels from Photoshop into Illustrator

  1. In Photoshop, make a selection of the pixels you want to copy. Ensure that the layer is active instead of the layer mask or the mask will be copied instead.

  2. From the main Photoshop menu, select Edit > Copy.

  3. In your Illustrator file,  select Edit > Paste.

Move pixels from Photoshop into Illustrator

  1. In Photoshop, make a selection of the pixels you want to copy. 

  2. Select the Photoshop Move tool and drag the selection to your Illustrator file. When using the move tool, any transparent pixels will be filled with white.

Export paths to Illustrator

Import all paths to Illustrator (but no pixels)

  1. Choose File > Export > Paths To Illustrator.

  2. Choose a location for the exported path and enter a filename. Make sure that Work Path is chosen from the Path menu to export the path.

    Open Photoshop in Illustrator

  3. Click Save.

  4. Open the file in Adobe Illustrator. You can manipulate the path or use the path to align Illustrator objects that you add to the file.

Copy paths from Photoshop and paste into Illustrator

  1. In Photoshop, select one or more paths.

  2. Choose Edit > Copy.

  3. In your Illustrator file,  Select Edit > Paste.

    In the Paste Options dialog box, you can choose whether to paste the path as a compound shape or a compound path. Pasting as a compound path is faster, but may result in some loss of editability. 

Drag and drop paths from Photoshop to Illustrator

  1. In Photoshop, select one or more paths

  2. Choose Edit > Copy.

  3. Drag the path to Illustrator. 

Crop marks in Illustrator reflect the dimensions of the Photoshop image. The position of the path within the Photoshop image is maintained, provided you don’t change the crop marks or move the path.

You can easily select any path or path segment in Photoshop that appears in the Paths panel, including shape vector masks, work paths, and saved paths, and move it to Illustrator. with the Paths To Illustrator option. One use of this option is to align Illustrator text or objects with Photoshop paths.

Learn more

Work with Illustrator designs in Photoshop 

Now, going the other direction, there are also several methods available for getting Illustrator images and artwork into Photoshop. 

To learn more about these options, see:

For a quick overview of how to move artwork back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop, watch this video.

Best practices for optimal file management

The editing capabilities of your imported assets and their final output quality depends on how you export your artwork. While you move your artwork from Photoshop to Illustrator,  check out some best practices for Optimal file management in Photoshop and Illustrator.

What's next?

Did you know you can save and organize your design assets in Creative Cloud Libraries? This can be very helpful in grouping assets for a given project to make them easy to find and use from multiple apps. 

Creative Cloud Libraries is a web service that allows you to organize, browse, and access creative assets across various Adobe desktop and mobile applications. Each Creative Cloud Library is a collection of design assets.

From Photoshop, you can add the following elements to Libraries and then easily access them in several Creative Cloud apps.

  • Gradients
  • Graphics
  • Colors
  • Text Styles
  • Brushes
  • Layer Styles 

For more information, see Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop

From Illustrator you can add the following elements to Libraries and then easily access them in several Creative Cloud apps.

  • Colors
  • Color Themes
  • Brushes
  • Character Styles
  • Graphics
  • Text

 For more information, see Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator.

Share your creations

If you have questions to ask or creations to share, visit the Adobe Photoshop Community and the Adobe Illustrator Community. We'd love to hear from you and see your creations.

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