Export artwork

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  6. Import, export, and save
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Export artwork

  1. Choose File > Export.

  2. Select a location for the file, and enter a filename.

  3. Select a format from the Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS) pop‑up menu.

  4. Click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS).

For a video on exporting content from Illustrator, see How to save a file for output.

Background export

When you export assets from a file using the File > Export > Exports for Screens option, Illustrator runs the export process in the background. You can continue with your work even when the exporting is in progress. If the file is small, you might not even get to know about the background export process, but for large files, it will help you save a lot of time and improves productivity.

Check progress

To check the progress of the background export process, you can click the progress icon on the menu bar. 

If multiple files are getting exported in the background simultaneously, the individual progress for all of them is displayed. Once the export is complete, you'll receive a message.

If you want to stop the export process for any file, click the Cancel (x) button next in the progress bar.

By default, files will be always exported in the background. To turn off background export, choose Preferences File Handling & Clipboard > Export in Background.

Note:
  • Currently, only the raster file formats, .png and .jpg, can be exported in the background. The .svg and .pdf file formats follow the standard export process.
  • If you select a combination of raster file formats and .svg/.pdf file formats, the export process will not run in the background.
Quick tip

Quick Tip
As you can continue to work on the file even when the file is being exported, do remember to save or export your latest changes on the file.

File formats for exporting artwork

Note:

You can export multiple artboards only to the following formats: SWF, JPEG, PSD, PNG, and TIFF.

AutoCAD Drawing and AutoCAD Interchange File (DWG and DXF)

AutoCAD Drawing is the standard file format for saving vector graphics created in AutoCAD. AutoCAD Interchange File is a drawing interchange format for exporting AutoCAD drawings to or importing drawings from other applications. For more information, see AutoCAD export optionsNote: By default, white strokes or fills in Illustrator artwork are exported to the AutoCAD formats as black strokes or fills; and black strokes or fills in Illustrator are exported to the AutoCAD format as white.

BMP

A standard Windows image format. You can specify a color model, resolution, and anti-alias setting for rasterizing the artwork, as well as a format (Windows or OS/2) and a bit depth to determine the total number of colors (or shades of gray) that the image can contain. For 4‑bit and 8‑bit images using Windows format, you can also specify RLE compression.

Enhanced Metafile (EMF)

Widely used by Windows applications as an interchange format for exporting vector graphics data. Illustrator may rasterize some vector data when exporting artwork to EMF format.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

Commonly used to save photographs. JPEG format retains all color information in an image but compresses file size by selectively discarding data. JPEG is a standard format for displaying images over the web. For more information, see JPEG export options. You can also save an image as a JPEG file using the Save For Web & Devices command. Note: Artifacts, such as wave-like patterns or blocky areas of banding, are added to a file each time you save the file as a JPEG. Always save JPEG files from the original image, not from a previously saved JPEG.

Macintosh PICT

Used with Mac OS graphics and page-layout applications to transfer images between applications. PICT is especially effective at compressing images with large areas of solid color.

Flash (SWF)

A vector-based graphics format for interactive, animated web graphics. You can export artwork to the Flash (SWF) format for use in web design, and view the artwork in any browser equipped with the Flash Player plug‑in. For more information, see Flash export options. You can also save an image as an SWF file using the Save For Web & Devices command, and you can export text as Flash Dynamic or Input text (see Tag text for export to Flash). In addition to exporting artwork in Flash format, you can copy Illustrator artwork and paste it into Flash. The fidelity of artwork is maintained across the clipboard.

Photoshop (PSD)

The standard Photoshop format. If your artwork contains data that cannot be exported to Photoshop format, Illustrator preserves the appearance of the artwork by merging the layers in the document or by rasterizing the artwork. As a result, there may be times when layers, sublayers, compound shapes, and editable text are not preserved in the Photoshop file, even though you selected the appropriate export option. For more information, see Photoshop export options.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

Used for lossless compression and for display of images on the web. Unlike GIF, PNG supports 24‑bit images and produces background transparency without jagged edges; however, some web browsers do not support PNG images. PNG preserves transparency in grayscale and RGB images. For more information, see PNG export options. You can also save an image as a PNG file using the Save For Web & Devices command.

Targa (TGA)

Designed for use on systems that use the Truevision® video board. You can specify a color model, resolution, and anti-alias setting for rasterizing the artwork, as well as a bit depth to determine the total number of colors (or shades of gray) that the image can contain.

Text Format (TXT)

Used to export text in an illustration to a text file. (See Export text to a text file.)

TIFF (Tagged-Image File Format)

Used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by most paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Most desktop scanners can produce TIFF files. For more information, see TIFF export options.

Windows Metafile (WMF)

An intermediate exchange format for 16‑bit Windows applications. WMF format is supported by almost all Windows drawing and layout programs. However, it has limited vector graphics support, and wherever possible, EMF format should be used in place of WMF format.

AutoCAD export options

When you export artwork to either DXF or DWG format, you can set the following options:

AutoCAD Version

Specifies the version of AutoCAD that supports the exported file.

Scale

Enter values for Scale Units to specify how Illustrator interprets length data when writing the AutoCAD file.

Scale Lineweights

Scales the lineweights, along with the rest of the drawing, in the exported file.

Number of Colors

Determines the color depth of the exported file.

Raster File Format

Specifies whether images and objects that are rasterized during export are saved in PNG or JPEG format. Only PNG supports transparency; if you need to preserve appearance to the maximum extent possible, choose PNG.

Preserve Appearance

Select if you need the appearance to be maintained and don’t need to make edits to the exported file. Selecting this option may lead to a significant loss of editability. For example, text may be outlined and effects will be rasterized. You can select this option or Maximum Editability, but not both.

Maximum Editability

Select if the need to edit the file in AutoCAD outweighs the need for maintaining appearance. This option may lead to significant loss of appearance, especially if you’ve applied style effects. You can select this option or Preserve Appearance, but not both.

Export Selected Art Only

Exports only the artwork in the file that is selected at the time of export. If no artwork is selected, a blank file is exported.

Alter Paths For Appearance

Changes the paths in AutoCAD to maintain the original appearance, if necessary. For example, if during the export, a path overlaps other objects and changes their appearance, this option alters the path to maintain the objects’ appearance.

Outline Text

Converts all text to paths before export to maintain appearance. Illustrator and AutoCAD may interpret text attributes differently. Select this option to maintain maximum visual fidelity (at the cost of editability). If you need to edit the text in AutoCAD, don’t select this option.

Flash export options

When you export artwork to SWF format, you can set the following Basic and Advanced options. You can export multiple artboards to SWF format.

At any time, you can click Web Preview to preview the file in the default web browser (Flash Player browser plug‑in should be installed for the browser ), or click Device Central to preview the file in Flash Player on a particular mobile phone or device.

Note: If your goal is to bring Illustrator artwork into a Flash document, you can simply paste it in. All paths, strokes, gradients, text (specify Flash Text), masks, effects (such as drop shadow on text), and symbols are maintained. In addition, you can specify how layers are imported when pasting: as Flash layers, frames, or graphic symbols. 

Before you click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) in the Export dialog box, specify how to export multiple artboards. If you want to export artboards as separate SWF files, select Use Artboards in the Export dialog box. To export only a range of artboards, specify the range. Then click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) and specify the following options:

Preset

Specifies the preset option settings file to use for exporting. If you change the default settings, this option changes to Custom. You can save a custom option settings as a new preset for reuse with other files. To save option settings as a preset, click Save Preset.

Export As

Specifies how to convert Illustrator layers:

AI File To SWF File

Exports the artwork to a single frame. Select this option to preserve layer clipping masks.

AI Layers To SWF Frames

Exports the artwork on each layer to a separate SWF frame, creating an animated SWF.

AI Layers To SWF Files

Exports the artwork on each layer to a separate SWF file. The result is multiple SWF files, each containing a single frame with the artwork from a single Illustrator layer.

AI Layers To SWF Symbols

Converts the artwork on each layer to a symbol and exports it to a single SWF file. AI layers are exported as SWF Movie Clip symbols. The symbols are named using their corresponding layer names.

AI Artboards To SWF Files

Exports each of the selected artboards to a separate SWF file. This is the only option available when you choose to preserve multiple artboards in the Save As dialog box. If you save a preset with this option selected, you can use that saved preset only on files with multiple artboards.

Version

Specifies the version of Flash Player for browsing imported files. The Compress File option isn’t available in Flash version 5 and earlier. Dynamic Text and Input Text aren’t available in version 3 and earlier.

Clip To Artboard Size

Exports the Illustrator artwork within the selected artboard’s borders) to the SWF file. Any artwork outside the borders will be clipped off. This option is checked and disabled when exporting multiple artboards.

Preserve Appearance

Select Preserve Appearance to flatten artwork to a single layer before export. Selecting this option limits the editability of the file.

Compress File

Compresses the SWF data, resulting in a smaller file size. Note that Flash players prior to Flash Player 6 can’t open or display compressed files. Don’t use this option if you’re not sure what version of the Flash player the file will be viewed on.

Export Symbols In The Panel

Exports all the symbols in the Symbols panel. If a symbol doesn’t have an active instance in the artwork, the symbol isn’t included in the exported frames; however, it is available for use in the Flash Symbol Library within the Flash Authoring environment.

Export Text As Outlines

Converts type to vector paths. Use this option to preserve the visual appearance of type in all Flash players. If you prefer to have maximum text editing ability, deselect this option.

Ignore Kerning Information For Text

Exports text without the kerning values.

Include Metadata

Exports the metadata associated with the file. Exported XMP information is minimized to keep file size small. For example, thumbnails aren’t included.

Protect From Import

Prohibits users from modifying the exported SWF file.

Password

Type a password to protect the file from being opened by unauthorized users or in applications other than Adobe Flash.

Curve Quality

Determines the accuracy of the Bezier curves. A lower value decreases the exported file size with a slight loss of curve quality. A higher value increases the accuracy of the Bezier curve reproduction, but results in a larger file size.

Background Color

Specifies a background color for the exported SWF file.

Local Playback Security

Specifies whether you want the file to access only local files or network files during playback.

To specify Advanced options, click Advanced and specify any of the following:

Image Format

Determines how the artwork is compressed. Lossless compression maintains the highest image quality but creates a large SWF file. Lossy (JPEG) compression creates a smaller SWF file but adds artifacts to the image. Select Lossless if you intend to continue to work on the file (or files) in Flash; select Lossy if you’re exporting the final SWF file.

JPEG Quality

Specifies the amount of detail in the exported image. The higher the quality, the larger the file size. (This option is available only if you choose Lossy compression.)

Method

Specifies the type of JPEG compression that is used. Baseline (Standard) applies the standard type of compression, while Baseline Optimized applies additional optimization. (These options are available only if you choose Lossy compression.)

Resolution

Adjusts the screen resolution for bitmap images. Resolution for exported SWF files can be 72 to 600 pixels per inch (ppi). Higher resolution values result in better image quality but larger file sizes.

Frame Rate

Specifies the rate at which the animation will be played in Flash Player. (This option is available only for AI Layers To SWF Frames.)

Looping

Causes the animation to loop continuously, rather than play once and then stop, when played in Flash Player. (This option is available only for AI Layers To SWF Frames.)

Animate Blends

Specifies whether or not to animate blended objects. Selecting this option produces the same results as manually releasing blended objects to layers before you export. Blends are always animated from start to end irrespective of the layer order.

If you select Animate Blends, select a method for exporting the blend:

In Sequence

Exports each object in the blend to a separate frame in the animation.

In Build

Builds up a cumulative sequence of objects in the animation frames. For example, the bottommost object in the blend appears in each of the frames, and the topmost object in the blend appears only in the last frame.

Layer Order

Determines the timeline of the animation. Select Bottom Up to export layers starting with the bottommost layer in the Layers panel. Select Top Down to export layers starting with the topmost layer in the Layers panel. (This option is available only for AI Layers To SWF Frames.)

Export Static Layers

Specifies one or more layers or sublayers to be used as static content in all the exported SWF Frames. Content from the selected layers or sublayers will be present as background art in every exported SWF frame. (This option is only available for AI Layers To SWF Frames.)

JPEG export options

If your document contains multiple artboards, specify how to export the artboards before you click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) in the Export dialog box. To export each artboard as a separate JPEG file, select Use Artboards in the Export dialog box. To export only a range of artboards, specify the range. Then click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) and specify the following options:

Quality

Determines the quality and size of the JPEG file. Choose an option from the Quality menu or enter a value between 0 and 10 in the Quality text box.

Color Model

Determines the color model of the JPEG file.

Method and Scans

Select Baseline (“Standard”) to use a format recognized by most web browsers, Baseline Optimized for optimized color and a slightly smaller file size, Progressive to display a series of increasingly detailed scans (you specify how many) as the image downloads. Baseline Optimized and Progressive JPEG images are not supported by all web browsers.

Depth

Determines the resolution of the JPEG file. Choose Custom to specify a resolution.

Anti-Alias

Removes jagged edges in the artwork by supersampling it. Deselecting this option helps maintain the hard edges of line art when it is rasterized.

Imagemap

Generates code for image maps. If you select this option, select Client-side (.html) or Server-side (.map) to determine the type of file that is generated.

Embed ICC Profiles

Saves ICC profiles in the JPEG file.

Photoshop export options

If your document contains multiple artboards, specify how to export the artboards before you click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) in the Export dialog box. To export each artboard as a separate PSD file, select Use Artboards in the Export dialog box. To export only a range of artboards, specify the range. Then click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) and specify the following options:

Color Model

Determines the color model of the exported file. Exporting a CMYK document as RGB, or vice versa, may cause unexpected changes in the appearance of transparent areas, especially those that include blending modes. If you change the color model, you must export the artwork as a flat image (the Write Layers option isn’t available).

Resolution

Determines the resolution of the exported file.

Flat Image

Merges all layers and exports the Illustrator artwork as a rasterized image. Choosing this option preserves the visual appearance of the artwork.

Write Layers

Exports groups, compound shapes, nested layers, and slices as separate, editable Photoshop layers. Nested layers that are more than five levels deep are merged into a single Photoshop layer. Select Maximum Editability to export transparent objects (that is, objects with an opacity mask, a constant opacity less than 100%, or a blending mode other than Normal) as live, editable Photoshop layers.

Preserve Text Editability

Exports horizontal and vertical point type in layers (including nested layers up to five levels deep) to editable Photoshop type. If doing so compromises the appearance of the artwork, you can deselect this option to rasterize the text instead.

Maximum Editability

Writes each top-level sublayer to a separate Photoshop layer if doing so doesn’t compromise the appearance of the artwork. Top-level layers become Photoshop layer sets. Transparent objects remain editable transparent objects. Also creates a Photoshop shape layer for each compound shape in a top‑level layer if doing so doesn’t compromise the appearance of the artwork. To write compound shapes with solid strokes, change the Join type to Round. Whether or not you select this option, all layers over 5 levels deep are merged into a single Photoshop layer. Note: Illustrator cannot export compound shapes that have graphic styles, dashed strokes, or brushes applied to them. Such compound shapes become rasterized.

Anti-Alias

Removes jagged edges in the artwork by supersampling it. Deselecting this option helps maintain the hard edges of line art when it’s rasterized.

Embed ICC Profiles

Creates a color-managed document.

PNG export options

If your document contains multiple artboards, specify how to export the artboards before you click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) in the Export dialog box. To export each artboard as a separate PNG file, select Use Artboards in the Export dialog box. To export only a range of artboards, specify the range. Then click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) and specify the following options:

Resolution

Determines the resolution of the rasterized image. Higher resolution values result in better image quality but larger file sizes. Note: Some applications open PNG files at 72 ppi , regardless of the resolution you specify. In such applications, the dimensions of the image will be altered. (For example, artwork saved at 150 ppi will be over twice as large as artwork saved at 72 ppi .) Therefore, only change the resolution when you know the target application supports non ‑72‑ppi resolutions.

Color

Specifies a color for filling transparency. Choose Transparent to preserve transparency, White to fill transparency with white, Black to fill transparency with black, or Other to select another color for filling transparency.

Anti-Alias

Removes jagged edges in the artwork by supersampling it. Deselecting this option helps maintain the hard edges of line art when it is rasterized.

Interlaced

Displays low-resolution versions of the image as the file downloads in a browser. Interlacing makes download time seem shorter, but also increases file size.

TIFF export options

If your document contains multiple artboards, specify how to export the artboards before you click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) in the Export dialog box. To export each artboard as a separate TIFF file, select Use Artboards in the Export dialog box. To export only a range of artboards, specify the range. Then click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS) and specify the following options:

Color Model

Determines the color model of the exported file.

Resolution

Determines the resolution of the rasterized image. Higher resolution values result in better image quality but larger file sizes.

Anti-Alias

Removes jagged edges in the artwork by supersampling it. Deselecting this option helps maintain the hard edges of line art when it is rasterized.

LZW Compression

Applies LZW compression, a lossless compression method that does not discard detail from the image. Select this option to produce a smaller file.

Byte Order

Determines the appropriate sequence of bytes for writing the image file, based on the platform you choose. Illustrator and most recent applications can read files using the byte order for either platform. However, if you don’t know what kind of program the file may be opened in, select the platform on which the file will be read.

Embed ICC Profiles

Creates a color-managed document.

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