Photoshop and Illustrator interop | Known issues and limitations

Learn more about known issues and limitations while working with Illustrator artworks in Photoshop

Known issues and workarounds




Text layers with some fonts are getting displaced when copy-pasted via layers in Photoshop as compared to their original position in Illustrator 

To fix the issue, install the required font on your system.

To learn more about fonts, see Activate fonts on your computer.

Effects applied to a top-level layer will not be copy-pasted from Illustrator to Photoshop.

You can apply properties and effects at different levels to different objects, groups, and layers in Illustrator but when applying to the topmost layer and copy-pasting to Photoshop, the effects or properties will not be brought along.  

To resolve the issue, subsume the top-level layer within another layer/group so that it becomes a sublayer.

Blend modes



Visual fidelity is not maintained when we copy-paste from Illustrator to Photoshop if non-normal blending mode is applied to layer groups, clipping groups, and subgroups. 

In Illustrator, we may have multiple groups, with different art objects, and shape objects parallel to these art objects, with blend mode applied at the group and shape level. On copy-pasting these groups and art objects using the Layers option to Photoshop, you will observe visual difference in the blend mode of the output.

  • To resolve this issue, in Illustrator, select All > Go to Object and rasterize.
  • Copy-paste the image via layers paste dialog to Photoshop. 
  • To maintain visual fidelity, rasterize at the top layer level which can be obtained easily when pasted as a pixel layer. 

Blend modes for top layers are not mapped correctly when copy-pasting from Illustrator to Photoshop. 

When you apply a blend mode to a layer in Illustrator, you are not able to map it the same way in Photoshop, which causes loss of visual fidelity. This is because we use the Pass Through blend mode in Photoshop, which is different from the blend mode available in Illustrator.

To resolve this issue, add a dummy top layer in Illustrator and put all the document layers inside this layer. Then if you copy-paste your document to Photoshop, the blend mode of the previous top layers get mapped correctly.

Other Photoshop and Illustrator interop issues

Knockout group is not copied to Photoshop.

Knockout group, an Illustrator functionality, is not supported in Photoshop. So if you copy-paste an object with knockout group functionality, the functionality will not be copied with the object. Also, the layer with knocked-out stroke will be copied as a path (or will be rasterized).

Paintbrush Tool path in Illustrator is copied as pixel layer.

Path created with Paintbrush Tool in Illustrator is copy-pasted in Photoshop as a pixel layer, instead of being pasted as a shape layer.

Visual fidelity is sometimes not maintained while copying strokes with line miter.

The property of line miter, used to cap strokes in Illustrator, is not carried forward in Photoshop. So, visual fidelity is not maintained for strokes at path corners while copying strokes from Illustrator to Photoshop.

Layer structure changes when objects are copy-pasted from Illustrator to Photoshop with group/sub-layer effects. 

When copy-pasting objects with group-level effects from Illustrator, you can achieve visual and functional fidelity in Photoshop. However, you will a different layer structure in the Layers panel of Photoshop from when objects are pasted with group-, sub-group, or sub-layer level effects. 

You will see a similar layer structure in Illustrator if you go to Object > Expand Appearances on the group with the effects applied.

Shapes are pasted as paths in Photoshop when effects or styles are applied at the group, sub-group, or sub-layer level.

Shapes are pasted as paths when effects or styles are applied at the group level. Say, you paste a live shape with drop shadow effect applied on a group or a live shape with multi-strokes applied on the group, they will be brought into Photoshop as paths, instead of as live shapes. 

Dash and gap stroke corners are flipped when pasted as layers in Photoshop.

Create a shape in Illustrator and then enable the Dashed Line property.  On defining the Dash and Gap values, setting stroke width, and subsequently pasting the shape in Photoshop, you will observe that the dash and gap stroke corners are flipped - the top right corner becomes the bottom left corner, and so on.

Blend Modes: Blending mode is not mapped correctly from Illustrator to Photoshop. 

When you create objects in Illustrator with overlapping strokes and copy-paste the same to Photoshop using the Layers option while also preserving color appearance, observe the color blend in those overlapping strokes. The blending mode is not mapped correctly and there is a visual difference.

Text with bullets or numbered lists copied from Illustrator are pasted in Photoshop as Shape Path. 

Text objects with bullets or numbered lists in Illustrator are mapped to vector format in Photoshop. Copy-pasting such text objects converts text into outlined text and pasted in Photoshop as editable Shape Path to maintain visual fidelity. The output and layer structure is the same as what you get in Illustrator Type > Create Outlines functionality. 


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