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.
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.
If you want to preserve layers, text, and paths when bringing your Photoshop designs into Illustrator, do the following:
In Illustrator, choose File > Open.
Locate the Photoshop file in the Open File dialog box and click Open.
Choose the appropriate options in the Photoshop import dialog box and click OK.
Photoshop Import Options
For other import options and details, see Import artwork from Photoshop.
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.
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.
In Illustrator, choose File > Place.
Locate the desired Photoshop file from the Place dialog box, check the Link option, and click Place.
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:
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
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.
From the main Photoshop menu, select Edit > Copy.
In your Illustrator file, select Edit > Paste.
Move pixels from Photoshop into Illustrator
In Photoshop, make a selection of the pixels you want to copy.
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.
Import all paths to Illustrator (but no pixels)
Choose File > Export > Paths To Illustrator.
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 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
In Photoshop, select one or more paths.
Choose Edit > Copy.
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
In Photoshop, select one or more paths
Choose Edit > Copy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information, see Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator.