Maintaining layers when exporting from Illustrator to PSD.

Switching between Illustrator and Photoshop is one of the significant advantages of working with Adobe products. When exporting your vector artwork from Illustrator, you may need to maintain your layers for later editing. Follow below for our quick guide on exporting your Illustrator files to Photoshop while still keeping layers.

Prepping Your Layers for Export

In Illustrator, with your artwork open and all layers unlocked, press  ctrl+a if using Windows or cmd+a if using Mac to select all layers.

Navigate to the Window menu at the top of your screen and select Attributes.

Uncheck Overprint Fill

Exporting to PSD

Navigate to the File menu at the top of your screen and select Export>Export As

Illustrator will attempt to export your PSD file in the same location as where you had saved your AI file or the location where you last exported a file from Illustrator. If you would like to export to a new location, navigate there now, and make sure that Use Artboards is selected before clicking Export

In the next window, make sure that your settings match the following:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Resolution: High (300 ppi)
  • Options: Write Layers; Maximum Editability
  • Anti-aliasing: Art Optimized (Supersampling)
When you are sure that all the settings are correct, click OK. Your file will export and is ready to be used within Photoshop.

Opening Your Exported File in Photoshop

Within Photoshop select either File>open at the top of the screen or press ctrl/cmd+o on your keyboard. This will open a file navigation window for you to select your exported PSD artwork.


Note: If your layers within Illustrator contained multiple objects, they will be contained within groups in your PSD document.