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Adobe CS5 Illustrator File Sharing within the Creative Suite

The best way to save an Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator file is as a native Illustrator .ai file, particularly if you’re working with the other programs in the Creative Suite. For instance, the .ai format works with Adobe applications such as Adobe InDesign for page layout, Adobe Dreamweaver for web page creation, Adobe Photoshop for photo retouching, and Adobe Acrobat for cross-platform documents.

Understanding when it’s best to use the .ai format is important. Saving your illustration as an .ai file ensures that it’s editable; it also ensures that any transparency is retained, even if you use the file in another application.

To save and use a file in native Illustrator format, follow these steps:

  1. Make an illustration with transparency (50 percent transparent, for example) in Adobe Illustrator and choose File→Save As.

  2. Select Adobe Illustrator Document (.ai) from the Save As Type drop-down list, give the file a name, and click Save.

  3. Leave the Illustrator Native options at their defaults and click OK.

Sharing files in the Creative Suite programs is not limited to the .ai file format, there are many options.

  • Adobe Acrobat: Open the Acrobat application and choose File→Open. Locate the .ai file. The native Illustrator file opens within the Acrobat application.

  • Adobe InDesign: Choose File→Place. This method supports transparency created in Adobe Illustrator. However, copying and pasting from Illustrator to InDesign do not support transparency.

    InDesign supports transparency, even over text.
    InDesign supports transparency, even over text.
  • Adobe Photoshop: Choose File→Place. By placing an Illustrator file into Adobe Photoshop, you automatically create a Photoshop smart object. You can scale, rotate, and even apply effects to the Illustrator file and return to the original illustration at any time.

    Another option is to you save the file in Illustrator by choosing File→Export then select the Photoshop (.psd) format from the Save As Type drop-down list. Choose a resolution from the Options window. If you used layers, leave the Write Layers option selected.

    In Photoshop, choose File→Open, select the file you just saved in Illustrator in .psd format, and click Open. The file opens in Photoshop with its layers intact.

  • Adobe Flash: Use the integration features built into Adobe Illustrator to cut and paste directly into Adobe Flash. If you choose Edit→Copy from Adobe Illustrator, you can then switch to Adobe Flash and choose Edit→Paste. The Paste dialog box appears.

    You can also choose File→Import in Flash for additional import choices. When a native Illustrator file was selected to import to the Stage, the Import to Stage dialog box appears so that you can import only certain layers and respond to warning messages about incompatible objects.

  • Adobe Dreamweaver: By choosing File→Save for Web & Devices, you can choose to save your Illustrator document in .gif, .jpg, .png, .svg, .swf, or .wbmp format. You can then insert images in those file formats into Dreamweaver by choosing Insert→Image in Adobe Dreamweaver.

    Click the Image button in the Insert panel in Dreamweaver. When the Select Image Source dialog box appears, navigate to the location where you saved your optimized file. Select it and click OK.

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