How to Import Illustrator (.ai) Files in Flash CS5 - dummies

How to Import Illustrator (.ai) Files in Flash CS5

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Because Adobe Creative Suite 5’s Illustrator and Flash both natively create vector artwork, you can import graphics created in Illustrator into Flash CS5 for placement or editing with tools, such as the Pen tool and Subselection tool.

Importing .ai files is nearly identical to importing .psd files, with a full layer view and lots of options for converting and distributing artwork and type from Illustrator layers.

Before you begin, select an Illustrator file to use. The flexibility of the Illustrator Import panel can best be explored with files that make use of type and graphics.

To import an Illustrator file, follow these steps:

  1. In a new Flash document, choose File→Import→Import to Stage; choose an Illustrator file from your hard drive and choose Open (Windows) or Import (Mac).

    The Import to Stage dialog box appears with a full view of all layers in your Illustrator document.


  2. Select the check boxes for the layers you want to import into your document.

  3. Highlight each layer you’ve chosen for import to set options for each one.

    You can import each layer and individual path as either a bitmap or an editable path. You can import groups as bitmaps or movie clips.

  4. Click OK to import the artwork to the Flash stage.

    Check out the stage and the Library panel to see how your artwork was placed in Flash.


Look for the Incompatibility Report button at the bottom of the layer view in the Import panel. This button can indicate potential problems that can prevent the artwork from importing properly into Flash. If you see the Incompatibility Report button, click it and read the warnings to address any pending issues before import.