Adobe CS5 Illustrator File Exporting - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

When saving a file created in Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator the format chosen has real consequences. If you need a file format not listed in the regular Save As dialog box, choose File→Export to see additional choices.

If you’re working with the programs in the Creative Suite, the best way to save a file is as a native Illustrator .ai file. You can export your files to one of the formats listed below but using the native ai ensures that the file will be editable; it also ensures that any transparency is retained, even if you use the file in another Creative Suite application.

Available File Formats for Export
File Format Extension
AutoCAD Drawing .dwg
AutoCAD Interchange File .dxf
BMP .bmp
Enhanced Metafile .emf
Flash .swf
JPEG .jpg
Macintosh PICT .pct
Photoshop .psd
PNG .png
Targa .tga
Text Format .txt
TIFF .tif
Windows Metafile .wmf

Many formats rasterize artwork, so they no longer maintain vector paths and the benefits of being vector. Scalability isn’t limited, for example. If you think that you may want to edit your image again later, be sure to save a copy of the file and keep the original in the .ai format.