Is there anyway we can open AI file in inskcape?

Hey, I wish to know is there is anyway we can open Adobe Illustrator file in Inkscape or Affinity Designer or anyother software without exporting to EPS format?

Drag and drop the Illustrator file into Inkscape.

The Illustrator file must be saved with the option for PDF compatible turned on when saving - I believe.


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You then need to check the layers Inkscape to see if multiple layers were brought in from the .ai file (really the PDF portion of the .ai) and then also you might have to ungroup all the objects.

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I just tried opening a couple of Illustrator (.ai) files in Affinity Designer, and they opened just fine. Of course, any Illustrator features not supported by Affinity Designer won’t work.

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So, I have just opened the Adobe Illustrator file in Inkscape. Now the problem is I am unable to make any changes to the AI file in Inkscape. What now?

Did you check the layers
Did you ungroup things
Did you find the same youtube video online that I did?

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In Inkscape, I am unable to edit the files the AI files.

What YouTube video? I am going to check the layers and group now in Inkscape.

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Honestly, the person doing the video seems to have no idea what he’s talking about or what he’s doing. But it shows a basic way to open them and edit them.

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I have manage to move and edit the object in Inkscape now the problem is that Inkscape is sluggish and lagging and moving the simple vectors which are present in the file. How to fix this ?

There’s a bunch of tips to try on their own site

There’s too many things and not enough info to advise you what’s wrong on your end.
You’ll have to try a few things.

Or just get Illustrator and edit the file in the native app, which makes a lot more sense.

There’s a free trial for Illustrator.
Whatever suits you I guess.

I know @Jakub_Trybowski is an Inkscape user - maybe he can advise better.

I have Adobe Illustrator I have newer version at home but at job I have old version of Adobe Illustrator. So in that case, I have failed to open newer version files in older version of Adobe Illustrator. I know I can just export in EPS, but the issue is the lot of time I kept forgetting about it. Hence, I kept taking newer version file to the work place which do not work on old version. So I ask wish to solve this issue. The reason why I ask to add Inkscape and affinity Designer in my question as I thought the solution of these software programs will also be applicable to Adobe Illustrator old version.

What version of Illustrator?
If you have bought it in the Creative Cloud - then you can update to the latest version.

It’s better to save the Illustrator file with a lower versioning number - you do that when doing a Save as or Save a Copy - and then you can pick the version of illustrator you wish to save for.

It’s better to do this than what you’re doing.

What you’re effectively doing is opening up a file in a program that it wasn’t designed to be opened in.

  • Any native Illustrator features are completely lost.
  • When saving as EPS the file is no longer supporting ICC Profiles
  • The program editing the file might not conform to all the complexities involved in the modules for clipping paths, compound paths, and a dozen other things that have been designed to be read in the native application might be and are probably ignored by the software you’re editing it in.

Your best bet is to upgrade Illustrator to the same version.
Or save down from Illustrator to the version you need to edit it in.

Anything else is a hack.


I have currently 2022 Version of Illustrator at home while at workplace I have 2018 version of Illustrator, which cannot be updated due to the system does not support newer version of Illustrator. As for the save as feature, the thing is I often forget to save the file in older version due to which I faced trouble often times. I know this is the correct procedure, but still, though.

That is on you then, sorry. Put a sign on the top of your home computer “SAVE DOWN”
It’s not that hard (we have to save down all the time to send .ai files to our CNC department. After a while it becomes automatic.)

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I open .AI files in Affinity Designer.


Here are more methods of opening .AI files in Inkscape:

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Thanks :+1:

My 30 year old daughter doesn’t know how to Google something either. She always calls me. Just saying.

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Hey Rickself!
Long time no see!