How to Use a Photoshop File in Adobe Illustrator

One of the great things about using Adobe Creative Suite is that the programs integrate so nicely. If a graphic component has been created in Photoshop that will be used in an Illustrator layout, the Photoshop layers can be imported as Illustrator sublayers where other effects can be applied.

  1. Go to File > Place. Select the Photoshop file and check Show Import Options.
    Place Dialog Box
  2. In the Import Options, turn on Convert Layers to Objects.
    Import Options
  3. Place the image and go to the Layers Panel to expand the current layer so you can see the sublayers. Now expand the Photoshop file sublayer.
    Layers Panel
  4. The Photoshop layers have been converted to objects. Notice that, with this file, some of the Photoshop layers are also expandable. That's because type and vector shapes created in Photoshop retain their properties and are therefore editable in Illustrator. Here the petals sublayer has been expanded to show the vector path. Using the Direct Selection Tool [Direct Selection Tool], the Target button has been clicked so the anchor points are visible, meaning the path could be edited.
    Layers Panel and Path
  5. The bottom Photoshop sublayer is a bitmap, but Illustrator effects can still be applied to it by selecting the sublayer, then going to the Appearance Panel. Click the fx icon and choose an effect.
    Appearance Panel
  6. Here's the effect being previewed.
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

About Webucator

Webucator provides instructor-led training to students throughout the US and Canada. We have trained over 90,000 students from over 16,000 organizations on technologies such as Microsoft ASP.NET, Microsoft Office, Azure, Windows, Java, Adobe, Python, SQL, JavaScript, Angular and much more. Check out our complete course catalog.