Vector Graphics Tip

I was chatting with a friend the other day and we were discussing graphics and file formats in Paint Shop Pro — which she uses exclusively — and I was surprised to learn she didn’t know it’s possible to convert .ai files to .pdf and read them in PSP as well as PS.

Yup; just change the .ai file extension to .pdf and you’re good to go. The .pdf file acts pretty much like an .eps file, so it’s possible to scale it up or down without a loss of quality.

Not all .ai files can be converted to .pdf, but most of them will work.

2 thoughts on “Vector Graphics Tip

  1. Michele, I have downloaded an Illustrator format embroidery brush at DeviantArt which I think is also in .ai format. Hopefully that will work in PSP!? Will the .eps format also work in PSP? Those are Photoshop formats if I am correct. Thank you for your tips! 🙂

    • The .ai format often works in PSP if you change the file extension from .ai to .pdf. Sometimes, it doesn’t work because of how the file was originally saved, but I’ve had pretty good luck with this.

      The .eps format will almost always work in PSP. Sometimes you might get an error — again, it probably stems from how the file was originally saved. Other times, the file will open but you’ll get a message in PSP that says some of the file attributes won’t work in PSP. This is usually a layer thing; they don’t always translate between PS and PSP.

      The .eps file, like the .pdf file, is scalable. When you open these up in PSP, you’ll be prompted to enter a size in the “bounding box.” I usually go for 300 DPI rather than the default 72 DPI, because it gives me a large image. Occasionally, PSP will crash if the file is too large, so I’ll try 200 DPI, then 150 DPI, and even back down to 72 DPI until I get something that works.

      What I then do is save the opened .eps or .psd file in .png format, because most of the time I have to extract the image from its background.For what I do, png format is the most useful.

      I also have Photoshop, so a lot of times I’ll open up the fussier files in PS and work with them in that program.

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