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Many times, you'll create artwork inside of Illustrator, but then you want to bring that artwork into Photoshop to finish off a design. For example, it's very easy to create precise shapes and objects inside of Illustrator. But you may want to take advantage of advanced painting or pixel-based drawing capabilities that Photoshop has. So in those cases, you might start off with art inside of Illustrator, and then bring them into Photoshop. Of course, there are many reasons why you might want to take Illustrator artwork into Photoshop. And it's nice to know that you can preserve a lot of editable information when you work between these two programs.
Now, it's true that if I take a regular, native Illustrator file and I save it out of Illustrator, and I then open up that native Illustrator file into Photoshop, Photoshop can correctly rasterize that image and place that as one large image. However, if I want to preserve individual object attributes, things like transparency, things like editable text, and even layer structure, I can do one better. I can actually export a Photoshop file, a native PSD file, right out of Illustrator. And when I do so, all this rich information is preserved in the file.
So you'd start by going to the File menu and then choosing Export. From the Format menu, you would go ahead and choose now Photoshop (psd). And note that in this case right now, everything inside of my file gets exported as one large Photoshop document. However, I could choose to use artboards and basically generate multiple PSD files, one for each page. For now though, I am just going to export my entire document as one, and I'll click on the Export button, so we can see the Photoshop Export Options dialog box.
I can choose which Color model I want to use, be it CMYK, RGB or Grayscale. I could also choose what Resolution I want to rasterize my document at. And then finally, I can choose to have it export as one Flat Image, or better yet, Write Layers. Illustrator will do its best to Preserve Text Editability and Preserve Maximum Editability, meaning things like Opacity, Layer Structure, Compound Vector Shapes, Web Slices and a host of other settings. If I want to soften the edges just a little bit in my graphics to avoid jagged edges, I can also choose to Anti-alias my artwork.
Once I've chosen these settings, I can click OK, and the result is an actual PSD file. It's no longer an Illustrator file. The file that I have created is a native PSD that I can open up inside of Photoshop where I'll be able to see all of my layers, editable text and anything else that can be translated when going from Illustrator into Photoshop.
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