Can Illustrator Open Affinity Designer Files?

When it comes to design software, there isn’t a bigger name out there than Illustrator. Still, with alternatives like Affinity Designer also at your disposal, you may want to use them as well. It would be best, of course, to be able to use both in conjunction with one another. That, of course, leaves open the question, can Illustrator open Affinity Designer Files? 

Illustrator can open Affinity Designer files, however, you have to first convert the files from PDFs to AIs, as AI is the file type Illustrator uses. 

If you’re planning to use both Illustrator and Affinity Designer for your next design, but you’re not sure their files are compatible, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide below, we will discuss how you can use Affinity Designer files in Illustrator and vice-versa. We will even provide you with a step-by-step guide on how exactly you open those files. So let’s dive right in!

Is Affinity Designer Compatible With Illustrator

So, is Affinity Designer really compatible with Illustrator or can they only be used in conjunction with workarounds? The answer to this question is both yes and no. 

Illustrator files are fully compatible with Affinity Designer, however, Affinity files must be changed to AI files in order to be used with Illustrator. This means that you can directly use files in one direction but if you want to go in the other, you will need to know the proper workaround. 

In our step-by-step section, we will walk you through that very workaround so you can get to using the files you want when you’re ready. 

Why Use Both Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator?

Before we dive into our step-by-step guide, let’s first address why it’s a good idea to use both of this software in the first place. It’s only natural to wonder why you should also use Affinity Designer when Adobe Illustrator is already loaded with features and even considered the industry standard for design editing. 

The main reason why you may want to have Affinity Designer in your arsenal is that while Illustrator has far more features geared toward editing vectors, Affinity Designer has some extra features for image editing. 

Using the two together will ensure that you have all of those features at once. 

How Do I Convert an Affinity Designer to Illustrator

As we stated previously, to use an Affinity Designer file in Illustrator, you must first convert your file to AI. If you’re not a tech person, don’t worry this process is simple and straightforward. It should only take you a minute or so before your file is ready for further editing in Illustrator. 

In our step-by-step guide below, we will walk you through the process of converting Affinity Designer files to Illustrator: 

  1. Open your project in Affinity Designer: You’ll want to start out in Affinity Designer with the project open that you’re looking to convert. 
  2. Export your project as a PDF and change the DPI: You just need to go to “File” then “Export” and select PDF from the options at the top of the popup window. Don’t export quite yet though. In the popup window, you will see a number of options. Next to the one that says DPI, change the number to 72 (that’s what Illustrator uses). Now export.
  3. Find your file: For this step, first open up the location of your file on your PC. You can do this by manually going to it, searching for it, or just right-clicking the download link and pressing “show in folder.” 
  4. Ensure you can view extensions: You want to ensure that the extensions are visible on the file. Extensions are the part of the file name that says .PDF, .AI, or whatever file type you have. If they’re already showing great! If not, hit “View” at the top of the window and check mark where it says “filename extensions.” 
  5. Edit the file name to say .AI: Now all you have to do is change where it says .PDF to .AI. For example, if my file is called New Design.PDF I would be changing it to New Design.AI. 

Now your file will be ready to open in Illustrator! You simply need to double-click it. If you think you might use this again, feel free to bookmark this page so you can follow the steps anytime you need.

So Really, Can Illustrator Open Affinity Designer Files?

Illustrator can, in fact, open Affinity Designer files, but only if they have been converted from PDFs to AIs. Fortunately, PDFs and AIs are very similar file types and it only takes a minute or two to convert one to the other. 

To convert your file, you will first need to export it from Affinity Designer as a PDF. Then you simply need to change the extension on the name from .PDF to .AI. Once this is complete–as long as Illustrator is already installed on your computer–you should be able to simply double-click the file and open it in Illustrator. Now get busy making your next great design!