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Illustrator tutorial: How to export non-native formats?

Learn the best ways to keep your files!

how to export non native formats on Illustrator

 

Illustrator allows you to export your files to non-native formats. You can store your artwork in the most efficient way, and keep a non-destructive workflow.

In today’s post, we are going to explain how to export files to six popular non-native formats: PNG, JPEG, PSD, CSS, BMP, and AutoCAD. These are the most popular options for graphic designers. In the upcoming chapters of our Ultimate Graphic Design Guide, we’ll explain other options.

Previously, we’ve explained how to export vector graphics to native formats in this article.

We hope you find our advice insightful!

 

On this article:

What are non-native formats on Illustrator?
How to export PNG files on Illustrator?
How to export JPEG files on Illustrator?
How to export PSD files on Illustrator?
How to export CSS files on Illustrator?
How to export BMP files on Illustrator?
How to export AutoCad files on Illustrator?

 

What are non-native formats on Illustrator?

 

Non-native formats are those that don’t maintain the global characteristics of an Illustrator file. Once you have saved them, you won’t be able to recover the data for further editions. You won’t be able to modify the layers separately.

Exporting your designs as a non-native format is straightforward. Hit File > Export > Export as. Illustrator will display a list of non-native formats.

 

How to export PNG files on Illustrator?

 

The PNG format allows you to export images without losing any resolution. By choosing this format, you make sure that you’ll have high-quality images for any purpose. Also, you can decide to make the background of your files transparent.

To export your design as a PNG file, hit File > Export> Export as.

Illustrator will display a new window that you can use to choose where do you want to place your design. Here, you’ll be able to select the name of the file and the format. Select “PNG.”

 

how to export PNG files on Illustrator

 

Once you have named your design and chosen where to save it, your device will take you back to Illustrator. There, you’ll see a new pop-up window. Use this window to adjust the settings of your PNG file. You’ll be able to set the resolution, the anti-aliasing, and the color of the background.

 

how to export PNG on Illustrator

 

Once you’ve finished adjusting the settings of your file, hit “Ok.”

And that’s it! Your PNG file is ready.

 

How to export JPEG files on Illustrator?

 

The JPEG file is perfect for photo storage. You can use it to save and load any kind of photographic images.

To save your design as a JPEG, hit File > Export> Export as.

Your device will display a new window where you can choose the location and name of your file. If you click beside “Save as type,” you will see a dropdown menu.  Among all the options, choose “JPEG (*.JPG),

 

how to export JPEG files on Illustrato

 

After you’ve chosen the name, type, and location of your file, Illustrator will display a window with JPEG options. Here, you can select the color model, the quality standards, and the compression method that you want to apply to your file. These answers will tell your device how does it have to read the data.

 

how to export JPEG files on Illustrator

 

Once you are done editing the options of your JPEG file, hit “Ok.” Your file is ready!

 

How to export PSD files on Illustrator?

 

PSD is the standard file format for Adobe Photoshop. Although it’s not a native file on Illustrator, you can save and open this type of file with the software. By keeping your design as a PSD document, you’ll be able to continue your work on Photoshop without losing quality or information.

By exporting your files to PSD, you are rasterizing your images. This means that you are turning vectors (Illustrator) into pixels (Photoshop). It’s essential to notice that your drawings won’t be scalable anymore.

To export your design as a PSD file, press File > Export> Export as.

In the new window, select the name and location of your new file. On “Save as type,” display the dropdown menu and select “Photoshop (*PSD).”

 

how to export PSD files on Illustrator

 

Illustrator will show a menu with some options. Here, you’ll have to set the color model and resolution of your new file.

Illustrator and Photoshop separate the content in layers. If you want to be able to edit the layers of your file on Photoshop, select “Write Layers” >  “Maximum Editability.” You can also save your file as a Flat Image. In that case, you won’t be able to edit the different layers.

 

how to export PSD files on Illustrator

 

Once you have set your preferences, press “Ok.” Now, your file is ready to use on Photoshop.

 

How to export CSS files on Illustrator?

 

CSS stands for Cascade Style Sheets. Front-end developers use this format to edit the appearance of a website. Usually, developers use a template or write their code from scratch. With Adobe Illustrator, you can generate pieces of code by exporting your designs.

To save your content as a CSS document, press  File > Export> Export as.

Your device will display a new window, where you can choose a location and write a name for your new file. At the “Save as type” category, view the dropdown menu, and select CSS (*.CSS). 

 

how to export CSS on Illustrator

 

On the Export Options window, you’ll have to make some choices. You can set the CSS Units, the Object Appearance, the Position, the Size, and the way you want the browsers to read your file.

Once you are done setting your preferences, hit “OK.”

 

how to export CSS files on Illustrator

 

And that’s it! Illustrator will generate some code that you can add to your Cascade Style Sheets.

 

 

How to export BMP files on Illustrator?

 

BMP, or Bitmap, is the standard image format on Windows.

To save your design as a BMP file,  hit File > Export> Export as.

 

how to export BMP on Illustrator

 

After choosing the name and the file type of your new document, Illustrator will display a new window with rasterization options. You will have to select the color model, the resolution, and the anti-aliasing that you want to have on your image.

 

how to export BMP on Illustrator

 

This time, there is another extra window with more BMP options. Here, you can choose the file format and the depth that you want to have on your design.

 

how to export BMP on Illustrator

 

Once you  have finished setting your preferences, press “Ok.” Your BMP design is now ready!

 

How to export AutoCAD files on Illustrator?

 

AutoCAD is a popular design tool that engineers and architects use for their projects. To guarantee a non-destructive workflow, Illustrator allows you to save your designs as DWG or DXF files. This way, you can open them on the other software and continue working.

When you turn an Illustrator project into an AutoCAD file, all the white strokes and elements will turn black. At the same time, all the black features will turn white.

To save your design as an Autocad file,  hit File > Export> Export as. The formats that you have to choose are DWG and DXF. 

 

how to save AutoCad files on Illustrator DWG DXF

 

Back on Illustrator, you’ll have to make some choices to get the file that you need. Set your AutoCAD version, the Artwork Scale that you need, the color, and the file format. To be able to modify your design to the fullest, choose “Maximum Editability.” Once you are done making changes, hit “Ok.”

 

how to save AutoCad files on Illustrator DWG DXF

 

After you’ve finished setting your preferences, press “Ok.” Your AutoCAD file is ready!

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