How to convert an Indesign file to an Illustrator (.ai) file

  1. In Indesign save as a pdf
  2. then open the pdf in Illustrator
  3. then save as an .ai file.

This seems to work fine, the art board is the right size and the text (kind of) editable.

BUT, sometimes Illustrator throws a wobbly and substitutes the fonts for no good reason.

In this case you should:

  1. export as an .eps in Indesign (PostScript Level 3, embed all fonts)
  2. open the .eps in Illustrator
  3. save as .ai file

This has the disadvantage that Illustrator won’t create the right size art board (it will be the default A4 size) and the fonts are outlined, but at least it looks right.


  1. Hi Jason,

    I created a sign in inDesign, and would like to now get it printed up…but they would like a vector file. Will following the above steps get them what they need? Or can I convert the font to curves somehow?

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