Opening Adobe illustrator CS5 file in CorelDRAW X5


I was totally new to graphic design and the best I could do was resize images in MS Paint or use Word 2010. Than I discovered Adobe Illustartor as I needed to make a logo and Letter Head. After breaking my head against my monitor (does not hurt any more) and learning it for 2 weeks, I became sufficiently good enough (if I can be excused to say that) and designed the logo and letterhead. Now it has to go to print.

The problem is that all the commercial printers and the people who use them, HERE use CorelDRAW and not only that but also older versions from 9 to 15. They refuse to take Adobe Illustrator files or even CorelDRAW files above version 12 such as v15 or X5. They refuse to work with PDF files also. No Word 2010 files either. Simply and Only CorelDRAW files of version 9 to 12.

The Adobe Illustrator CS5 does not have options of saving the files in ".cdr" format. And when I import or open the ".ai" file in CorelDRAW X5, many things happen. Color changes of text as well as objects. Some objects do not get displayed. Alignment and positioning gets changed, and many others.

I have taken some steps after reading on the net to make it easier for CorelDRAW X5 to import the ".ai" files. And also tried many things. These include, but are not limited to..

  1. Uncheck/disable the "compression" when saving the file in AI-CS5.
  2. Uncheck/disable the "Embed ICC Prile" when saving in AI-CS5.
  3. Convert all text to outlines.
  4. Saving in "SVG", "PDF" all different versions.
  5. Saving in older AI-CS5 Legacy versions.
  6. Exporting the file from AI-CS5 in different file formats.
  7. Importing the file from CD-X5.
  8. Working in RGB Color Mode.

... And many more.

Please note that I can not be expected to fresh learn CD-X5 and abandon AI-CS5 and design from the begining, if that is a "sole" answer. Also my design is simple enough. Attached are 2 pics. One of the logo and the other of the letterhead. Just 3 rounded rectangles filled with 2 color gradients and vectors of animals with styles applied to those animals and with text at the bottom. (can't post images, need 10+ rep for that)

The Logo logo

The LetterHead letterhead

Please further note (yes! I know, you have heard that many times) that although I was successful in designing (the asthetic beauty of the design is another matter), I am still new to designing. So Color Theroy or Font theroy have not made past me. And I wonder what's the point of having a standard of "SVG" If these so called "Vector Editing Applications" can not handle the files uniformly?

I guess my question is how to either

  1. Export/Save/Save As/Place the file from AI-CS5 to CD-X5
  2. Import/Open/Open As/Place the file in CS-X5 from AI-CS5

Without changes being made to it. My objective to to hand over a print ready file to the printing guys.

Thanks in Advance.

3/19/2012 10:23:00 PM

Accepted Answer

The problems you describe have been issues with Corel for years. I've run into it working with small specialty engraving shops that have equipment that only understands Corel files so they have to import to Corel.

Your best vector option at this point is to export an RGB version as an EPS (not .AI) in AI8 format. If that can import correctly into X5, you'll be okay, but I have to warn you that I've seen problems even from those legacy formats. Otherwise, you're left with exporting a high resolution TIFF for import into Corel, or learning Corel.

Not the best news, I'm afraid, but those are your best options.

3/20/2012 12:49:00 AM

While I still advocate going local whenever you can when it comes to printing--as it's nice to have a good relationship with one--it's also rather trivial to send your jobs out to print nearly anywhere on the planet now with the internet. I'd spend a bit of time online and find a printer that can handle your files.

Adobe, alas, is the standard in this industry and any printer not supporting standard Adobe product files is likely not a printer you want to deal with for a whole number of reasons.

If you have no other choice but to go with local printers, that leaves you with two options:

  1. In AI, do a SAVE AS and save it back to the oldest format you can for an AI file. It's rare for competing software to be able to open native Adobe files that are current or even one or 2 versions back.

  2. Barring that, learn Corel Draw. I know you don't like that answer, but you may be surprised with it not being as difficult as you think. By learning AI, you've learned 80% of the concepts that nearly every vector based drawing tool uses.