Saving as Legacy AI Format

Illustrator CS6 Tutorial

Subject: This tutorial covers saving Adobe Illustrator CS6 files as any previous version.

Prerequisites: Adobe Illustrator CS6 file (*.ai) and knowledge of physical file location.


  1. Start Adobe Illustrator CS6 and open your *.ai file by clicking File -> Open.... Under the "Files of Type" drop-down, select "Adobe Illustrator (*.AI,*.AIT)". Browse to the folder where you stored your *.ai file, select it, and then click the "Open" button.
  2. Your artwork will load and then you need to click File -> Save As.... Under the "Save as Type" drop-down, select "Adobe Illustrator (*.AI)". Name or rename your file and click the "Save" button.
  3. On the next screen you will have a couple of decisions to make. Under the "Version:" drop-down you have options to select version 3, 8, 9, 10, all previous CS versions or even JI 3. I also check "Create PDF Compatible File", "Use Compression" and "Embed ICC Profiles" if needed. Once you have everything set the way you want, you can click OK.

    If a dialog box appears stating that "Saving this document in an older format may convert all type to point type and may disable some editing features when the document is read back in. Do you want to continue?", you can just click OK, but make sure that you have kept the original CS6 file and have not overwritten it. This is a fairly common occurrence for version formats not being backward compatible, but most of the time the effects are unavoidable.

  4. Your new exported file is now ready to use.