You can import both vector as well as bitmap file to illustrator. As Adobe has tight integration between all its products it support a huge variety of file formats to import, export, copy and paste in ILLUSTRATOR and all its other products. To import files
- Click File menu in Menu bar (yeah, the topmost bar).
- Click Place option.
- Choose the file you want to import and press enter. (Only one file can be placed at once)
Remember, Files can only be placed into an already opened document. (Yeah, Once I was trying to place it with no active art board while I was new to Illustrator 😀 ). To Open a File
- Click File menu in Menu bar.
- Choose Open option (ctrl + o).
- Choose the file you want to open and press enter. (Multiple files can be selected at once while pressing CTRL button from your keyboard)
If you open multiple documents at once each document will be opened as a new file. To Open a New document
- Click File menu in Menu bar.
- Choose New option (ctrl + n).
- A New Document palette will open,
- In Name Section, enter the name of the document
- In Profile section, choose the profile from the drop down menu for which you want to design your illustration.
- Mention the number of artboards you require for your illustration. (Each art board is like a new page embedded in same document). [I love this feature in illustrator, I actually can create as many number of artboards as much I want, and these artboards can be edited as per my requirement, later on as well (Feature introduced in CS 5, you won’t find it in earlier version on ILLUSTRATOR )]
- Choose the size for your art board from the Size option or manually mention the size in width and height in the required Units.
- Choose the orientation of page: Landscape or Portrait.
- Bleed: Toggle with it if you are planning to print your artwork so that your artwork can lie under the safe margins else just ignore.
Okay, let me tell you few more things about placing a file into your document else it might trouble you later on: File placed into the document is a linked file or embedded file.
- Linked File: Files imported into illustrator are linked to the place from where there path is defined. Every time you open your file the path should be the same and in case if its not then Illustrator while Warn you with an Missing Link error. Don’t worry, you can define the path even for multiple missing files. You should remember that you have to carry these linked files wherever you take your document to (In case, you are copying it to your portable media or transferring the data to another device). Linked files have their advantage that these file doesn’t increase your document size and makes it easy to use. When you export or print, the original graphic is retrieved, creating the final output from the resolution of the originals. Yes, Illustrator is smart enough that if we modify our file (if the file is already in use with illustrator), it asks if we want to update the changes we made to the file.
- Embedded File: After placing the file into illustrator we can cut the links between the path of the file and Illustrator. It will not be a Linked file so you don’t confront with Missing File error. You can take your Illustrator Document wherever you want. But it does make your document heavy enough, which may result in slow speed (if you have short memory issues with your Computer like i do have).
Note: Illustrator doesn’t serve you with the option of changing the color mode of the linked file. So, if you are about to print your imported file convert it to CMYK color mode before bringing it to Illustrator. You can change the color mode in Photoshop and then can bring it into Illustrator. If the file is embedded then the color mode will be the same as of your document color mode. To be manipulative with your linked file and embedded file you can refer to the bar just below the menu bar (Yes, I actually don’t remember the name of that particular bar 😉 ) which provides you the whole information about the placed file. You can re-link, Go to link, Update link, Edit original, Embed the linked file, and the whole information about the link from there only. Well, this is all about importing, opening and placing file into Adobe Illustrator.