How To Open Ai Files On A Mac

Do you want to open a AI file on your Mac? Many Mac users have these file types stored on their device but don't know how to view then, or even what exactly they are in the first place! Following is a detailed, step-by-step guide to take you through what Ai files are and how you can run them on your Mac.

What Are Ai Files?

Ai refers to Adobe Illustrator Artwork. It's a type of graphic format created by Adobe Illustrator. Such files cannot be opened regularly and either require a dedicated application to be opened or edited.

How To Open Ai Files

There are various methods to open .ai files. Here are all of them.


Adobe Illustrator is a graphic designing application used to create various media files like posters, drawings, etc. The Ai format files are also created using this. To open them, you'll require a similar kind of app. While Illustrator is great, it is paid, and not a lot of people would want to use it.

Therefore, we recommend using a free open source alternative such as Inkscape or Affinity Designer. You may use any such application of your choice. They will allow you to not only open these files, but also edit them like you would on Illustrator.

Here is how you can download a graphic designing application and use it. We chose Inkscape for this example as it is the most popular. It is very powerful and provides you many similar and advanced features as other paid applications.

  1. Click here.
  2. Select the "Download Now" option.
  3. Your file will begin to download.
  4. Open the downloaded .dmg file. You'll be provided with two on-screen icons.
  5. Drag the Inkscape icon to the Applications one.
  6. The app will open up.
  7. Select "File" and click on "New File."
  8. Search for the file with the Ai extension, which you want to open.
  9. The graphic will load, and you can edit it however you please to.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage service. It can support many different kinds of extensions, including Ai. You can also use it to view Ai files! Once the file is uploaded, you may take a screenshot and then edit it to your liking. However, you will not have access to the actual file, but rather the screenshot only. Here is how to do it.

  1. Go to Google Drive here.
  2. Select the "My Drive" option.
  3. Choose the "Upload File" option.
  4. Browse for the Ai file on your computer and open it.
  5. Double click on the file to view it.
  6. Hold the Shift, Command, and three keys to take a screenshot.

File Conversion

Another straightforward method to view Ai files is to convert it into another extension. Formats such as JPEG or PDF don't require any special software to be accessed, so switching to these file formats is a good option. We recommend choosing an extension such as SVG or EPS, which are open-source formats used for graphic designing. To carry out this method, you will require conversion software. In our testing, Cloud Convert performed the best. Here is how to use it.

  1. Go to Cloud Convert here.
  2. Browse for and choose the file you need to convert.
  3. Click on the "Select Format" option.
  4. Choose "Vector."
  5. Select "SVG" or "EPS."
  6. Click on "Start Conversion."
  7. When it's loaded, click on "Download" and the file will be saved on your Mac.

Preview App

Using the pre-installed Preview app is arguably the easiest way to view an Ai file. It doesn't require any complicated steps. However, if the preview app isn't your default application of choice, then you'll have to manually choose it. Here is how you can it.

  1. Open "Applications."
  2. Choose the "File" option.
  3. Click on "Open."
  4. Search for the file on your Mac and open it.
  5. The graphics will be opened for preview.
Muaz Ashrafi

Hi! I am Muaz, a Mass Communication major. I like to think I am a free urban spirit. I write blogs with a focus on tech and gadgets. When I'm not writing, you can find me with my headphones on, relaxing to some good house EDM music. I'm also a hobbyist photographer, you can find me on Instagram @mzwithacamera.


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