Files that contain the AI extension are created by Adobe Illustrator, which is part of the Creative Suite of applications by Adobe Systems. AI files can be a graphics or vector file type and are primarily used to create two dimensional graphics.
AI files store image data related to bitmaps and vector graphics in addition to text, font styles, geometric information, shapes, lines, objects, and other data related to image and vector graphics file types. AI files are relatively easy to create but can be large volume files which are slow to download and open. For this reason, AI readers are not widely used to view AI files due to problems with rendering and simulations.
By using a program such as Adobe Illustrator, you can easily read AI files since the program takes the file objects and reads them in a sequence. This avoids the hassle of working around problems which typically occur when opening AI files.
How to Open AI Files
AI files can be opened using Adobe Illustrator CS6, which is compatible with the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Included in the Adobe Creative Suite are Photoshop CS6 and Flash Professional CS6, which will help you open and view AI files. There is also a variety of other programs which can read AI files and are compatible with multiple operating systems.
If you use Windows, you can open AI files with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. You can also use Serif DrawPlus X5, which is a comprehensive graphics studio for vector art and sketches, or IMSI TurboCAD Deluxe 18.
If you use Mac OS X, you can open AI files with Adobe Acrobat X or Adobe Photoshop Elements, which are available for download on the Adobe website. IMSI TurboCAD Deluxe v6, which is specifically designed for 2D and 3D design, will also open AI files. IMSI TurboCAD is available as a paid download from the TurboCAD website.
For the Linux operating system, AI files can be opened using Adobe Reader or sK1, which is an open source illustration program available as a free download from the sK1 Project website.
If you are looking for a multiplatform program to open AI files, you can use Inkscape, which is an open source vector graphics editor that offers capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is available as a free download from the Inkscape website and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
For field workers, AI files can be opened on iOS using Adobe Debut, which is a fairly new application available for Android and iPad. The application is available for download from the Adobe website and allows you to access Creative Suite designs which are in the AI format.