If so, how did you do it?

I used the Export function within ArcMap 10.5 and while ArcMap could "see" the files it created, neither Windows nor my Mac could locate the files within the directory where the exported AI files were supposedly created. I am referring to both operating systems because I am running the emulator software Parallels on a Mac, which in turn enables me to run Windows and hence, ArcGIS 10.5.

Experience has taught me that the ArcMap 10.3 was the last and only version that exported smoothly to Illustrator and for that reason I continue to use it rather than opt for upgrading to 10.5. If not for the export problem, I would update my software to ensure that the version I use on my personal desktop computer is concurrent with the version being used at school.

  • 1
    I have answered your question about exporting from ArcGIS to AI, and finding the file. I think possibly your problem may be related more to running ArcMap in Parallels rather than the export functionality in ArcGIS? I have never used Parallels so I don't know how that works though.
    – Midavalo
    Oct 29, 2017 at 23:53
  • 2
    I just tested this using ArcMap 10.5 with Parallels on OSX El Capitan, and I was able to see the exported *.AI file whether I saved it to the Mac's drive or to the Windows machine's C: drive Oct 30, 2017 at 0:59
  • 1
    PS this wasn't your direct question but if you're doing a lot of work using ArcMap and Illustrator, you might be interested in MAPublisher. I've found it extremely useful when collaborating with a designer, who is then able to work natively with ArcGIS data files inside Illustrator Oct 30, 2017 at 1:01
  • @Midavalo, I will grant that Parallels is far from perfect in terms of making the two operating systems speak to each other. That said, I noted that you installed Adobe Illustrator CC 2017. Do you think the version of Illustrator being used might cause file recognition issues? The version I am using is significantly older than ArcGIS 10.5, i.e. Adobe CS3. When you opened up the file in Illustrator, was your data intact and recognizable as the work you created in ArcGIS?
    – WST
    Oct 31, 2017 at 2:24
  • Export to PDF. Open PDF in AI. Oct 31, 2017 at 20:52

2 Answers 2


I do not have Adobe Illustrator currently installed to test the output file itself, however your question seems to be more about not seeing the files after the export.

I have ArcGIS 10.5, created a simple map document and used the File > Export Map method to output the map to an Adobe Illstrator AI file.

enter image description here

I chose the folder C:\GIS\SE\TestExport as the save destination

enter image description here

It saved no problem, and I can see the output file in that folder.

enter image description here

I will attempt to install AI to determine if the output file is readable.

UPDATE: I installed Adobe Illustrator (CC 2017) and was able to open the exported AI file without issue.


Perhaps instead reach for ArcGIS maps for Adobe Cloud ? This Adobe add-on allows users to connect to their organizational content and create maps directly in Illustrator.

  • Please edit your answer to include information on how to use the suggested add-on to get maps from ArcMap into AI. Links can disappear or change without warning, so please describe the steps required here.
    – Midavalo
    Oct 30, 2017 at 3:18

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