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Can't open old illustrator files

Community Beginner ,
Mar 23, 2020 Mar 23, 2020

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I have 100's of old illustrator files I would like to open but cannnot. Whenever I try to open one in the newest illustrator it says...Can't open file...unknown file type. I find that funny to be honest...didn't Adobe make it? How can I open these files? I have found nothing out on the web except to buy an old mac with an old Illustrator and open them that way. Is there any other way?

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

New Here , Aug 27, 2023 Aug 27, 2023

I have the same problem, I nned help! I'm willing to pay someone to open 20 documents and convert in to text edit or word docs, where can I go to find someone who can do that?

 

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Community Expert , Aug 27, 2023 Aug 27, 2023

@spicyfood 

 

Try Behance or Reddit. This is not a job site.

 

Jane

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Community Expert , Aug 27, 2023 Aug 27, 2023

You have old FreeHand files?

Try tensai.co.uk They used to offer conversion as a paid service.

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Mar 23, 2020 Mar 23, 2020

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Hi
Since your question is about Illustrator, I have moved this from the "Get Started" forum for you.

 

Can you tell us which version the older files are in, whether they are Mac or Windows, and show a screen shot of the error message?
~ Jane

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 30, 2020 Mar 30, 2020

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Hi Jane-e, Thanks for moving this over to the right place!  I can't tell you which version they are in because they don't say. The files where made on a Mac. AI Can't OpenAI Can't OpenAI FileAI File

Mahalo for trying to help!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 23, 2020 Mar 23, 2020

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If you open one of these files in TextEdit, what does the first text line show you?

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 30, 2020 Mar 30, 2020

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Heres what shows up in Text Edit.......AGD4æ∏ªÀ

Thanks Ton!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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FreeHand files can somehow be opened by Scribus: https://youtu.be/0dH7k00nO2Y

But if you'd like to, upload the file to Dropbox or the like and I give it a try with version CS5.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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Thank you so much Monika, I will probably give the Scribus thing a try and if it works I would have a ton of files to convert. Many mahaloz!

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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Very old ones should start with %!PS-Adobe
Newer ones should start with %PDF

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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Thanks.....but do you think it would make a difference if the files were originally created in Freehand but then converted to illustrator....CS5?  Because I did that with most my old Freehand files, because FH was becoming obsolete... but it seems all of those I converted over are no longer able to be open by newer Illustrator files. They did open back when I converted them to Illustrator when I used CS5.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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The AGD4 shows that the file wasn’t made by Illustrator but by Freehand 9. There was a time Illustrator could open Freehand files, so someone must have decided to add AI to the name. But Illustrator hasn’t been able to do that for many years. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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They where orignally made in FH but converted over to CS5 back in the day....and they used to open in the older versions till they went to the CC versions...I call it the dark cloud because I can no longer open them. LOL  Thanks

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020 Mar 31, 2020

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No, you have proved they weren’t converted, like it or not. If files were converted, these are the originals. Since older CS versions opened them anyway, the failure to convert has just now become visible. It may be that someone’s idea of “converting” was to just add .AI to the name. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2020 Apr 01, 2020

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I hear ya....but a key that unlocks a door.... to one with a limited knowledge of technical things ....it sure seemed to be a real key. How would a person know 20 or so years later that key was a mirage. Thanks for the info. Mahalo

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New Here ,
Aug 27, 2023 Aug 27, 2023

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I have the same problem, I nned help! I'm willing to pay someone to open 20 documents and convert in to text edit or word docs, where can I go to find someone who can do that?

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 27, 2023 Aug 27, 2023

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@spicyfood 

 

Try Behance or Reddit. This is not a job site.

 

Jane

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Community Expert ,
Aug 27, 2023 Aug 27, 2023

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You have old FreeHand files?

Try tensai.co.uk They used to offer conversion as a paid service.

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