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Unable to open older Illustrator files with CC2020

Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2020

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I have many older files I created over the years using AI- many dating back to version 5, and likely earlier. My problem is that most of these will not open with CC 2020. Additionally, I delete my older versions of the app in order to save space on my hard drive.

Does anyone have a solution?

 

if  they  are  freehand  files … and  you  are  desperate  to  open  the  files … tensai  has  a  plug-in  for  converting  freehand  to  illustrator.  however … you  have  catalina (v10.15),  which  accepts  only  64-bit  software … so,  i  doubt  their  plug-in  would  work.  you'd  probably  need  to  use  an  earlier  mac-os … as  well  as  illustrator  on  that  platform.

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Unable to open older Illustrator files with CC2020

Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2020

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I have many older files I created over the years using AI- many dating back to version 5, and likely earlier. My problem is that most of these will not open with CC 2020. Additionally, I delete my older versions of the app in order to save space on my hard drive.

Does anyone have a solution?

 

if  they  are  freehand  files … and  you  are  desperate  to  open  the  files … tensai  has  a  plug-in  for  converting  freehand  to  illustrator.  however … you  have  catalina (v10.15),  which  accepts  only  64-bit  software … so,  i  doubt  their  plug-in  would  work.  you'd  probably  need  to  use  an  earlier  mac-os … as  well  as  illustrator  on  that  platform.

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Hi David,

 

Sorry to hear about the trouble you are facing with Illustrator. I would request if you can share a few more details like:

 

  1. The exact version of Illustrator and the Operating system.
  2. What message do you get when you try to open the file? Will it be possible for you to share a screenshot?
  3. Is this happening with specific files created in an older version or you are unable to open any file created in the older version?
  4. Where is the file saved, locally or on any network or shared drive?

 

All this information would help us understand the issue better and work accordingly. Looking forward to your response.

 

Regards

Rishabh

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Thanks for the inquiry Rishabh.

 

The error message reads, The file "file name" is an unknown format and cannot be opened. The same error occurs when I add the .ai extension.

I'm working on a Mac OS v10.15.2, the file is on my hard drive, and I don't see the version # of .AI when I "get info." however, it looks that the file was generated back in 1995.

 

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Which file format exactly is it? AI, EPS?

In which way did you get it to your current computer?

Has the file been created on Mac or Windows? And which are you using now?

If the file has been created on the Mac, are you sure that it's not compressed by some system extension like DiskDoubler? That has been really common back then.

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2020

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The file did not have an extension - see attached image. My comment was that in an attempt to resolve the issue I added .ai as an extension- I have found that this has *sometimes* worked for me in the past.

The file was created on a Mac, I am on a Mac now, and I have only had Macs, and the file would have been transferred from computer to computer as I upgraded. And yes- there's a chance that DiscDoubler was used on the file at some point in time.

 


AI_IssueScreenshot.png

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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What do you see when you drag that file on a text editor such as TextEdit?

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2020

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It opens the file... but it's a bunch of random text. Here's a snippet of what's in the file...

"FH31π∑ÃŒTimesxHH⁄(ˇ·ˇ‚˘FG(¸HH⁄(d'ê@ MacPrintRec
MacSecList Normalize DocXferFuncLetterpaperAPPLE380printer
Black  ˇˇêlÂlÂãºP -}êY‘Y‘¸]™ ˝ã‰.§ B˝˝ˇÄ Ù ¯˜˝˛˘Äˇ¡ˇı@¯Ñ¸ ¸˛¯ ¿ˇ¿¿Ò¯¯˝`˛`˘ AÄġ¿@Ú ¯˛˙Ä˝‡ p@˚ ġ¿ı0˙˛ ˚
‡˛$ı¿ˇ¿Ä@Ù ˙˘–˛a ˛ @ˇ¿»į¸‡ ¸Ä˛ ê ˝ ‰@ˇÄ¿˜ĸ˯"˛˛*˚˙ˇÄ˛ÿ˜˙˝ @ˆ? ˇ¸˝¸ÄÄ˙@ı@˝˛˝¯¸Å˘¿@˝@Ô˝˙˝¿˛@˝¿˝Ä˚˘¸˘˝¿˛˛˝¿@‰Ùàϯ@¸˚ÙCÙÄ˚˛˝Ú˚ ˚!¯Ä¸ ˝@Ô˜ıÄ˚#IJÄ¿ Òˆ  įIJ¿¯˙ı`˜Ä¯@ˆ˛ ˝˘ @¸@ˆ˛˝Äˆ˝3Xã∆˛/YòËg´ÒGöÛFù◊1ä‚4|„/áÇË 5 ô

¶ C "

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Are you sure those are Illustrator files?

This FH31 could also point to FreeHand

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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That could be a good guess, Monika.

 

I looked at the Wikipedia page for Freehand and saw this:

 

In October 1991, a 3.1 upgrade made FreeHand work with Mac OS 7 but additionally, it supported pressure-sensitive drawing which offered varying line widths with a users stroke. It improved element manipulation and added more import/export options.[8]

 

That would fit well for a file created in 1995.

 

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Jan 03, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 11, 2020

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Dear Risabh_Tiwari, 

I have the same problem, I'v been working since the early 90's with Freehand, when Adobe killed Freehand I had to migrate to Illustrator, I have been creating Illustrator files & works since then. I have many graphic design files that were last updated probably in Illustrator 5, when I try to open them now I receive the message "XXX" is in an unknown format and cannot be opened.

These older files (from 2002) do not have extensions, when I add the .ai extension I still receive the same message when I try to open it.

I have the lates MacOs and the latest Illustrator.

Please advise or where can I send you some files as examples.

Thank you

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Mar 11, 2020 0
Participant ,
Jan 07, 2020

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if  they  are  freehand  files … and  you  are  desperate  to  open  the  files … tensai  has  a  plug-in  for  converting  freehand  to  illustrator.  however … you  have  catalina (v10.15),  which  accepts  only  64-bit  software … so,  i  doubt  their  plug-in  would  work.  you'd  probably  need  to  use  an  earlier  mac-os … as  well  as  illustrator  on  that  platform.

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Jan 07, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2020

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Those are FreeHand 3. Tensai cannot open them. You need a copy of FreeHand 7 or even earlier to open FreeHand 3 files.

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Jan 07, 2020 0
trohde LATEST
Explorer ,
May 12, 2020

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Re: Tensai plugin:

“you  have  catalina (v10.15),  which  accepts  only  64-bit  software … so,  i  doubt  their  plug-in  would  work”

They have updated the plugin, see https://www.tensai.co.uk/ai/support.php:

Announcement October 27 2019
Since we first released our FreeHand plugin in July 2014, the purchase of a license was for the license only and did not include any commitment to support or upgrade of the plugin. We have been providing free email support and upgrades as a business courtesy to our customers since then. Until today, the terms and conditions customers agreed to when purchasing a license and installing the plugin stated that "the FreeHand plugin will not run under any future operating system that does not support 32 bit executables".

When these terms and conditions were drafted, we did not anticipate either Apple or Microsoft removing support for 32 bit executables in the short or medium term. In September 2017, we learnt that Apple was planning to discourage the use of 32 bit apps in the next version of Mac OS (Mojave) and then remove support completely in the following version (Catalina). At this point we froze the price of the plugin and began attempting to create a 64 bit version of the plugin.

We are pleased to announce that the 64 bit version of the plugin has now been released. Due to the amount of development work involved and also the fact that the price of the plugin has been frozen for 3 years, we have increased the price of the plugin and implemented an email support and upgrade subscription plan.

From today, when you purchase a license for the plugin it will include email support and upgrades for one year and you will be offered the option of signing up to an ongoing yearly paid subscription. Customers who have already purchased a license will also be given one year of free email support and upgrades from the date the license was purchased. If the license was purchased more than one year ago it will not include any further email support or upgrades. Customers can purchase a subscription for existing licenses using their license key in our online shopping cart.

 

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May 12, 2020 1