How To Make Adobe Illustrator File Smaller

Designing stunning graphics using Adobe Illustrator can often lead to the creation of bulky file sizes. This can become an issue when it comes to sharing your work or conserving disk space. Thankfully, there are multiple methods you can utilize to decrease your file size without compromising the quality of your artwork. In this blog post, we will walk you through the procedures to reduce the size of your Adobe Illustrator file.

Method 1: Save as a Compressed .AI File

One of the simplest ways to reduce your Illustrator file size is by saving it as a compressed .AI file. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your file in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Go to File > Save As.
  3. Enter your preferred file name and choose a destination.
  4. In the “Format” dropdown menu, select Adobe Illustrator (ai).
  5. Check the “Use Compression” box.
  6. Click Save.

Method 2: Reduce the Number of Layers and Artboards

Any unnecessary layers, artboards, and elements can make your file heavier. It’s advisable to delete all unused items. Here is how:

  1. Open your file in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Select Window > Layers to open the Layers panel.
  3. Delete any unnecessary layers by right-clicking on the layer and selecting Delete.
  4. Also, delete any unnecessary artboards by selecting the Artboard Tool (Shift+O), select the artboard you wish to delete, and hit delete on your keyboard.

Method 3: Embed Images

If your design includes images, these can significantly increase your file size. You can reduce this by embedding images. Here’s how:

  1. Open your file in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Go to Window > Links.
  3. In the Links panel, select the image you want to embed.
  4. Click on the arrow in the top right of the panel and select Embed Image.

Method 4: Rasterize Effects

Adobe Illustrator’s effects can make your files significantly larger. By rasterizing these effects, you can save a lot of space. Follow these steps:

    1. Open your file in Adobe Illustrator.
    2. Select the object with the effect.
    3. Go to Object > Rasterize.
    4. In the Rasterize dialogue box, select your preferred settings and click OK.

Remember, rasterizing will make your graphics non-editable. So, ensure to keep an original copy of your file.


Reducing your Adobe Illustrator file size can be as simple as compressing your file, reducing the number of layers and artboards, embedding images, and rasterizing effects. Try these methods and see the difference they make. Happy designing!