.AI import - can't choose fill type?

Why is this option grayed out?


I’m just trying to re-import an .ai exported out of Rhino back in to see how the export worked - I don’t have Illustrator here to check. There should be fills (from Rhino hatches) in the file, in any case if I export the same file as .svg, there are fills in that one.

When I import the .ai all I get currently is curves.

Export hatches as fills was checked for the export.


Hi Mitch - that is grayed out, I believe, because pdf uses the same interface but supports those things whereas our version of AI does not. I will verify with Tim, but I think that is what’s going on here.


OK, so the lack of fills on the exported .ai is to be expected? That’s too bad, I need to send an .ai file to some place that doesn’t accept .svg currently, and I need to include the fills.

Hi Mitch - I think you can export pdf and rename it - hold on, I’ll test - also send me the pdf if that does not work and I’ll run it through AI.

yeah, renaming a pdf opens as an ai in…AI.



Traveling at the moment, the file is on my home computer, will do when I get home.


Thanks for the workaround. Do you know if there is any chance of these options being enabled? :thinking:

I found that the first time I import an illustrator file I get Hatches.
If I rename the file as .pdf and import choosing Boundary Curves it works.
Then the next time i import an Illustrator file it comes in with Boundary Curves - even though hatching is still selected ( and still greyed out)
This persists even after restart of Rhino

This is rather unintuitive!

However at least after remembering “this one weird trick” our customers are able to import illustrator with boundary curves.

I am glad that this is fixed in Rhino 8 WIP :slight_smile:

Hi David -

I’m not completely sure what to make of this issue.

I don’t have Illustrator or any other program (other than Rhino) to create AI files. I’ve created a rectangle with fill and border in Inkscape and exported that as PDF. I renamed that PDF file to AI and imported that into Rhino 7:


That brought in both the border curve and the fill as a hatch.

When I try what Mitch originally described - i.e. start in Rhino and export as AI, then import - the settings are grayed out.
This seems to indicate that it depends on the AI file if those settings are available or not - which, I suppose, is in line with what Pascal observed.

When importing that Rhino AI file into Rhino 8, two boundary curves are produced.

The bottom line of all this is that you are strongly advised to use the PDF file format over the ancient AI file format and that any changes to how AI files are being read by Rhino are unlikely.

Thank you @wim Appreciate you having a look,

Just to clarify I made a video of opening 3 files

  1. .AI file with Hatches selected (greyed out) ----> i get Hatches
  2. .PDF file with Boundary curves selected (editable) ----> i get boundary curves
  3. .AI file with Hatches selected (greyed out) ----> i now get boundary curves (!)

Now that’s a super useful workaround for users who need to import .AI with boundary curves but its rather unexpected.

I guess my point is that since Rhino 7 is clearly capable of importing .AI files as boundary curves is it possible to clear up the confusion by allowing users to select The boundary curves / hatches option in the .AI import options

I understand it’s probably not a priority as its fixed in Rhino 8 but thought I’d share as its caused several hours of confusion amongst customers.

Square.ai (1.1 MB)
Square.ai (1.1 MB)