Convert a Photoshop Pattern into an Illustrator Swatch Pattern

Convert a Photoshop Pattern into an Illustrator Swatch Pattern

Working with Photoshop and Illustrator

Sometimes, you need to use a pattern (whether is for a background, a text or any other design element) that is available in Photoshop but it turns out that you are working in Illustrator and you want to use that specific pattern there. How do you do that? Well, in this tutorial, you will learn a quick and easy way to convert any Photoshop pattern to an Illustrator swatch that you can use on any element you want.

Before we Begin

For this tutorial, I will be using the Seamless Woven Patterns, but you can also use this Free Seamless Blueprint Textures to follow the tutorial, any of the available patterns already installed in Photoshop, or make your own seamless texture by following this amazing tutorial made by Tony and then convert it to a .pat file in Photoshop.

Step 1

First, we need to install the .pat file into Photoshop. Go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager. From the dropdown menu select “Patterns” and click on “Load”. Locate the “Woven Patterns.pat” on your system and click “Load”. Now, click on “Done” on the Preset Manager window.


Step 2

We need now to find out how big is the main pattern image, and to do so, we will make a test file. Go to File > New. Set the Width and Height to any value you want (I will be using 500px for both) and click Ok.


Step 3

Select the Background Layer and go to Layer > New > Layer from Background. Name it as “Size test” and click Ok.


Step 4

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Pattern Overlay. Click on the arrow next to the pattern thumbnail and hover over the pattern you wish to use. In this tutorial I will be using the last one from the .pat file we loaded. As you may see, when you hover over the thumbnails, some information on that pattern is displayed. What we want here is to know how big the main image used for this pattern is, and in this case, we can see that it is 250 by 250 pixels. 


Click Ok on the Layer Style window.


Step 5

Go to File > New. As our pattern main image is at 250px x 250px we need to set the width and height to those exact same sizes. Also, if we want to use our pattern for printing purposes, it is a good idea to set the Color Mode to CMYK, and the resolution to 300dpi.


Step 6

Again, we need to transform our Background into a regular Layer in order to apply the pattern. Select the Background Layer and go to Layer > New > Layer from Background. Name it as “My pattern” and click Ok.


Step 7

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Pattern Overlay. Select the pattern you want to use and be sure that the Scale is set to 100%. Next, click on “Snap to Origin” (just to be sure that the pattern will start from the top left side of our canvas) and click Ok.


Step 8

Go to File > Save As. Give this file a Name (I will be using “MyPattern”) and from the Format dropdown menu select JPEG. Click on Save. Set the Quality to Maximum, click Ok and close Photoshop.


Step 9

Open Illustrator and go to File > New. Set the Size to 50mm x 50mm and click Ok.


Step 10

Go to File > Place. Locate the recently exported “MyPattern” file and click on Place.


Step 11

Go to Object > Rasterize. Apply the following settings and click Ok.


Step 12

Go to Window > Swatches to open your Swatches Panel. Select the placed file and drag &drop it inside the swatches panel. Now, the pattern we just exported from Photoshop is part of our Illustrator Swatches.


Step 13

Go ahead and delete the placed image of our artboard and type any text or draw any shape you want.


Step 14

Select your recently created text or shape and click on your brand new Swatch to apply it to your design.



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