open .ai file without Adobe Illustrator

Are there free software that can open .ai file created in Adobe Illustrator?
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sgleeAsked:
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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
"Zamzar" will convert an .AI file into a .PNG file so you can view it.

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Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
GIMP and IrfanView are both free and both can open .AI files. Regards, Joe
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Joe, GIMP and IrfanView can Not open .AI files on my computer.
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Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Hi Dave,
I don't use AI here, but I have some sample AI files for testing purposes, and both GIMP and IrfanView can open them. As with most things Adobe, AI is a complex format, so it doesn't surprise me that they can open some AI files and not others. At the end of the day, AI is an Adobe proprietary format, so I suspect the only total support is from Adobe itself. Wikipedia has a list programs that support AI files, which, in the free arena, contains Ghostscript and XnView (via Ghostscript), so I guess they represent other free possibilities for sglee, although I haven't tried them (btw, that may be why IrfanView works — it utilizes Ghostscript, too — although neither IrfanView nor GIMP is on the Wikipedia list). Regards, Joe
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I have Ghostscript (CutePDF needs it and it works fine for that) and it says that the only AI sample I have is an invalid file format.  GIMP crashed on trying to open my only sample.  If you could post a sample that I could check, that would be nice.
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Dave,
I said "samples", but upon closer inspection, I should have said "sample". :)  It has a copyright symbol, so I'd better not post it. I downloaded it from the web just for testing purposes, but did not retain the link from where I got it (and the file time stamp is 2007, so it was a long time ago). But you may be right — I don't think it's a "real" AI file. Even though the file type is .AI, when I just ran it through TrID, it came up as PDF with 100.0% match! This is surely why GIMP and IV had no problem with it. I'll try to find some "real" AI files and will report back. Regards, Joe
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Note that 'internally' an AI file can have more than one format.  EPS and PDF are the main ones but I'm not sure what else.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
I downloaded GIMP, but it I did not even recognize .ai files. .ai files are in their File Type drop-down menu.
For InfanView, I did not even bother downloading it because it took me to http://download.cnet.com where any downloaded program comes with pesty malware or something you don't want/need.

Zamzar worked fine. Thank you.
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