I know it's about died, but this topic should not be dropped. Having heard such good things about Affinity Photo, I figured I could nab both Photo and Designer to make my life easier and escape Adobe's clutches.
Imagine my shock and dismay when I go to open my first .AI as a test in Designer to find that the majority of the data in the file is gone due to being outside the artboard. The only way to save this information, that I've found, is to expand the artboard in Illustrator and then open it in Designer. I understand this is an issue that likely can never be fixed due to the importing process, but the true issue is what follows.
Using an expanded artboard, once opened in Desginer, trying to edit the artboard smaller again makes everything outside of it completely invisible and essentially useless.
In an INCREDIBLY roundabout method, I can make my old .AIs pretty close to how they are presented originally in Illustrator by:
1) Opening the file in Illustrator and expanding the artbook to fully include all symbols, images, and relevant data.
2) Open this file in Designer and then make the entire area an artboard there.
3) Drag all previously hidden content outside of this new artboard.
4) Resize the artboard back to the desired size.
5) Pray that nothing was somehow lost in the shuffle.
Depending on the size and intricacy of a file, this could be anywhere from a several minute to hour or longer endeavor, all while being forced to use the program I was trying to avoid just to make the program I want to use…… usable!
Please look into your artboard handling more. This is horribly frustrating.