How To Image Trace In Illustrator

To perform an image trace in Illustrator, select the desired image, click on the Image Trace button in the Control panel, and choose the appropriate settings to convert the image into a vector graphic.

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful vector graphics software that professionals and amateurs alike use to create and manipulate visuals. One of its standout features is the ability to convert raster images, such as photographs or scanned drawings, into editable vector artwork through a process called image tracing. This invaluable technique enables users to retain the flexibility and scalability of vector graphics while working with complex or detailed raster images. In this blog post, we will explore the process of image tracing in Illustrator, providing step-by-step instructions and tips to help you utilize this feature effectively. Whether you are a graphic designer, illustrator, or simply interested in learning new skills, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve stunning results with image tracing in Adobe Illustrator. Let’s dive in!

How To Image Trace In Illustrator: Step-by-Step


Step 1: Opening the image,

To trace an image in Adobe Illustrator, open a new document, navigate to File > Open, and choose the image you wish to trace from your computer.

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Step 2: Selecting the image,

Click on the image of your choice to enable Illustrator’s image recognition and unlock the available “Image Trace” tools. This feature helps you convert the image into a vector format for easy editing and scaling.

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Step 3: Initiate image trace,

Once you have selected the image, navigate to Object > Image Trace > Make. This action will initiate the image tracing process, allowing you to transform the selected image into a vector format.

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Step 4: Adjust the Image Trace panel settings,

The Trace Panel, accessible through Window > Image Trace, allows you to finely control the tracing process in Illustrator. Adjust elements such as ‘Noise’, ‘Corners’, ‘Paths’, ‘Threshold’, and ‘Method’ to customize the tracing outcome.

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Step 5: Previewing the changes,

To preview your final product, simply click “Preview” checkbox. This allows real-time adjustments to settings, providing a live view of how they impact your image, without permanently applying the changes.

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Step 6: Fine-Tuning the Tracing,

Experiment with the threshold and minimum area sliders to customize your tracing result. Adjust the Minimum Area slider to ignore smaller details, and move the Threshold slider to darken the tracing outcome, ensuring you obtain the desired level of detail.

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Step 7: Finalize the Trace,

Once you are content with the intricacy and appearance of your image, simply click the ‘Trace’ button to complete the image trace process and achieve the desired outcome.

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Step 8: Expanding the Image,

After being satisfied with the outcome, proceed to Object > Image Trace > Expand. This will convert the traced image into a scalable vector illustration.

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Step 9: Saving your work,

Once you have achieved the desired outcome, remember to save your work by selecting File > Save As. Choose the preferred format and location for the file to ensure its safety and easy access.


Mastering the skill of image tracing in Illustrator can greatly enhance your design capabilities. This powerful feature allows you to convert raster images into editable vectors, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. From creating intricate logos to transforming handwritten text into digital assets, image tracing in Illustrator is a valuable tool for any designer or artist. By understanding the different tracing options, adjusting settings, and optimizing your vectors, you can achieve amazing results. So, go ahead and experiment with this technique, and let your creativity soar in the digital realm with image tracing in Illustrator!

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