How to Use Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator

Image Trace is a handy tool in Adobe Illustrator that can convert your raster images into vector graphics. This tutorial will show you how to use Image Trace to its fullest potential.

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Introduction to Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator

Image Trace is a tool in Adobe Illustrator that allows you to convert raster images into vector objects. This can be helpful when you want to use a bitmap image, such as a JPEG, in your vector artwork. With Image Trace, you can also preserve the colors from your original image. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to use Image Trace and some of its features.

How to Use Image Trace

Image Trace is a tool in Adobe Illustrator that allows you to convert images into vector graphics. Vector graphics are made up of points, lines, and curves, which makes them ideal for use in illustrations and logos. With Image Trace, you can take a raster image (an image made up of pixels) and turn it into a vector graphic with the click of a button.

To use Image Trace, open your image in Adobe Illustrator and select Window > Image Trace. This will open the Image Trace panel. In the Image Trace panel, you can choose from a number of preset modes, or you can customize your own mode by adjusting the settings.

Once you’ve selected a mode, click the Trace button at the bottom of the panel. If you’re happy with the results, click the Expand button to turn your image into a vector graphic.

Tips for Using Image Trace

If you’re new to using Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this handy tool.

To start, make sure your image is high-quality and at least 300 pixels per inch resolution. The higher the quality of your image, the better results you’ll get with Image Trace.

Next, choose a tracing method based on the type of image you’re working with. For example, if you’re tracing a drawing or line art, use the “Line Art” setting. For more complex images like photos, use the “Type” setting.

Finally, play around with the threshold setting to get the desired results. A higher threshold will result in fewer colors being traced, while a lower threshold will result in more colors being traced.

Troubleshooting Image Trace

If you’re having trouble with Image Trace, here are some tips that might help.

-First, check to see that you’re using a supported file format. Image Trace supports JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and SVG files.

-Next, try adjusting the threshold. The threshold is the number of colors in the image that will be recognized by Image Trace. If the image has too many colors, try increasing the threshold. If the image has too few colors, try decreasing the threshold.

-If your image still isn’t tracing correctly, try playing with the Advanced settings. The Advanced settings let you control how precisely Image Trace converts your image into vector artwork.

-Finally, if all else fails, you can always trace your image manually.

Alternatives to Image Trace

There are a few different ways to vectorize images in Adobe Illustrator; Image Trace is one way, but there are also simpler methods that may give you better results, depending on the image. Here are a few alternatives to Image Trace that you can try the next time you need to vectorize an image:

1. Use the Pen Tool

The Pen Tool is probably the most commonly used tool for vectorization because it gives you complete control over the shapes you create. To use the Pen Tool, simply click and drag to create anchor points; you can then adjust the curves by clicking and dragging the anchor points or the handles that appear next to them.

2. Use Live Trace

Live Trace is a tool that automatically converts bitmap images into vector graphics. It’s great for quickly vectorizing simple images, but it doesn’t always give accurate results. To use Live Trace, select the image with the Selection Tool, then go to Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options. In the Tracing Options dialog box, choose a preset (we recommend using Black and White Logo), then click Trace.

3. Use a Vector Graphics Editor

If you’re having trouble getting good results with Image Trace or Live Trace, try using a vector graphics editor like Inkscape or Adobe Capture CC. These programs are specifically designed for creating vector graphics, so they’ll give you more accurate results than Illustrator’s automatic tools.


Adobe Illustrator’s Image Trace tool makes it easy to convert raster images into vector graphics. In this tutorial, you learned how to use Image Trace to create accurate vector representations of bitmap images. You also learned how to fine-tune your results by adjusting the Image Trace settings.

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