How to edit a JPEG image using Adobe Illustrator

If you have a JPEG photo that you need to edit, follow this tutorial that will show you how to convert the image into a vector using Adobe Illustrator. Once the JPEG is a vector, you’ll be able to edit the photo, change colors, make the background transparent, etc. then save the new photo as a PNG.

  1. Open the image up in Illustrator via File > Place

 
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2. Choose Window > Image Trace

 
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3. Select the image (if it’s already selected, deselect and reselect it until the Image Trace box is editable)

 
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4. Make sure the Image Trace settings are set to the following:

Mode: Color

Advanced settings:
Method: abutting (left selection)
Check ‘snap curves to lines’
Uncheck ‘ignore white’

 
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5. Click Trace. Once the image is done tracing it may look slightly different.

 
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6. With the image still selected, go to Object > Image Trace > Expand

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7. Right click on the image to Ungroup it.

8. Expand the Layer and start editing!

 
I removed the background from this image.

I removed the background from this image.

 

9. When you are done editing, go to File > Export > Export as. Save the image as a PNG.


When all is said and done, you can go from this JPEG image with a background…

 
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…to this editable PNG with a transparent background…

 
pineapple-transparent.png
 

Let me know what you thought of this tutorial in the comments below!

-Lauren