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How do I convert an image to outline in Illustrator?

Last updated on February 4, 2024 @ 9:48 am

Illustrator is a great tool for creating outlines and vector art especially in 2024.

There are several different ways to convert an image to an outline in Illustrator. One way is to use the “Image Trace” tool to convert the image into a tracing object.

Then, use the “Direct Selection Tool” to select the area of the image you want to convert to an outline.

First, click on “Window” at the top menu, then select the “Control” option to enable the “Quick Actions” window.

Now, click on the image that you want to convert to an outline. In the “Properties” tab on the right, you can see the “Quick Actions” window.

From there, click on the “Image Trace” button, then select “High Fidelity Photo”.

The Illustrator system will then start the conversion process which will take some time depending on the quality of the image you selected and also, the specifications of your machine.

After the process, go again to the Quick Actions window in the Properties tab and select “Expand”

NOTE: The “Expand” tool will convert the tracing object into a path.

The next step is to select the “Quick Selection Tool” from the toolbar on the left menu. This will enable you to see the paths created in your image.

PRO TIP: When converting an image to an outline in Illustrator, it is important to remember that you are essentially tracing the image with vector lines. This means that you will lose any bitmap data, such as resolution, that is contained in the original image. Additionally, you may end up with a complex file that is difficult to edit if you are not careful.

From there, go to the Properties tab again to set up the appearance of your outlined image. For this example, select the “Fill” option and click on “None”.

For the “Stroke” option, select “Black”.

You can also change the width of your strokes by clicking on the upward and downward arrows in the Stroke settings area.

The most important thing to remember is to keep the proportions of the outline consistent.

Now you can see that you have a very detailed outline of your image!

Madison Geldart

Madison Geldart

Cloud infrastructure engineer and tech mess solver.