How to Remove the White Background of a .jpeg Image in Illustrator
How to Make a White Background Transparent
I was recently confronted with the simple problem of removing a white background from a .jpeg image for some web development work I was doing. While I know how to do this in Photoshop, I wanted find a way to do it in Adobe Illustrator so I could keep my workflow confined to a single program.
There are many methods for removing backgrounds from images, and this method is just one that you can apply within Illustrator. This method is effective for simple .jpeg images, but less so for photographs. If you have a photograph that you want to remove a background from, you may want to check out this video.
A Note About This Method
This technique involves utilizing the automatic tracing tool with abutting, which creates an artwork outline. Therefore, this process works best with simple images that have a white background.
1. Open Your .jpeg File in Adobe Illustrator
- Open Illustrator.
- Select File then Open and locate your .jpeg file.
2. Activate the Transparency Grid
To make it easier to see if you're actually making the background of your .jpeg transparent, do the following:
- Select View then Show Transparency Grid.
3. Prepare to Trace Your Image
You will now need to open up a trace window to do your work.
- Select Window then Image Trace.
4. Set Your Tracing Settings
To create a trace that will remove the white background from your .jpeg, choose the following settings in your trace window:
- Preset: Leave Default (this may change as you make changes to other settings).
- View: Select Tracing Result.
- Mode: Select Color.
- Palette: Select Full Tone.
- Advanced: Expand to show Advanced Settings and leave all options on their default settings except Method. Change method to Abutting (left icon).
- Options: Check Snap Curves To Lines and Ignore White.
- Select Trace.
Note: You may check Preview before tracing to see how changing each setting will affect your image.
5. Review Your Image and Save
You should now have an image with a transparent background. To save your background-free image, do one of the following:
- Export the file as a .png by selecting File then Save As. Choose the .png suffix in the save window.
- Select File then Save for Web to save the file in .png format.
Note: Other file formats that support transparent backgrounds include .gif, .bmp, and .tiff.
Say Goodbye to the Background!
All non-rectangular .jpeg images have a background color—usually white. When using these images on documents, web pages, or presentations that do not have white backgrounds themselves, these can be pesky, distracting, and downright unprofessional. I hope this guide has helped you in modifying your .jpeg images so that they can add to, rather than detract from, the quality of your media.