Forest and Ance both work with a variety of software and enjoy sharing program techniques and insights with others.
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 to 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.
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.
© 2015 Forest and Ance Kvasnikoff
Got other methods or questions?
Rose on February 13, 2020:
Worked on a couple of images but not on others?
Julia on November 29, 2019:
Hi! This worked the first time but now they are saving so pixilated! Any help would be great.
Danny on October 04, 2019:
Who else is from La rue's class?
McKenna on June 25, 2019:
Amir Ghafari on October 08, 2018:
tank u so much
Jojo on August 30, 2018:
Thank you soooooo much!!! :)
Erica on April 12, 2018:
I'm still having some trouble because my logo has white in it so the trace is detecting the white and when the trace is complete there is a line going straight down the middle of where the white is in the logo. Any suggestions on how to adjust the trace parapmeters so it doesn't detect the white in the logo?
Erin Riley on March 26, 2018:
You are a badass! Thank you so much!!!
ricben on March 18, 2018:
I have to chime in my thanks as well. I've been searching options and trying what others have suggested with some success but NOTHING came close to how well this worked.
I've spent hours and you've just saved me countless hours going forward. Thank you SO MUCH!
MOBEEN on February 10, 2018:
THANKS ALOT .! Its helped me in my business
The Chosen One on January 09, 2018:
OMGGG this helps a lott!!! Thaaaanks.~~
Elsa on December 20, 2017:
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
waro on October 15, 2017:
thaaaaaanks a lot
Ducky on September 18, 2017:
Thank you very much
Ashley on August 02, 2017:
awesome thank you so much!!
Bri on July 17, 2017:
Doesn't work. It messes up my image itself and doesn't take a clear cut on anything.
Dave on June 17, 2017:
Thanks Bro, I was starting to get realy p-o'd and about to punch my computer screen before I came across this!
Jim on June 06, 2017:
JASKJosh on May 12, 2017:
Awful Grace on May 11, 2017:
Excellent!! It works. Thank you!!
Tiffany on March 20, 2017:
Easiest tutorial - thank you!
Nicholas on March 07, 2017:
Thank you, but my opinion, i have the easier way.
1. Select the image
2. Click "Opacity"
3. Change the "Normal" into "Darken" or "Multiply"
5. You're Welcome
JEFFREY on February 21, 2017:
I Can't find the image trace function on my menu?
The Guy Who Was Doing IT ALL WRONG!! on January 12, 2017:
DUDE... HOLY BAWLS, you just saved me an un describable amount of time... I've been using the anchor point tool this WHOLE TIME.. I wanna hug you.
Mark on October 28, 2016:
Forest! Thanks for the help. You never come visit us in Seldovia!
Kat on October 28, 2016:
This helped me SO much! Thank you tons!
martin on October 24, 2016:
i am trying this but with a black background and I am struggling, any tips?
Jawhar Petersen on October 18, 2016:
Awesome, saved me some time in trying to figure it out! great tutorial!
deepsea on October 16, 2016:
bloody great help - WORKED for me
Dave on October 13, 2016:
As an infrequent Illustrator user this was a huge help in getting text out of a psd layer and into an svg. While it seems fairly simple and straightforward, I had expended way too much time on this effort before coming across this post.
Linda on October 05, 2016:
wonderful tutorial, made my life a hold lot easier....
Clipping Path India from United Kingdom on September 27, 2016:
It is just for specific images.. like yours. Thanks for the tutorial!
momo on September 15, 2016:
this was great but when I try copy and paste the image somewhere else it doesn't show up
Lara on September 09, 2016:
Thank you - really beautiful!
Laura on August 19, 2016:
Great - thank you!
Jacquelyn on August 02, 2016:
Thanks so much!
... on March 20, 2016:
thank you ! extremely helpful
sume on October 05, 2015:
Your tutorial was the absolute best compared to anyone else online! Great job.