Illustrator Tip: How to Remove White Background in Live Trace

28 November 2009

Live Trace in Adobe Illustrator is a automated and a quick way to easily convert any bitmap or raster image into vector graphic. A lot of raster images or logos have a white background and most of the time when you live trace, you only need the image with transparent background. So in this tip, I will quickly show how you can easily do away with white background using "Ignore White" command.

Just to show you a example, lets use this Shopping bag image from sxc.hu. Open a new document and place the image, File > Place in Illustrator.



Next press on the Live Trace button on the option bar and click on Tracing option dialog as shown in the image below.


In the dialog box choose the settings that you prefer,(I just choosed Photo High Fidelity for Preset and all other settings to default) now, click the checkbox ON for Ignore White as shown in the image below. Remember to check the Preview button to see the changes.


If checked, the Ignore White checkbox allows users to decide whether Illustrator shall leave/omit the areas that include white transparent and if unchecked they shall be filled in with white.

Click on the Trace button when you're done. And here is your image without the white background. Below I have added a blue gradient n the background, just to show you that now you have your vector shopping bag without the white background.


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15 comments:

Oridusartic said...

Thanks for sharing this tip. Really useful. :) Now I know how to remove white background in live trace.

Sonali said...

Oridusartic, Always a pleasure, glad it is useful. :)

icucreate said...

Thank You! I spent two days trying to accomplish this task using about 5 other methods. Thank U Xx2. :) I knew there was a simpler answer, but could not figure it out.

Sonali said...

@icucreate: Hurray! So glad it was useful. :)

Anonymous said...

this is awesome, but it deletes the white in my jpeg as well, not just the background.

Megan said...

Thank you soooo much! This has been the only helpful advice I have found on this issue.

Anonymous said...

omg u r my hero!!... i just spent hours trying to figure this out!!!

Erin said...

This was beyond helpful. I was viewing other sites where I first had to take out the background in Photoshop. Simple solutions are best. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You just made my day!!
Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Anonymous said...

That's great and all, But what if you have CS2. I don't see an Ignore white option. What do you do beside upgrade your CS program?

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This was really bugging me, and I can't believe how easy of a fix it was

Anonymous said...

Thank you tremendously!! This is the only thing I have found that works!

fotoclipping said...

nice explanation...
ClippingImages

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the instruction above, I am just leaning illustrator, I tried this on a more complex image of a plant, but it has finished as a silhouette but I don't know what I did wrong?

Anonymous said...

I just worked it out, I needed to change Black and White to colour.

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