How to Edit and Trace in Illustrator

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    • 1). Open the image file that you want to edit and trace in Illustrator.

    • 2). Click on the image to select it. Click the "Live Trace" button at the top of the menu bar. The image will reappear in black and white.

    • 3). Click the "Options" button on the Trace menu bar on the left side of the screen.

    • 4). Edit the image by changing the settings in the "Tracing Options" dialogue box that appears.

    • 5). Use the "Preset" drop-down menu to change different trace presets. You can fine-tune the options on the presets using the other controls.

    • 6). Use the "Mode" drop-down menu to change the traced image to color, black and white or grayscale. The "Threshold" drop-down menu will define what is considered black and what is considered white in black-and-white mode.

    • 7). Use the "Palette" menu to choose the colors that you want to use for the image in color mode. Use the "Max Colors" menu to select the maximum number of colors used for the image. By clicking "Output To Swatches," those colors will be transported to your Swatches palette.

    • 8). Change the "Blur" options to apply a Gaussian blur and make the image's edges less defined. Click "Resample" to change the resolution of the image, which may be useful if your computer is running too slowly while editing.

    • 9). Select either "Fills" or "Strokes" depending on how you want the image to appear when rendered. "Fills" will fill up areas with solid colors, and "Strokes" will create a number of colored paths through the image. The paths are the actual lines made by Trace. Use "Max Stroke Weight" to determine how large a stroke must be to be considered a fill. Use "Min Stroke Length" to determine how small a stroke can be; anything smaller will be left out.

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      Edit the "Path Fitting" setting to create tighter paths with a higher number, or use a lower number for more relaxed paths. "Path Fitting" denotes how closely the paths will follow the original image. Edit the "Minimum area" value to determine how small an area can be to be traced; smaller areas will be left out. The "Corner Angle" setting will adjust how sharp angles, in degrees, are allowed to be for Illustrator to consider them anchor points for the paths made by Trace.

    • 11

      Click "Ignore White" if you want to make the white parts of your image transparent.

    • 12

      Click "Preview" to view your image.

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