In this guide, I will show you the best methods on how to convert PNG to SVG in Illustrator. Let’s get started.
Ways to Convert PNG To SVG In Illustrator
To convert PNG to SVG, you will have to first vectorize your image, then save it as an SVG file format inside Illustrator.
I’m assuming you have prepared your file for the conversion, but if you need help with that, you can refer to the next section on “What To Do Before You Convert PNG To SVG In Illustrator“. It will help you with a step-by-step guide to get your PNG file ready.
Otherwise, move on to the various methods to learn how to convert PNG to SVG in Illustrator here:
Method 1: Manually Vectorize Image
In this method, you will manually trace your PNG image using Adobe Illustrator to convert it into a vector SVG file. The following steps will guide you through this process.
Step 1: Use the Pen Tool for Tracing
Open your PNG image in Adobe Illustrator by pressing Ctrl + O for Windows.
Or Command + O for Mac.
Or by going to File → Open → Choose the file.
Now, select the Pen Tool (P) from the toolbar or press P on your keyboard.
Trace your image by clicking along the edges of the design with the Pen Tool, creating anchor points to form paths. The more accurate your tracing, the better your final vector image will be.
Step 2: Refining the Paths
After tracing your design, you can refine the paths by adjusting the anchor points and handles. Select the Direct Selection Tool (A) from the toolbar or press A on your keyboard.
Click and drag the anchor points and handles to adjust the paths, making them smoother and more accurate.
You can also use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) to add or remove anchor points as needed.
Step 3: Exporting the SVG File
Once you are satisfied with your manually traced design, you can export it as an SVG file. To do this, go to File → Export → Export As.
Then, choose SVG (svg) as the file format.
Make sure to check the Use Artboards box if your design is on an artboard and click on Export.
Next, click OK in the SVG Options dialog that appears.
Your design is now saved as an SVG file, ready for use in various applications.
Method 2: Image Trace Tool
In this method, you can take advantage of Adobe Illustrator’s automatic tracing tool to create a vector format of your image without you having to manually create paths. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Accessing The Image Trace Tool
Open your PNG image in Adobe Illustrator. With the image selected, navigate to the top toolbar and click on Window. In the drop-down menu, select Image Trace to open the Image Trace panel. This panel provides various options to control the conversion process.
Step 2: Adjusting Image Settings
In the Image Trace panel, you’ll find different tracing presets like Photo, Sketch, and more. In the Preset section, choose the preset that best suits your image or start with the default preset, Auto Detect.
In this example, I’ve selected Photo as the Preset.
A progress bar will pop up, just wait for it to complete first.
After that, go to the bottom of the panel and click Preview to see the changes in real-time.
In the View section, select Tracing Result.
In the Color Settings, manually adjust the options you want. In this example, I’ve selected Fulltone Color in the Mode section. The Progress bar will come up again to update your traced image.
In the Advanced Settings, experiment with the Paths, Corners, Anchor Points, and other options to achieve optimal results.
Once you’re satisfied with the traced image, click the Expand button in the Image Tracing Panel.
This step converts the traced image into a vector format, allowing you to edit and refine the object using tools like the Direct Selection and Shape Builder tools.
Modify paths, curves, and shapes until you achieve the desired result.
Step 3: Saving the File as SVG
After finalizing your vector image, it’s time to save the file in SVG format. Go to File > Save As.
In the Save As dialog box, choose the SVG file format from the available options. Enter a filename and choose a location.
Make sure to check the Use Artboards box if your design is on an artboard, then select the Range option and indicate the number of artboards to save. Click Save to complete the process.
Now, you have successfully converted your PNG image to an SVG using the Image Trace tool in Adobe Illustrator.
What To Do Before You Convert PNG to SVG In Illustrator
Before diving into the process of converting a PNG to SVG in Adobe Illustrator, there are a few best practices you wish to take to ensure a smooth conversion.
These steps involve importing the PNG into Illustrator, checking the color mode and resolution of the file, and preparing the workspace for the upcoming conversion.
1. Importing PNG into Illustrator
To get started, open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. It’s important to match the dimensions of your document to the dimensions of your PNG file for accurate conversion. Go to File > New and enter your PNG’s width and height in the document settings.
Next, you need to import your PNG into the newly created document. Go to File > Place and browse to select the PNG file you wish to convert. Once you have located the file, click “Place” and position the image onto the artboard.
2. Color Mode and Resolution
After importing the image, it’s essential to check the file’s color mode and resolution. To view these settings, select your PNG image and navigate to the top menu bar and select Effect > Document Raster Effects Settings.
Here, you can see whether your image is in RGB or CMYK mode.
It’s crucial to match the color mode of your Illustrator document with the mode of your PNG file for accurate color reproduction during conversion. If necessary, you can change the color mode by going to File > Document Color Mode.
As for the resolution, ensure that your image is of high-quality, preferably 300 DPI or higher. Having a high-resolution image improves the accuracy of the Image Trace feature in Illustrator and results in a better final product.
If you are unsure about the resolution, right-click on the image in your file explorer and go to properties to locate the information. If needed, you can increase the resolution of your image through image editing software before importing it into Illustrator.
3. Preparing the Workspace
Now that your PNG is imported, and the settings are adjusted, prepare your workspace for conversion. It’s best to zoom in on your image to see more detail, and for easy navigation, enable the Layers panel by going to Window > Layers.
This step will make it easier to work on different parts of the image during the conversion process.
In this prepared environment, you can confidently proceed with the conversion from PNG to SVG in Adobe Illustrator. With your file imported, color settings in place, and resolution optimized, the conversion process should be seamless and efficient.
Convert PNG To SVG FAQs
How To Vectorize PNG To SVG?
There are various ways to vectorize a PNG file and convert it to SVG format. One way is to use Adobe Illustrator’s Image Trace function, which automatically converts the PNG image into vector paths that can be saved as an SVG file.
Another way is to manually trace the PNG image using Illustrator’s Pen tool or other vector drawing tools.
There are also various online tools and software programs available that can perform this conversion, such as Inkscape and online converters like Adobe Express, CloudConvert, and Convertio.
What Is The Best Free PNG To SVG Converter?
The best converter for PNG to SVG is a free online conversion tool by Adobe Express. Here are the steps to use it:
1. Access Adobe Express
Adobe offers a free online conversion tool that allows you to convert your PNG images to SVG format. To access Adobe Express online, click here.
2. Upload PNG File and Adjust Conversion Settings
- Choose a PNG file from your computer that is less than 2GB in size. Ensure the file is of high-quality for optimal conversion results.
- Upload your PNG image by clicking on the “Select” button and browsing your files.
- Once your image is uploaded, adjust the settings according to your preferences. Make sure the options you choose will result in a professional-looking SVG file.
3. Converting PNG to SVG and Downloading File
- After adjusting the settings, press the “Convert” button to initiate the conversion process.
- The converter will process your image and transform it into an SVG format.
- Upon completion of the conversion, click “Download” to save your newly created SVG file to your desired location.
Remember to keep your image files organized and clear for future use. Adobe Express makes the process of converting PNG to SVG straightforward, efficient, and accessible for users of various skill levels.
How Do I Convert A PNG To A Vector In Illustrator?
To convert a PNG file to a vector format in Adobe Illustrator, you can use the Image Trace function or manually trace the PNG image using the Pen tool or other vector drawing tools.
To use the Image Trace function, you can open the PNG image in Illustrator, select it, and then click on the Image Trace button in the Control panel.
This will automatically convert the PNG image into vector paths that can be saved as an SVG file.
Alternatively, you can manually trace the PNG image using the Pen tool or other vector drawing tools to create vector paths that can be saved as an SVG file.
Is There A Way To Turn PNG Into Vector?
Yes, there are ways to turn a PNG image into a vector format. One way is to use vector graphics software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape to manually trace the PNG image using the Pen tool or other vector drawing tools.
Another way is to use the Image Trace function in Adobe Illustrator, which automatically converts the PNG image into vector paths that can be saved as an SVG file.
Additionally, there are various online tools and software programs available that can perform this conversion, such as Adobe Express, CloudConvert, and Convertio.
How Do I Manually Vectorize An Image In Illustrator?
The best way to manually vectorize an image in Adobe Illustrator is to use the Pen tool or other vector drawing tools to trace the image and create vector paths. Your original image may be in a JPG or PNG format. Here are the steps:
1. Create A New Layer
Open the image in Illustrator, and create a new layer by clicking on Window in the top menu bar. Then, select Layers to open the Layers panel. In the Layers panel, select the menu options button on the top right-hand corner and select New Layer.
2. Manually Trace Image
Then, use the Pen tool to trace the image by clicking and dragging to create anchor points and curves. You can also use other vector drawing tools like the Line Segment tool, Rectangle tool, or Ellipse tool to create vector shapes.
3. Adjust Style
Once you’ve traced the image and created vector paths, you can adjust the stroke and fill settings to customize the appearance of the vectorized image.
What Is The Difference Between PNG And SVG And Other File Formats
When working with digital images, you will likely come across several file formats, including PNG, SVG, EPS, AI, GIF, and JPEG. Understanding the differences between these formats can help you choose the best one for your needs.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a raster file type commonly used for web graphics and digital images with transparency. This format is lossless, meaning it retains all image details even when compressed.
PNG is ideal for images with sharp edges, such as logos and text. However, because it is a raster format, the quality of a PNG image degrades when scaled up. You can learn more about PNG from this Adobe article.
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a vector file format, primarily used for graphics that need to be scaled without losing quality, such as logos and illustrations.
Unlike raster images, SVG files are resolution-independent, making them ideal for responsive web design. SVG files also support animation and interactive elements. To understand more about SVG, check out this Kinsta article.
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is a vector file format, suitable for logos and illustrations. It is often used for print purposes due to its compatibility with various software and printing technologies. However, it has less support on the web compared to SVG.
AI (Adobe Illustrator) is another vector file format, native to Adobe Illustrator software. AI files are widely used for creating and editing vector graphics, such as logos, illustrations, and typography.
While AI files are versatile, they are primarily limited to Adobe Illustrator users, making them less accessible to those using other graphic design software.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a raster file format with limited color depth (up to 256 colors), commonly used for simple animations on the web. It supports transparency, but its color limitations make it less suitable for high-quality digital images.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a popular raster file format for digital photos and web images. It uses lossy compression, which reduces file size while sacrificing some image quality in the process.
JPEG is not ideal for images with sharp edges or transparency, but it works well for photographs and complex visuals.
In summary, when deciding between PNG and SVG formats, consider whether you need a raster or vector format, the level of image quality, and how the image will be used (e.g., print or web graphics).
Also, keep in mind that additional formats like EPS, AI, GIF, and JPEG have their distinct advantages and limitations depending on your specific needs.