Illustrator Live Trace

Here is a basic guide for the Live Trace Tool in Illustrator. It is a quick way to trace images, with options to the amount of detail you can get from it, and everything is then editable!

I am going to take you through examples of what each option within Live Trace does. I shall start by placing an image into Illustrator. With the image highlighted,

Click on Live Trace


The image will automatically change to default, but this isn't the end.

By clicking 'Tracing Options Dialogue' you will see a box appear


This shows you all the different options within Tracing Mode. By changing 'Mode' you can have colour

or greyscale

Changing the 'Threshold' to black and white mode, changes the threshold as to what it sees as black and as white.

You can change the amount of different colours in the image when in colour mode.

By increasing the amount of 'Blur', specifies how much Gaussian blur is added to the image before tracing

Changing the 'Resample' alters the resolution, which can change the resolution but also make it run faster and increase performance.

In 'Black and White' mode, ticking the 'Fills' and 'Stroke', means that once it is traced, they will have outlines as well as block.

Increasing 'Max Stroke Length' specifies that anything larger than this value will be filled.

'Path Fitting' creates tighter paths or more softer paths.

Changing the 'Minimum Area' shows the smallest stroke value

Increasing the 'Corner Angle' makes softer corners.

'Ignore White', makes all the white parts transparent.

Once you have completed the look, Click on 'Expand'


Your image will have changed to artwork which you can then edit.

It will be grouped once expanded, so if you want to move parts around, make sure you ungroup the selection.

By: Lisa
Posted: Mon 16th Apr 2012

Tags: 2D, Adobe, Basics, Editable, help, Illustrator, Live Trace, Outlines, photo, Tracing, Tutorial


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