How to Edit a Photo in Adobe Illustrator: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Edit a Photo in Adobe Illustrator: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful graphic design software known for its vector-based capabilities, but did you know that you can also use it to edit photos? In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of editing a photo in Adobe Illustrator, ensuring that your images look their best.

Step 1: Open Your Photo in Adobe Illustrator

Import Your Image

1. Launch Adobe Illustrator and create a new document or open an existing one.
2. Go to "File" and select "Place" to import your photo into the document.

Step 2: Rasterize the Image (Optional)

Preparing for Editing

If your photo is in a vector format (like SVG or AI), you can skip this step. However, if your image is a raster (pixel-based) image (e.g., JPEG, PNG), it's a good idea to rasterize it for better editing:

1. Select your image.
2. Go to "Object" > "Rasterize."
3. Choose the desired resolution and click "OK."

Step 3: Edit Your Photo

Get Creative

Now that your image is in Illustrator, you can make various adjustments:

3.1. Image Tracing

If your image is a simple shape or line art, you can use the "Image Trace" feature. Select the image, then click "Image Trace" in the control panel. Experiment with the settings to get the desired effect.

3.2. Color Adjustments

To adjust colors, use the "Color" panel. You can change the hue, saturation, brightness, and more. This is particularly useful for enhancing or modifying the colors in your photo.

3.3. Image Size and Crop

To resize or crop your image, select it and use the "Transform" panel. You can change the dimensions or use the "Crop Image" option.

3.4. Brushes and Effects

Illustrator offers various brushes and artistic effects. Experiment with these to add unique touches to your photo.

Step 4: Save Your Edited Photo

Export for Different Purposes

When you're satisfied with your edits, it's time to save or export the image. You can save it in different formats like AI, PDF, JPEG, or PNG, depending on your needs:

1. Go to "File" and select "Save As" or "Export."
2. Choose the file format and options that suit your project.

Step 5: Tips for Photo Editing in Illustrator

Pro Tips

- Use layers: Organize your edits by placing each adjustment on a separate layer.
- Be non-destructive: Use adjustment layers to make reversible edits.
- Practice with filters: Illustrator offers a variety of filters to enhance your photos.


While Adobe Illustrator is primarily a vector-based design tool, it can be a handy solution for photo editing, especially when you need to combine vector elements with raster images or when you want to create unique artistic effects. With this step-by-step guide, you're on your way to mastering photo editing in Adobe Illustrator, unleashing your creativity, and achieving the desired results in your projects.

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