Best Vector Software For Mac

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A number of vector graphics editors exist for various platforms. Potential users of these editors will make a comparison of vector graphics editors based on factors such as the availability for the user's platform, the software license, the feature set, the merits of the user interface (UI) and the focus of the program. Some programs are more suitable for artistic work while others are better for technical drawings. Another important factor is the application's support of various vector and bitmap image formats for import and export.

The tables in this article compare general and technical information for a number of vector graphics editors. See the article on each editor for further information. This article is neither all-inclusive nor necessarily up-to-date.

With Vector you can not only record but also edit and convert audio. Best Video Software for the Mac How To Run MacOS High Sierra or Another OS on Your Mac Best Graphic Design Software the Mac. While you might think a vector graphic design software is best suited for the iPad’s larger display, perhaps one of the most impressive parts of Vectornator is its also very capable iPhone version. Simple, fun featured vector drawing software which runs on the Mac platform. It helps you to create good vector graphics, sharp logos and layered illustrations. It has a library with 1900 fully editable vector styles and clip arts. Rhino For Mac is a specialized 3D CAD software designed specifically for Mac with a loyal following and arguably still one of the best programs for organic 3D design. Rhino features tools to do everything from creating, editing, and rendering to animating, translating NURBS curves and creating polygon meshes. Photoshop runs on both Windows and Mac. Photoshop is also considered as one of the best graphic design software for beginners as it comes with simplified options like: Basic: Cropping, straightening, rotating and flipping.

  • 5File format support

Some editors in detail[edit]

  • Adobe Fireworks (formerly Macromedia Fireworks) is a vector editor with bitmap editing capabilities with its main purpose being the creation of graphics for Web and screen. Fireworks supports RGB color scheme and has no CMYK support. This means it is mostly used for screen design. The native Fireworks file format is editable PNG (FWPNG or PNG). Adobe Fireworks has a competitive price, but its features can seem limited in comparison with other products. It is easier to learn than other products and can produce complex vector artwork. The Fireworks editable PNG file format is not supported by other Adobe products. Fireworks can manage the PSD and AI file formats which enables it to be integrated with other Adobe apps. Fireworks can also open FWPNG/PNG, PSD, AI, EPS, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF file formats, and save/export to FWPNG/PNG, PSD, AI (v.8), FXG (v.2.0), JPG, GIF, PDF, SWF and some others; recently, also some support for exporting to SVG has been added (via a free Export extension).
  • Adobe Flash (formerly a Macromedia product) has straightforward vector editing tools that make it easier for designers and illustrators to use. The most important of these tools are vector lines and fills with bitmap-like selectable areas, simple modification of curves via the 'selection' or the control points/handles through 'direct selection' tools. Flash uses Actionscript for OOP, and has full XML functionality through E4X support.
  • Adobe FreeHand (formerly Macromedia Freehand and Aldus Freehand) is mainly used by professional graphic designers. The functionality of FreeHand includes flexibility of the application in the wide design environment, catering to the output needs of both traditional image reproduction methods and to contemporary print and digital media with its page-layout capabilities and text attribute controls. Specific functions of FreeHand include a superior image-tracing operation for vector editing, page layout features within multiple-page documents, and embedding custom print-settings (such as variable halftone-screen specifications within a single graphic, etc.) to each document independent of auxiliary printer-drivers. User-operation is considered to be more suited for designers with an artistic background compared to designers with a technical background. When being marketed, FreeHand lacked the promotional backing, development and PR support in comparison to other similar products. FreeHand was transferred to the classic print group after Macromedia was purchased by Adobe in 2005. On May 16, 2007, Adobe announced that no further updates to Freehand would be developed but continues to sell FreeHand MX as a Macromedia product.[1] FreeHand continues to run on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (using an Adobe fix) and on Windows 7. For macOS, Affinity Designer is able to open version 10 & MX Freehand files.[2]
  • Adobe Illustrator is a commonly-used editor because of Adobe's market dominance, but is more expensive than other similar products.[3] It is primarily developed consistently in line with other Adobe products and such is best integrated with Adobe's Creative Suite packages. The ai file format is proprietary, but some vector editors can open and save in that format. Illustrator imports over two dozen formats, including PSD, PDF and SVG, and exports AI, PDF, SVG, SVGZ, GIF, JPG, PNG, WBMP, and SWF. However, the user must be aware of unchecking the 'Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities' option if he or she desires to generate interoperable SVG files.[4] Illustrator has been criticized[by whom?] for having a steep learning curve.
  • Affinity Designer by Serif Europe (the successor to their previous product, DrawPlus) is non-subscription-based software that is often described as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator.[5][6][7] The application can open Portable Document Format (PDF), Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator files, as well as export to those formats and to the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and Encapsulated PostScript(EPS) formats.[8] It also supports import from some Adobe Freehand files (specifically versions 10 & MX).[2]
  • Apache OpenOffice Draw is the vector graphics editor of the Apache OpenOffice open source office suite. It supports many import and export file formats and is available for multiple desktop operating systems.
  • ConceptDraw PRO is a business diagramming tool and vector graphics editor available for both Windows and OS X. It supports multi-page documents, and includes an integrated presentation mode. ConceptDraw PRO supports imports and exports several formats, including Microsoft Visio and Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Corel Designer (originally Micrografx Designer) is one of the earliest vector-based graphics editors for the Microsoft Windows platform. The product is mainly used for the creation of engineering drawings and is shipped with extensive libraries for the needs of engineers. It is also flexible enough for most vector graphics design applications.
  • CorelDRAW is an editor used in the graphic design, sign making and fashion design industries.[9] CorelDRAW is capable of limited interoperation by reading file formats from Adobe Illustrator.[10] CorelDRAW has over 50 import and export filters,[11] on-screen and dialog box editing and the ability to create multi-page documents. It can also generate TrueType and Type 1 fonts, although refined typographic control is better suited to a more specific application. Some other features of CorelDRAW include the creation and execution of VBA macros, viewing of colour separations in print preview mode and integrated professional imposing options.
  • Dia is a free and open-source diagramming and vector graphics editor available for Windows, Linux and other Unix-based computer operating systems. Dia has a modular design and several shape packages for flowcharting, network diagrams and circuit diagrams. Its design was inspired by Microsoft Visio, although it uses a Single Document Interface similar to other GNOME software (such as GIMP).
  • DrawPlus, first built for the Windows platform in 1993, has matured into a full featured vector graphics editor for home and professional users. Also available as a feature-limited free 'starter edition': DrawPlus SE. DrawPlus developers, Serif Europe, have now ceased its development in order to focus on its successor, Affinity Designer.[12]
  • Edraw Max is a cross-platform diagram software and vector graphics editor available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It supports kinds of diagram types.[13] It supports imports and exports SVG, PDF, HTML, Multiple page TIFF, Microsoft Visio and Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Embroidermodder is a free machine embroiderysoftware tool that supports a variety of formats and allows the user to add custom modifications to their embroidery designs.
  • Fatpaint is a free, light-weight, browser-based graphic design application with built-in vector drawing tools. It can be accessed through any browser with Flash 9 installed. Its integration with Zazzle makes it particularly suitable for people who want to create graphics for custom printed products such as T-shirts, mugs, iPhone cases, flyers and other promotional products.
  • GIMP, which works mainly with raster images, offers a limited set of features to create and record SVG files. It can also load and handle SVG files created with other software like Inkscape or Sodipodi.
  • Inkscape is a free and open-source vector editor with the primary native format being SVG. Inkscape is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X (using XQuartz) and other Unix-based systems. Inkscape can import SVG, SVGZ, AI, PDF, JPEG, PNG, GIF (and other raster graphics formats), CDR (CorelDraw), VSD (Visio) file formats and export SVG, SVGZ, PNG, PDF, PostScript, EPS, EPSi, LaTeX, HPGL, SIF (Synfig Animation Studio), HTML5 Canvas, FXG (Flash XML Graphics) and POVRay file formats. Some formats have additional support through Inkscape extensions, including PDF, EPS, Adobe Illustrator, Dia, Xfig, CGM, sK1 and Sketch. The predecessor of Inkscape was Sodipodi.
  • Ipe lets users draw geometric objects such as polylines, arcs and spline curves and text. Ipe supports use of layers and multiple pages. It can paste bitmap images from clipboard or import from JPEG or BMP, and also through a conversion software it can import PDF figures generated by other software. It differentiates itself from similar programs by including advanced snapping tools and the ability to directly include LaTeX text and equations. Ipe is extensible by use of ipelets, which are plugins written in C++ or Lua.
  • LibreOffice Draw is the vector graphics editor of the LibreOffice open source office suite. It supports many import and export file formats and is available for multiple desktop operating systems. The Document Foundation with the help of others is currently developing Android and online versions of the LibreOffice office suite, including Draw.
  • Microsoft Expression Design is a commercial vector and bitmap graphics editor based on Creature House Expression, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2003. It was part of the Microsoft Expression Studio suite. Expression Design is discontinued, but the final version is available free from Microsoft. It runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8, and on Windows 8.1 and 10 released after it was discontinued.
  • Microsoft Visio is a diagramming, flow chart, floor plan and vector graphics editor available for Windows. It is commonly used by small and medium-sized businesses, and by Microsoft in their corporate documentation.
  • OmniGraffle, by The Omni Group, is a vector graphics editor available for Macintosh. It is principally used for creating flow charts and other diagrams. OmniGraffle imports and exports several formats, including Microsoft Visio, SVG, and PDF.
  • PhotoLine is mainly a raster graphics editor but also offers a comprehensive set of vector drawing tools including multiple paths per layer, layer groups, color management and full color space support including CMYK and Lab color spaces, and multipage documents. PhotoLine can import and export PDF and SVG files as well as all major bitmap formats.
  • sK1 is a free and open-source vector editor for Linux which is oriented for 'prepress ready' PostScript & PDF output. The major sK1 features are CMYK colorspace support; CMYK support in Postscript; Cairo-based engine; Color management; Universal CDR importer (7-X4 versions); Modern Ttk-based (former Tile widgets) user interface. sK1 can import ai postscript-based, CDR, CDT, CCX, CDRX, CMX, PS, EPS, CGM, WMF, XFIG, SVG, SK, SK1, AFF, PLT file formats. It can export ai, SVG, SK, SK1, CGM, WMF, PDF, PS, PLT file formats.
  • Sketch is a commercial vector graphics application for OS X.
  • SketchUp is a free vector graphics program with a paid pro-version. SketchUp is focused primarily on 3D sketching, with many features specifically designed to simplify architectural sketching. Google integrated an online model sharing database called 3D Warehouse to allow sharing of 3D sketches. SketchUp was purchased by Trimble on 1 June 2012.
  • SVG-edit is a FOSS web-based, JavaScript-driven SVG editor that works in any modern browser.
  • Synfig Studio (also known as Synfig) is a free and open-source 2D vector graphics and timeline-based computer animation program created by Robert Quattlebaum. Synfig is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X. Synfig stores its animations in its own XML file format, SIF (uncompressed) or SIFZ (compressed) and can import SVG.
  • Xara Photo & Graphic Designer and Designer Pro (formerly Xara Xtreme and Xtreme Pro) are vector graphics editors for Windows developed by Xara. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer has high usability compared to other similar products and has very fast rendering. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer (and earlier product ArtWorks) was the first vector graphics software product to provide fully antialiased display, advanced gradient fill and transparency tools. The current version supports multi-page documents, and includes a capable integrated photo tool making it an option for any sort of DTP work. The Pro version includes extra features such as Pantone and color separation support, as well as comprehensive web page design features.
  • Xara Xtreme LX is a partially open source version of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer for Linux.

General information[edit]

This table gives basic general information about the different vector graphics editors:

SoftwareCompanyFirst ReleasedLatest VersionList Price (USD)License
Adobe IllustratorAdobe Systems1987CC 2019 (23.0) / 15 October 2019$19.99 / month (1 year contract) or $29.99 / monthProprietary
Affinity DesignerSerif Europe20141.7.2 (August 2019)$49.99Proprietary
Apache OpenOffice DrawApache Software Foundation20004.1.6 (2018-11-18)FreeLGPL, Apache license for later versions
ConceptDraw PROCS Odessa199910.0 (August 2014)$199Proprietary
CorelDRAWCorel19892019 (21)$499, $199 upgrade (includes Photopaint)Proprietary
DiaThe GNOME Project19980.97.3 (5 September 2014)FreeGPL
DrawPlusSerif Europe1994X8 (23 March 2015)$119.99Proprietary
Edraw MaxEdrawSoft20048 (10 March 2016)Free, $99 premium subscriptionProprietary
EmbroidermodderEmbroidermodder Team20041.70 (2012)FreeGPL, zLib
KritaKDE20054.2.0 (2019-01-25)FreeGPL
InkscapeInkscape Team20030.92.4 (2019-01)FreeGPL
LibreOffice DrawThe Document Foundation20106.1.5 February 7, 2019; 6 months agoFreeMPL, LGPL
Macromedia FreeHandAdobe Systems1988MX (11)$399, $99 upgradeProprietary
Microsoft VisioMicrosoft199212.0$560, $350 upgrade (Pro), $260, $130 upgrade (Standard)Proprietary
OmniGraffleThe Omni Groupc. 20007.8.2 (2018-09-05) for OS X, 3.7 for iOS (2019-09-17)Standard: $99, Pro: $199, iPad $49 (Pro:$99) USDProprietary
Pencil2DPascal Naidon, Patrick Corrieri20050.6.3 (2019-03-17)FreeGPL
PhotoLineComputerinsel GmbH199521.01 (2018-08)€59, €29 upgradeProprietary
sK1sK1 Team20090.9.3 (2015) 2.0RC2 (2016)FreeGPL, LGPL
SketchBohemian Coding201039.1$99[14]Proprietary
SketchUpTrimble (previously owned by Google; originally by Last Software)201318.0 (2017-11)SketchUp Make 2018: Free for non-commercial use only, Pro: $495Proprietary
SVG-editThe SVG-edit community20094.0.3 (2019-04-03)FreeMIT
SynfigSynfig Team20051.2.2 (2018-09-15)FreeGPL
Xara Photo & Graphic DesignerXara199511 (June 2015)$89.99Proprietary

Operating system support[edit]

This table lists the operating systems that different editors can run on without emulation:

SoftwareWindowsmacOSUnix and LinuxiOSAndroid
Adobe IllustratorYesYesDropped (v 5.5)NoNo
Affinity DesignerYesYesNoYes (iPad)No
Apache OpenOffice DrawYesYesYesNoNo
ConceptDraw PROYesYesNoNoNo
CorelDRAWYesYesDropped (v. 9)NoNo
Edraw MaxYesYesYesNoNo
LibreOffice DrawYesYesYesNoUnder development
Macromedia FreehandYesYesNoNoNo
Microsoft Expression DesignYesNoNoNoNo
Microsoft VisioYesNoNoNoNo
OmniGraffleNoYesNoYes (iPad)No
sK1YesYes (user must compile)YesNoNo
Xara Photo & Graphic DesignerYesNoNoNoNo
Xara Xtreme LXNoNoYesNoNo

Basic features[edit]

SoftwareMaximum Page SizeMaximum ZoomColor Management for PrintScripting Support
Adobe Illustrator5.7785 × 5.7785 m64000%YesYes
Affinity DesignerNo maximum size.1000000%+YesNo
Apache OpenOffice Draw119 × 119 cm3000%NoYes
ConceptDraw PROScreen resolutionPage widthNoYes[a]
CorelDRAW45.72 × 45.72 m260000% (estimated)YesYes
DrawPlus10,000 x 10,000 cm5000%YesYes[b]
Edraw MaxScreen resolution400%NoYes
Fatpaint8000 × 8000 pxDepend on the page size.NoNo
Inkscape1000 × 1000 km25600%NoYes
LibreOffice Draw300 × 300 cm3000%YesYes
Macromedia Freehand5.6388 × 5.6388 m25600%YesYes
Microsoft Visio2147483647 sq. in.3098%NoYes
OmniGraffle2,147,483,648 × 2,147,483,648 km800%YesYes[b]
PhotoLine1,400,000,000 × 1,400,000,000 px6400%YesYes
sK150 × 50 m3000%YesYes
SketchUp250,000 × 250,000 m250000%NoYes
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer2.75 × 2.75 m25601%YesNo


  1. ^ConceptDraw Basic Script only
  2. ^ abActionScript only

File format support[edit]


Adobe IllustratorNativePartial[15]NoYesYesYesNoYesYes
Affinity DesignerYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNo
Apache OpenOffice DrawNoNoNativeYesPartial[a]Partial[a]NoYesYes
ConceptDraw PRONoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
LibreOffice DrawPartial[18][19]YesNativeYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Macromedia Freehand[20]YesPartial[20]NoYesYesNoYesYesNoNo
Microsoft Expression DesignPartialNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
Microsoft Visio 2002YesPartial[21]NoYesNoNoNoYesYes
Microsoft Visio 2003NoNo[22]NoNoNoYesNoYesYes
Microsoft Visio 2013NoNo[23]NoNoNoYesNoYesYesNative
Xara Photo & Graphic DesignerYes[j]NoYesYesYesNoNoYes
Xara Xtreme LX[24]PartialNoNoYesYesPartialNoNoNo
Best Vector Software For Mac


  1. ^ abVia an extension
  2. ^Not all features are supported. Some Inkscape-generated plain SVG files yield corrupted results
  3. ^Via an extension using UniConvertor. Text elements not converted
  4. ^Via an extension using Ghostscript
  5. ^Via an extension using UniConvertor
  6. ^It can export to SVG but cannot import from SVG
  7. ^AI postscript-based up to 9 ver.
  8. ^Pro version only
  9. ^Only SVG 1.0 Specification is supported since Synfig 0.62.00
  10. ^Imports only up to version 8.0 AI files, newer AI file versions needs to save as 'AI (V8.0)' or PDF files

See also[edit]

  • Raster graphics


  1. ^'Adobe Store-North America: FreeHand MX'. Adobe. Retrieved 3 March 2011.Cite web requires website= (help)
  2. ^ ab'Import and export file formats - Affinity Designer Help'. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  3. ^
  4. ^'Inkscape FAQ'.
  5. ^'Why I Use Affinity Designer Instead of Illustrator for Motion Design'. School of Motion. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  6. ^'Affinity Designer vs Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 Comparison FinancesOnline'. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  7. ^'Affinity Designer vs. Adobe Illustrator: can Designer replace Illustrator? - 99designs'. 99designs. 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  8. ^Martin, Keith (November 27, 2014). 'Serif Affinity Designer'. Expert Reviews. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  9. ^Arah, Tom (January 2008). 'Product Reviews: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4'. PC Pro. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  10. ^'CorelDRAW X7: support for Adobe Illustrator (AI) files, CorelDRAW X7 Help'.Cite web requires website= (help)
  11. ^'CorelDRAW X7 supported file formats, CorelDRAW X7 Help'.Cite web requires website= (help)
  12. ^'Digital Craft: Serif discontinues its Pageplus, Drawplus and Photoplus designing software to focus on its(Serif) new Affinity range of Professional graphic design software - ANINO'. ANINO. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  13. ^'Edraw vector graphics types'. Retrieved 2016-04-26.Cite web requires website= (help)
  14. ^Bohemian Coding - Sketch 3
  15. ^'Supported file formats in Illustrator CS4 and CS5'. Retrieved 2010-12-01. CorelDraw 5,6,7,8,9,10Cite web requires website= (help)
  16. ^Inkscape 0.47 release notes
  17. ^'Karbon14 Features'. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2010-12-01.Cite uses deprecated parameter dead-url= (help); Cite web requires website= (help)
  18. ^'Media Support/Linux/Images'. The Document Foundation. Retrieved July 5, 2015.Cite web requires website= (help)
  19. ^'Media Support/Windows/Image Tests'. The Document Foundation. Retrieved July 5, 2015.Cite web requires website= (help)
  20. ^ ab'Adobe Freehand MX 11.0 - Minimum System Requirements'. Retrieved 2010-12-01. CorelDraw 7, 8Cite web requires website= (help)
  21. ^'Visio2000: File Formats That Can Be Imported into Visio'. Retrieved 2010-12-01. You can import the following file formats into your Visio drawings: CorelDRAW! Drawing File versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 (.cdr), Corel Clipart (.cmx)Cite web requires website= (help)
  22. ^'What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003'. Retrieved 2010-12-01. The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDRAW! 3,0-7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMXCite web requires website= (help)
  23. ^'What you won't find in Microsoft Office Visio 2003'. Retrieved 2010-12-01. The following file formats and converters are no longer supported:CorelDRAW! 3,0-7.0, Corel Clipart Format, CMXCite web requires website= (help)
  24. ^'What can Xara Xtreme for Linux do now?'. Retrieved 2010-12-01.Cite web requires website= (help)
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There are two types of digital image: rasters and vectors.

Adobe Illustrator

Raster images are made up of individual pixels, and contain tremendous amounts of detail. However, you can’t enlarge them without losing quality.

A vector image is made from lines and shapes. They’re usually less detailed, but you can make them as big as you like without losing anything.

When you’ve got a raster graphic that’s too small for your needs, the solution is to convert the image to a vector — a process called vectorize. And you can do this in Adobe Illustrator. It’s a quick and simple process, and produces excellent results. Here’s how to convert an image to a vector using Adobe Illustrator.

What Is a Vector Image?

A vector image is a scalable image comprised of values rather than pixels.

Most images found online are raster images (see different file types, explainedJPEG, GIF, or PNG? Image Filetypes Explained and TestedJPEG, GIF, or PNG? Image Filetypes Explained and TestedDo you know the differences between JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs, and other image filetypes? Do you know when you should use one instead of the other? Fear not, MakeUseOf explains everything!Read More). Raster images use square pixels (bits of color) to convey an image. Vector graphics convey color using scalable color polygons. Since vector images use dynamic color sections as opposed to static squares, they provide perfect lines and crisp colors.

The geometry which comprises vector images is formulaic, making them resolution-independent. That means images don’t lose quality when they’re scaled up or down, since the color polygons in a vector image will always maintain their shape. The same is not true for raster images, since the color information of these images is stretched when scaled.

Once you know how to convert a JPG file to a vector in Adobe Illustrator, you’ll be able to scale anything you find to the size you want—without losing image quality.

Step 1: Pick an Image to Convert to Vector

The image you use won’t matter when using the following process, except for the fact that larger images will take longer to edit. There are some images, however, which work better as vector images than others.

It’s better to edit a single subject than a landscape or the like. Preferably, the image should have a white or transparent background and have a relatively low resolution.

We’ll be using the image of Ryu from the Street Fighter series above. It works as a perfect example for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s a single subject. It also lends itself to a vector image format well, as it’s a recognizable character. The vector images format is typically used for logos or recognizable images.

Step 2: Select an Image Trace Preset

Illustrator has a special tool that lets you vectorize images. It’s called Image Trace and it comes with a range of presets that do most of the work automatically. Broadly speaking you should use the Image Trace preset that most closely resembles the type of image you’re converting.

Your options are:

  • High Fidelity Photo and Low Fidelity Photo. These produce very detailed, and slightly less detailed vector images respectively. Ideal for photos or complex artwork, such as the example image we’re using.
  • 3 Colors, 6 Colors, and 16 Colors. These presets output vector images with three, six, or 16 colors. They’re perfect for logos or artwork with lots of flat color.
  • Shades of Grey. This preset produces a detailed grayscale image.
  • Black and White Logo. This creates a simple logo with two colors—black and white.
  • Sketched Art, Silhouettes, Line Art, and Technical Drawing. These are best used for specific types of image, and create black and white, predominantly line-based drawings.

Open your image in Illustrator and select the image to activate the image options. These options should be present on the top of your Illustrator window.

Click the drop-down arrow next to Image Trace to select your Preset. We’ll be using Low Fidelity Photo. Click it to begin tracing.

Step 3: Vectorize the Image With Image Trace

Once you click the button your image will go through the tracing process automatically. You’ll note several changes to your image, but overall it should remain much the same. For example, the following is a closeup of our image before the tracing process.

Note the pixelation. Here is the image after the process:

While much of the detail has been stripped from the original image, it also appears much sharper. You’ll note the color shapes do not pixelate no matter how close the image is zoomed.

Best Vector Graphics Program

Zoomed out, the image should look virtually the same. Here is our overall image before editing.

Here is our image after editing:

While the top image may appear sharper in some instances, the quality of our vectorized image is still pretty impressive.

Step 4: Fine Tune Your Traced Image

Once you’ve traced the image, open the Image Trace Panel to fine tune the conversion.

Select Mode to switch between color, greyscale, and black and white. Also, drag the Colors slider left to simplify your vector image, or right to add more detail.

If you’re happy with your settings and want to re-use them, click the Manage Presets button next to the Presets option. You can now save your settings as a new Preset.

Step 5: Ungroup Colors

Your image has now been ordered into colored shapes fitting the original raster image. In order to finish your vector, you’ll need to separate these color groups to edit them. To do so, select your traced image and click on the Expand button on the top of the window.

This will allow you to view the composite shapes which make up the vector image. Each of the shapes is outlined in blue. Next, right-click the image and select Ungroup in the menu. This will allow you to separate your color shapes into individual parts.

In your Layers panel, you’ll see that your color groups have been separated into layers.

Step 6: Edit Your Vector Image

After converting a raster image to a vector, you have free range to edit the image. Begin by deleting whatever color groups you desire. You can select whole color groups by clicking on a shape and heading to Select > Same > Fill Color. This will select all groups with the same color as the one selected using your Direct Selection tool (A).

Then hit Backspace on your keyboard to delete the shapes. If you’d like to modify or expand a particular color group, you can do that as well by selecting a layer using the Direct Selection tool. After you’ve selected a layer, fill in empty spaces or add additional colors to your design using the Pen or Brush tools.

Step 7: Save Your Image

Here is the original image after deleting the pesky white background and modifying the image slightly using the method presented above.

Now we’re ready for the final step in converting an image to a vector in Illustrator: saving the image in a vector format to preserve its quality. There are a variety of vector image formats to choose between: PDF, AI, EPS, SVG, and others. We’ll use the SVG format. When you’re finished with your image, head to File > Export > Export As.


In the following window, title your file and select SVG in the dropdown menu beside Save as type.

That’s it. Your scalable vector file should now be saved onto your PC.

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Don’t Compromise, Vectorize!

Now you know how to convert an image to a vector in Illustrator. Scale your new creation to whatever dimension you wish.

Best Free Vector Software

Keep in mind that complex vector files can be significantly larger than their raster counterparts. That means they may take longer to load and edit. Nevertheless, your vector image will maintain its quality no matter the scale.

And what if you don’t have Illustrator, or you’d prefer to use something else? You can work with vector graphics in PhotoshopCreating and Working With Vector Graphics in PhotoshopCreating and Working With Vector Graphics in PhotoshopPhotoshop is a surprisingly capable alternative to Illustrator for vector graphics. Here's an introductory tutorial on how to create vector graphics in Photoshop.Read More, and there’s also a lot of fantastic browser-based Illustrator alternativesThe 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator AlternativesThe 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator AlternativesIf Adobe Illustrator is too expensive for your budget, there are plenty of free browser-based Adobe Illustrator alternatives you can try.Read More that you can try. You can get similar results in many of them.

Explore more about: Adobe Illustrator, Image Editing Tips, Vector Graphics.

  1. couldnt even get to the point where I had the same options on the top bar. unhelpful

  2. A nice tutorial. It would be a problem if you would have print this vectorized image on large size paper format, but I think that this process of vectorization can have some usage.