How to Create Vector Files


This wikiHow teaches you how to create a vector file from an existing image on your computer. If you just need to make a quick conversion, use an online editor like Auto Tracer or use the auto-tracing feature of Inkscape. If the lines around your objects aren't very defined, you'll want to use an app like Adobe Photoshop or the more advanced tracing features of Inkscape to produce a solid vector image.

Part 1
Using an Online Vectorizer

Using an Online Vectorizer on How to Create Vector Files

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An online vector converter can convert your JPEG, GIF, or PNG file to a vector format like AI or EPS. There are many options from which you can choose, and some have more features than others. Check out for a popular free option with few ads.

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If you're using Auto Tracer, click the Choose file option and select any JPEG, GIF, or PNG file on your computer. If the image is online, you can paste its direct URL into the "Or enter a URL" box near the top-left corner of the page instead.

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Most online converters allow you to select AI, SVG, DXF, EPS, or FIG.

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If you're working with a single color, select the Monochrome option. Some online converters allow you to choose from a variety of color presets.

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Depending on the tool you're using, you can often select a preset, use tools like Smoothing and Despeckling, and/or remove the background from the converted image.

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The button text will vary by app. This will begin the conversion process.

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If you're using Auto Tracer, you can just click the file name to start the download. This will download the converted file to your computer in the vector format.

Part 2
Using Inkscape

Using Inkscape on How to Create Vector Files

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Inkscape is a free vector graphics app you can use to convert a bitmap/raster image into the vector format. If you have Inkscape installed, you'll usually find it in the Start menu (Windows) or in the Applications folder (macOS). If you haven't yet installed Inkscape, you can download it for free by visiting and clicking the Download link. If you find that this tool isn't precise enough for your needs, see How to Trace an Image Manually.

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Your computer's file browser will appear.

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This opens the image for editing.[1]

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It's at the top of the screen.

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If your image has pretty well-defined lines around the objects you want to convert, you can use this built-in autotracing tool.[2]

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Inkscape's support recommends trying each of the three filters in this section to see which fits your needs best.[3] Clicking Update displays a preview of that filter in action. You can also see previews of each filter .

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The image will now convert.

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This cleans up the paths and makes the image easier to edit. If this doesn't work for your needs, press Ctrl+Z to undo.

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Now that you've created your image, it's time to save it in the vector format.

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The default format, Inkscape SVG, is one of many vector formats you can use. Most modern vector editors can read this format. If you'd prefer, you can select the AI (Adobe Illustrator) format to ensure more compatibility.

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This saves your edited vector image to the computer.

Part 3
Using Adobe Photoshop

Using Adobe Photoshop on How to Create Vector Files

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If you have Photoshop, you'll find it in the Start menu (Windows) or in the Applications folder (Mac). Use this method if you already have Adobe Photoshop installed and have a working knowledge of the app.

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To open an image, click the File menu at the top-left corner, select Open, and then double-click an image file. This opens the image for editing.

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It's at the top of the screen. If you see a checkmark next to "Paths," you can just click anywhere else on the screen to close the window.

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If Paths does not display a check mark, clicking it will add one. It will also display the Paths window, typically at the bottom-right corner of your workspace.

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The tool you'll use to draw your path will vary depending on what's in the image.[4] Use the Magic Wand tool to easily select an object with a well-defined border just by clicking it once. Use the Magnetic Lasso if you need to trace around a more complicated object. Use the Pen tool for the most precise method of drawing around an image.

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It's at the window's top-right corner.

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This saves the path.

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If you need to trace other parts of the image, select the next part with the desired tool, and then make a new work path. Repeat these steps to create as many paths as needed.

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It's at the top-left corner.

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A small dialog window will appear.

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The "Save" window will appear. The "Adobe Illustrator (.ai)" file type will be selected as the "Save As Type" or "File Format" by default.

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This saves your vector image to the desired location.