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How To Remove Backgrounds In Illustrator

Today I am going to share an easy way to Remove Backgrounds In Illustrator. And yes, there is an easy way! Which I discovered by accident after spending hours and hours watching videos that made removing backgrounds look very complicated and a long process.

All I need to do is remove the back off black and white images and create SVG and PNG files for Cricut and Silhouette. Thus I just wanted a simple method, but I couldn’t find one. However I did manage to stumble across a super easy method after playing with the settings myself.

You see, last week my iMac crashed, as a result I had to re upload all of my apps and programmes. Frustrating in itself, however I also lost all my Illustrator settings. Now I am no Illustrator pro, I love it as a programme but I find it hard to use. Consequently, I spent hours trying to work out how to re add my presets.

How to remove backgrounds in Illustrator to make SVG and PNG files for Cricut

There are lots of videos available, some didn’t work, some did and were great but were over complicated with too many steps. When like me you design alphabets, there are a lot of files to convert, you need a quick and easy process. The amazing news is I have founds that easy process.

Before we move on it’s important to remember that you can only remove backgrounds in Illustrator that you have the rights too. I design all of my files in Cricut Design Space. I draw and upload all of my own images so I own them, but there is no way of exporting them. Yet I prefer designing in Cricut Design Space as I can create my colouring alphabets too, so use this method to be able to share my files.

Free SVG Butterfly Letters and numbers for Cricut Crafting

How To Remove Backgrounds In Illustrator to Create SVG And PNG Files

As I said I am no expert I have just found a simple solution to remove backgrounds in Illustrator that works for me, and thought if I can help someone else then I will. This really is an easy way to convert files and screen shots to make SVG and PNG files for Cricut and Silhouette.

Upload Your Files To Illustrator To Remove Backgrounds

Start by clicking file/open and uploading you file to Illustrator, I tend to bulk open whole alphabets and work through them in bulk. To do this simply select all the files in the open screen and they will all open in separate windows in Illustrator.

Open The Image Trace Window

You will now need to open the image trace window to enable you to create your SVG or PNG files for Cricut or Silhouette. Do this by clicking Window on the top bar and scrolling down to image trace, click and a new little window will open on your work surface.

How to remove backgrounds in illustrator for Cricut and Silhouette

Open The Advanced Tab

Half way down the image trace box you will see the advanced tab, click on this and the image trace box will extend. Now check the preset box says custom, view box says tracing result and the mode is black and white. Check the image below to see where these settings are.

Set Up Your Trace Settings To Remove White Backgrounds In Illustrator

Next head down to option and check the “ignore white” box before clicking trace. This will remove the white background. Now if you grab the image with your curser you should be able to move it around on the mat and see it has no background.

You can also go to view on the top bar and click view transparency grid, if the white background has been removed you will only see the image and squares. ( I don’t work in this mode as it hurts my eyes, but its an option)

How to trace and remove backgrounds in illustrator to make SVG and PNG files

Every now and then I may have welded my image together incorrectly in Cricut Design Space. If this happens simply move the slider up on the threshold bar towards more. This will remove the lines. If you look at the images below you can see before and after upping the threshold, the line between the left of the train and the letter has gone.

How to correct lines when removing backgrounds, and how to remove backgrounds in illustrator
Increase threshold in Illustrator

Similarly if you notice a tiny element disappears during trace you can lower the threshold too and that should bring the elements back.

How To Save Your File As An SVG Or PNG

To save your file click on file on the top bar, scroll down to export and click export as. A pop up window opens which enable you to name you file and choose where to save it and additionally save the format. You have many options here. I save my files as SVG and PNG.

How to save SVG files from illustrator

Simply save as SVG, the window will close, repeat file, safe as, this time save as an SVG. Of course if you are creating a file for personal use you will possibly only need an SVG or PNG.

If you are saving your image as a PNG you will also get a preview window, this shows the back has been correctly removed.

How to create an SVG for Cricut in illustrator

How To Save Your Illustrator Trace Settings As A Preset?

When you’re happy with your trace settings, you can now save your setting so its a simple click of a button next time you want to remove a white background in illustrator.

To do this click on the button with 3 lines next to the custom tab, click save as new preset and a box will pop up. Name your preset and click ok.

Click on the 3 bars next to the custom setting

When you return to the preset box, click on custom a drop down menu will appear, your new preset will be here ready for next time.

How to set up and save a preset in Illustrator for creating SVG files

Next time you open illustrator your image trace box should automatically open. If it doesn’t click window, image trace and it will appear with your new preset.

How to remove backgrounds in Illustrator

I hope that’s helped and saved you a little time and don’t forget save the template. And if like me you lose all your Illustrator setting, this post will be here waiting to help you set them up again.

A Few Tips And Advice For Using Cricut

Also please do pop over to Instagram, or TikTok and give me a follow and if you make a project please do tag me! I love seeing everyone else’s makes and chatting crafting. I could do that all day! This is also where I share all my projects in progress.

How to remove backgrounds in Illustrator to make SVG and PNG files for Cricut and Silhouette
Increase threshold in Illustrator

How To Remove Backgrounds In Illustrator

Yield: Removes White Background From Images
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

How To Remove Backgrounds In Illustrator and easy step by step guide for Cricut and Silhouette to remove backgrounds and save as a preset

Materials

  • Screen shots or files

Tools

  • PC or Mac
  • Adobe Illustrator

Instructions

    1. Upload Your Files To Illustrator To Remove Backgrounds Start by clicking file/open and uploading you file to Illustrator, I tend to bulk open whole alphabets and work through them in bulk. To do this simply select all the files in the open screen and they will all open in separate windows in Illustrator.
    2. Open The Image Trace Window You will now need to open the image trace window to enable you to create your SVG or PNG files for Cricut or Silhouette. Do this by clicking Window on the top bar and scrolling down to image trace, click and a new little window will open on your work surface. How to image trace in illustrator
    3. Open The Advanced Tab Half way down the image trace box you will see the advanced tab, click on this and the image trace box will extend. Now check the preset box says custom, view box says tracing result and the mode is black and white. Check the image below to see where these settings are.
    4. Set Up Your Trace Settings To Remove White Backgrounds In Illustrator Next head down to option and check the "ignore white" box before clicking trace. This will remove the white background. Now if you grab the image with your curser you should be able to move it around on the mat and see it has no background. How to remove backgrounds for Cricut in Illustrator You can also go to view on the top bar and click view transparency grid, if the white background has been removed you will only see the image and squares. ( I don't work in this mode as it hurts my eyes, but its an option) Every now and then I may have welded my image together incorrectly in Cricut Design Space. If this happens simply move the slider up on the threshold bar towards more. This will remove the lines. If you look at the images below you can see before and after upping the threshold, the line between the left of the train and the letter has gone. Similarly if you notice a tiny element disappears during trace you can lower the threshold too and that should bring the elements back.
    5. How To Save Your File As An SVG Or PNG How to save SVG files from illustrator To save your file click on file on the top bar, scroll down to export and click export as. A pop up window opens which enable you to name you file and choose where to save it and additionally save the format. You have many options here. I save my files as SVG and PNG. Simply save as SVG, the window will close, repeat file, safe as, this time save as an SVG. Of course if you are creating a file for personal use you will possibly only need an SVG or PNG. If you are saving your image as a PNG you will also get a preview window, this shows the back has been correctly removed.
    6. How To Save Your Illustrator Trace Settings As A Preset? When you're happy with your trace settings, you can now save your setting so its a simple click of a button next time you want to remove a white background in illustrator. To do this click on the button with 3 lines next to the custom tab, click save as new preset and a box will pop up.Click on the 3 bars next to the custom settingName your preset and click ok. How to set up and save a preset in Illustrator for creating SVG files When you return to the preset box, click on custom a drop down menu will appear, your new preset will be here ready for next time. Next time you open illustrator your image trace box should automatically open. If it doesn't click window, image trace and it will appear with your new preset.

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