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How do I make a transparent background in Illustrator?

Stock photo images are incredibly convenient to use when you are working on a graphic design
project, both personal and professional. At Shutterstock, we offer millions of stock photos that
allow you to find the perfect image for your advertisement, your blog or your website.  Often,
when customers find their own image, they want to manipulate or change it in some way, and
there are a few programs that allow you to do that. 

Illustrator is one of them, a photo editing software that is made by Adobe. You can change
background images in Illustrator, but many wonder how to make a background transparent in
Illustrator. Transparent backgrounds are ideal for when you are working with layered files so
that the foreground layer isn’t obstructed by the background layer. We have the easy way to
do it here.
Transparent Backgrounds in a Few Easy Steps

First, launch Illustrator on your device. Create or open your path object, then choose Save for
Web from the file drop down menu. You can save in different formats, such as:
  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG-24
  • PNG-8
Create your file with anything except for JPEG. You can save as a PNG, or portable network
graphics file. PNG-24 supports over 16 million colors while PNG-8 supports 256. Choose one or
the other based on your project, check the transparency checkbox and the checkerboard
pattern should appear in your image.

You can also save your image as a GIF, or graphics interchange format file, but again, make
sure the transparency checkbox is enabled before you click OK.

Now that you have enabled transparency, the background of your GIF or PNG should be
transparent, and this allows it to be placed over the top of other objects in the image.

Things to Know

Illustrator uses a default transparent background that allows the user to see to the
background or printed paper through the unfilled artwork. If you must save your image
and come back to it later, the backgrounds may be filled with white rather than remaining
transparent.  If you need to use AI files in a program that does not support them such as
PowerPoint, you will need to change the file type and secure the transparent background as
listed above.

Editing and changing stock photo images from Shutterstock is easier than ever with tools like
Illustrator.  We offer millions of pictures for you to browse through to find the ideal image for
whatever project you are working on. Start browsing today.
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