How to convert a Bitmap files to Vector in Photoshop

Bitmaps are raster image files that use a grid consisting of pixels. Each pixel has its own color information, and when the pixels come together, they create an image. When a bitmap image is enlarged, the pixels become larger and easier to see, making the image have a grainy texture. Vector images are defined by paths, not pixels, so resizing does not affect image quality. Converting bitmap to vector in Photoshop is not easy, but it can be done if you also have Photoshop’s companion program Adobe Illustrator.

How to Convert a Bitmap to Vector in Photoshop
How to Convert a Bitmap to Vector in Photoshop

Step 1

Open the bitmap file and use the Magic Wand or Magnetic Lasso tool to select the object you want to convert. In some cases, clicking on the object with Magic Wand will automatically draw a line around it for you.

Another time, Magic Wand had difficulty identifying the edges of the object. If it doesn’t work, track the object with the Magnetic Lasso tool until it is completely enclosed in a path.

Step 2

Click the Paths table and select “Create a workflow from selection” to create a copy of the path around your image. The button is at the bottom of the panel and looks like a circle with lines coming out of it.

Step 3

Go to the File menu and select “Export”. Select the “Paths to Illustrator” option to save the path and display the “Export Paths” window.

Step 4

Name the file if you want it to have a different name than the original image. The default will be the original file name. The default “Save as” is Adobe Illustrator (.ai). Accurate. Click to save.”

Step 5

Open the file in Illustrator and clean the path by adjusting the anchor points or using the Smooth tool. Especially if you rely on the Magic Wand tool to select objects, your image will have some rough edges.

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