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For people who don't have Adobe Photoshop, here's a free and cross-platform alternative: Using ImageMagick, it can be done in command line convert lQchR.png -auto-level -white-threshold 78% fish.png This may require some fine tuning of the white threshold value, but it's quicker than GUI especially when you have multiple pictures: convert *.png ...


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Make sure that the initial jpeg and the CS6 file resolution are both on inches. The conversion done on Adobe's cut/paste between software usually works best on the same suite (within CS6 all around, etc.).


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You can't include the text elements into the symbol - they will (as you said) be altered on all instances if you change the text on one of them. I often create the symbol with the graphics only and add text to each of the instances.


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There are some graphical bugs in Illustrator. If you, for example, create a text box that's really small, the red '+' can remain on the screen even though you've deleted the text box. To see if it's a graphical bug - zoom in and out back again, this will remove graphical bugs.



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