I have an illustrator file that contains a linked Photoshop image. The flyer I am making has a light green background and the Photoshop image has a white background. How can I change the white background in the Photoshop file so that it is the same as the rest of the flyer and blends in? Do I need to edit and choose a colour in Photoshop first? I have tried embdedding the photo in my Illustrator file but it still shows as a square white box on my background.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


You haven't a command in Illustrator "recolor the background of this image to..." because Illustrator hasn't any idea which white parts of the photo belong to the background.

Your options:

  1. Recolor the background in a photo editor

  2. Remove the background of the photo (=make transparent) in a photo editor

  3. Insert in Illustrator an opacity or clipping mask or a shape which covers the unwanted white

Option 2 is the standard way because it lefts most freedom. You must save the photo in a format which supports transparency, for ex. PNG or PSD, but not JPG.

There exists no general automatic procedure for any of the options, they need manual work which is often a detailed path drawing along an edge. Only in some lucky cases you can make succesful selections with magic wand or by color in Photoshop or trace the photo in Illustrator and separate the shape for the needed mask.

Of course there's blending modes. You can place your photo with blending mode multiply. Set the mode in the transparency or appearance panel. If your photo happens to be pure greyscale image, that will work perfectly. Generally the colors get distorted with blending modes.

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