I have to process 120 images, I already did it with fireworks but the quality is depressingly low, I see that Illustrator only lets me cut the white background with the Pen tool, it doesn't have Magic Wand, with the Pen tool it will take me two days to cut out the white of 120 images. Is there any other way to do it? The sad thing is that I already had transparent GIFs saved with Fireworks, but each time I import one in Illustrator the background returns white. Any advice please? Thank you..

  • 3
    If the images are raster, as in GIF.. then Illustrator is the wrong tool. Photoshop is better suited for background removal of raster images. If the images already have a transparent background, then the issue may be GIF.. using PNG may allow that transparency to be recognized within Illustrator. Illustrator generally doesn't support a great deal where GIF is concerned.
    – Scott
    Jun 5, 2019 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


Illustrator places ok GIFs which have colored pixels and totally transparent pixels. I tried it:

enter image description here

The result is converted to RGB, but the transparency stays (the grey gradient below is for testing it)

Pasting GIFs from another program removes the transparency, so import with File > Place.

If you want only to remove backgrounds with no other reason to visit in Illustrator, try GIMP. There you can change one color to full transparency and you have a bunch of other background removal tools, for ex. you can draw paths, edit them if needed and make with them selections. There's also well working edge following selection lasso.

I guess you should have also Photoshop if you have Illustrator. If true, use it. Its background removal tools are something we see as the standard.

  • Although I kinda feel like anyone who imports a gif into a vector application should be fined.
    – Joonas
    Jun 5, 2019 at 9:24
  • @Joonas how much and where I should pay to?
    – user82991
    Jun 5, 2019 at 9:35
  • I think I would say $10 per gif to a good charity. So OP's 120 gifs would amount to $1200.
    – Joonas
    Jun 5, 2019 at 10:48

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