I am trying to create a vector image in Illustrator to be used with a laser cutter.

The process i use is open the image - select it - Image Trace with default settings - Expand - Ungroup. I then go into Layers and deselect the main image so i am just left with the below. Save as SVG.

The problem i am having is I always end up with a square border which i presume is the original canvas size of the image. Trouble is my laser wants to cut this.

Illistrator screenshot

Am i doing something wrong when tracing the image or is there a way to remove this border, if i deselect it in the layers it also removes the outer circle

  • Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:14

2 Answers 2


When you do your trace, open the Image trace panel

Hit the Advanced drop down

Check the Ignore White option

enter image description here

When you do Object > Expand, you should be able to see you have outlines of the object only, without the background being included.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Perfect, works a treat. I would upvote the answer but i dont have enough reputation :-(
    – Pigsfoot
    Dec 17, 2021 at 20:11
  • @Pigsfoot Mark it as correct by clicking the arrow next to the answer. It'll give you both reputation points. Dec 17, 2021 at 21:07

What Billy Kerr said, or

  • hit CTRL+Y
  • hit A
  • click at any location on the square box to select that shape
  • hit DEL two times

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