I've never had this problem before. I'm saving my images in Photoshop with no background. But when I place them into Illustrator they have a white background. I've tried it as a Tiff, Png, PSD, and EPS file. I've even tried placing files that I have used on other projects and they have a background.

I have figured out that it is something to do with this AI file only, as I've opened a new AI file and placed the same images without a problem. So I'm thinking my customer checked some box somewhere and I can not find. Help Please!!

Also, when I show the Transparency grid it shows the items as a transparent background, but still cuts out what's behind it.

enter image description here

  • Check document color settings .. RGB -> RGB and CMYK -> CMYK
    – Scott
    Oct 8, 2014 at 22:08

3 Answers 3


transparent TIFFs have always worked perfectly fine for me.

This works really well and used this method in many large format design files.


Try to Save As… and rename the file. Maybe there is a glitch in the file, since a new document seemed to work fine. The native PSD file with transparent background works best for placing transparent backgrounds in AI.


Instead Export it as Paths to Illustrator by choosing File->Export->Paths to Illustrator.


I hope it helps you out.


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