I just downloaded a zip file of .png banners and arrows. However, they were all created black. Is there any way I can change the color of the objects in Adobe Illustrator?


4 Answers 4


Note that a PNG in Illustrator is seen as one object. There is no mechanism to allow a user to color individual pieces of a PNG within Illustrator. You could use Image Trace to convert your PNG to vector objects. Results are highly dependent upon trace settings and the original artwork.

To work with the PNG as a whole...

Embed your PNG into Illustrator and use Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Color Balance. This will allow some overall "toning" of the png.

Note you must Embed the image, not link to it. Simply opening the image with Illustrator will embed it. You can also highlight the image in the Links Panel and embed the image from there.

If you want accurate, specific, areas recolored without tracing, Illustrator is not the correct tool to use. Photoshop, or any raster image editor would be a more appropriate tool.


If you use a PNG that was saved in grayscale mode (which is not the same as a b/w RGB image), you can change the color with setting the fill color like on a normal path object. This also works if you want to use spot colors like PANTONE.


Yes. When you import (place) a png file (or any raster image format) just turn off the "link" checkbox.

This will enable the "Filter" Menu for that image and you can use adjust colors and other filters to manipulate the image. Just remember that the image will be inside the AI file.

If the "link" option is enabled, you do that in the original file with an external program.

Edited: Here is an image. (off an old version of ilustrator)

Ilustrator Menu Filter

  • The "filter" menu only appears in Illustrator if you have some third-party plug in installed which uses filters. There is no "filter" menu in Illustrator by default. This, unfortunately, does not answer the question.
    – Scott
    Jan 14, 2015 at 18:44
  • Most people are no longer using Illustrator CS4 or older. If you're answer is specific to a very old version of Illustrator, you may want to indicate that.
    – Scott
    Jan 14, 2015 at 19:20
  • This is an old version of Ilustrator. Probably that menu has moved in a more recent version. But there are no extra plugins installed there.
    – Rafael
    Jan 14, 2015 at 19:20
  • That menu was removed from newer versions. It's not moved, it's gone. Illustrator, by default, has no "filters" since CS4.
    – Scott
    Jan 14, 2015 at 19:21
  • Oh. Yeap I got it.
    – Rafael
    Jan 14, 2015 at 19:32


As easy as 1-2-3. enter the hex colour you want for the image. I changed a single coloured image to another color.

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