Original image This is the image I am trying to trace and I have gotten to the second stage after erasing the outside and unwanted stuff, Result so far. Now I went to try get it back to normal but as you can see the image trace panel is all faded out and when i go object -> image trace none of the options are available. Any idea how to get it back to original state minus what i removed during image trace?

Result: Solved it, in the end I used GIMP and using the Free Select Tool I traced the image selecting slightly inside and then inverted and made the rest transparent. This tutorial was extremely helpful. I believe the way to do it in PS would be with the pen tool? Would love to know for the future if anyone can verify.

  • I don't really get what you're trying to do? In order to remove some of the paths, you've probably expanded the traced image. In this case, there's no way to go back to the original image (you could rasterize it using object -> rasterize though). But why would you wanna do that anyway?
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 13:09
  • helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/image-trace.html after reading that link I thought it was the way to go so I could remove the colors beneath the box and fine tune the edges so I can drag and drop onto a new background. Would you know a better way of doing this?
    – SharpCode
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 22:16
  • No thats perfectly viable, I just don't see why you want to convert the expanded vector object back to a pixel image? There's literally no advantage in that, especially when you're working with illustrator
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 1:51
  • This image I downloaded and as much as i like it I only require the box so need to remove the shadows. Or if possible be able to put it on different color backgrounds without looking funny.
    – SharpCode
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 2:57
  • You can do that even better when you're working with paths! To add a background, simply create a rectangle or a circle (or whatever you like), move it down to the bottom in the layer panel and assign a color. To save your image as an pixel image, use the "save for web ..." option (press ctrl + shift + alt + s)!
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 8:58

1 Answer 1


You have already traced and expanded the image. You can't trace it again.

If you want to "get back to normal", as you put it, you need use Edit > Undo repeatedly until you are back to the raster image. Or open a new document and start over.

You can not trace something which is already vector.

  • So how would I remove the unwanted colors at the bottom of the screen and fine tune the edges so it looks neater and I can drop it in on a new background?
    – SharpCode
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 22:13
  • Well, if you traced it, everything is a vector object. Use vector editing tools to alter the vector objects. You could use a raster image editor to alter the original raster image before you trace it.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 0:35
  • So something like PS or GIMP?
    – SharpCode
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 0:47

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