I am very new to illustrator (or design at least).. I am not sure if there is an easy way to do this. I have several colored vector eps files that I would like to convert them to black and white images for coloring. I already know how to take off all the colors as you see in the image below... however, my problem is mainly 2 things:

  • the double lines that show at the edges of the image characters:


  • the places where there was a gradient color in the image:


I know one can go over all the paths and objects and edit them in illustrator to make it work, but I have a lot of images to go over and this will be too much time consuming...

So,, is there please an easy to do way?

It might be very easy.. but I am very new with no graphic design background. I tried to search online, but was un able to find what shall I do.. may be because I did not know what graphic or illustrator terms to search for.. so a guidance of what shall i search for will also be appreciated..

What I need is for example to have this vector converted as this:

the correct conversion

and not as this:

the wrong conversion


  • 1
    Can't you just select all and then apply a white fill and a black stoke, then delete any unwanted objects (the shading areas)?
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 18:19

3 Answers 3


nice question and tricky solution

  1. First you have to select all your artwork.
  2. in the swatch panel click the more option icon

enter image description here

  1. select Add Used Color - This option will add all the selected color used in your artwork ti the swatch panel as a Global Color.
  2. Now double click on every color change it to white first then uncheck the global color check box the let you change another color. make sure to not uncheck the global check box before changing the color.

enter image description here

  1. do so for every color in your artwork.

PS. this method will be valid for all fills that you have and make sure that you don't have strokes converted to path. the second point is you have to keep the black only.

after that you may want to tweak the artwork and you may need to add or remove black strokes from your artwork.

  • 1
    Creative solution, I like it! I don't understand why you need to uncheck Global though. If you don't mind @hsawires, I'd be curious about why that is advised!
    – apex
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 17:14
  • Thank you @apex , Actually Illustrator wont allow Global colors having the same RGB or CMYK. so yo have to uncheck the Global color to allow multiple swatch having the same white.
    – hsawires
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 19:58
  • Hmm... I've only had problems when the swatches have the same name, but it has never given me trouble having multiple global colors with the same CMYK or RGB values. In any case, great answer! I didn't know about the Add Used Colors option.
    – apex
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 20:09

A little too late but here is an option.

The point is not to re-asign a stroke and a fill, because vector techniques has diferent ways to prepare an ilustration.

The best option is to first rely on what the ilustrator has already assigned as the strokes.

Thoose can be "real" strokes on ilustrator, can be fill objects without any stroke or a combination of the two.

Aditionally you can have objects that should have no stroke at all, as you already noticed.

So I would:

  1. Desaturate the image.

  2. Fill in white only the objects that become dark gray.

  3. Try to augment the contrast to only black and white.

  4. I am not sure if the curves can be adjusted inside Ilustrator. But one option is to export it into a Grayscale Bitmap file, at 1200 ppi and play with the curves and levels in Photoshop. When you are done you can convert the image to Monichromatic 1 bit image, that will work well, it would be hard to tell the diference to a vector image when printed.

As you can see there are only a few objects to re-fill in ilustrator.

enter image description here


You can select individual lines and just delete them. Use direct selection tool, select paths and anchors (extra lines and points) and press backspace to delete them. If you select an anchor point first and double tap the backspace key it will delete the line and anchor points quickly.

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