I'm trying to do something really simple, that I think I've done before. I'm a beginnner with PS and AI, and need some help. I simply want to be able to take jpeg images I find on the internet, that are simple images, and turn them into an outline, be able to change the color, etc, and then have a transparent background, so I can use it in other images in photoshop CS6. Here is a photo example I'm trying to use. I want to make all the lines separate from the background, so I can use it however I want, and also be able to change the line color if I want, and or increase the line path size. The image has a white background. Thank you
As it was already mentioned, recreating this in AI would be the ideal option, so you could change color and resize without loss. There is however, another option.
Open the image in photoshop.
click Select > Color range. Then with the eye dropper select the white background (increase the "fuzziness" if necessary to select any other parts of the background that may not be true white, which I encountered with the image you provided).
Then command-shift i (control-shift i for pc) to select the inverse (the black parts of the image).
Then at the bottom of your layers panel select "add mask".
Then Command (or control for PC) click the thumbnail of the mask you created, which will select just the mask.
Then click "Create a new fill or adjustment layer" then select "Solid Color". This allows you to change the color.
Another option, for simple B&W like the one you are showing is simply going into one of the RBG channels (choose the darkest one), say the red one and making a selection, inversing that selection and then filling it in black on its own layer. For the transparency make sure to shut off the layers below it. If that seems too complicated then I highly suggest you take the time to go through some tutorials and learn the application a little bit more. Good luck.