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 youenter image description here

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  • 2
    What have you tried? It gives everyone here a point of reference in order to help. I personally would recreate this in Illustrator. It has basic shapes and shouldn't be too hard. – ErickP Jan 5 '16 at 20:18
  • How would I do this in illustrator, then import it back to photoshop. The answer by Grayson may work, but is far too complicated. I just want to open it up in PS or AI, and make it go from a jpeg with a white background, to a tiff or png or something that saves it with NO background, just transparent. And I want to be able to edit the lines and stuff. Not just for this ex. but others as well. I'm almost positive that I've done this before, but can't remember as I haven't been using PS or AI much lately. Hopefully there is a simple answer. Thank you – Jollygreen68 Jan 5 '16 at 22:21

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.

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  • I just want to know how to turn the image into something where all those lines are no paths and I can edit them, and the white background is gone. I'm pretty sure there is a SUPER easy way to do this, as I've done it in the past, but just can't for the life of me remember. Thanks – Jollygreen68 Jan 5 '16 at 22:22
  • So you would be changing the color of multiple parts of the image? – Grayson Jan 5 '16 at 23:24

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.

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  • It's not that I don't want to learn. It's that I don't think the question is being understood. I'm 95% sure I've done exactly what I'm asking how to do many many times before with 1-2 clicks of a button. I simply want to take the above jpeg image, and press a button that turns all those lines into outlined lines. Then I want to copy it, and paste it into photoshop. That's it. When I do that, it will no longer have a background, and I will be able to fill the outlined lines with any color I want. I just can't remember for the life of me how to do this simple function. – Jollygreen68 Jan 5 '16 at 22:57
  • I'm sorry if I'm not explaining very well. I appreciate the trying to help, but I'm 95% sure the answer is crazy simple and easy to do. I hope somebody understands what I'm trying to do. Thanks – Jollygreen68 Jan 5 '16 at 22:57

I figured it after HOURS of messing around and want to hit myself in the head!!! It's the magic wand tool. Its exactly how I thought. Crazy easy, simple and fast.

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