I'm now almost done with that special project for my college, but I need help with one more thing. There are some icons that our newsletter has, that I would like to use. But the person who has the icons somehow deleted them and there no way for me to get the original files. I managed to get a large picture of them from the PDF file. Is there any way I can get them from the image either with Illustrator or Photoshop?

I first removed the background, and I have tried remaking them with the pen tool in Illustrator, but I can't get them just right.

If anyone has any idea how I could do this easier or faster, the help would be appreciated.

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  • They are merely simple line art drawings. Most probably completed in a vector application such as Illustrator or Inkscape.
    – Scott
    Sep 22, 2016 at 20:50
  • Is there a way I can get them vectored again with Illustrator?
    – lunai1
    Sep 22, 2016 at 20:51
  • You could redraw them... that's what I'd do. they are complicated. Or, you could also use the Image Trace feature in Illustrator.
    – Scott
    Sep 22, 2016 at 20:52
  • 1
    You say you got the images from a PDF... are you sure they aren't vectors in the PDF? Have you tried opening the PDF in Illustrator?
    – Cai
    Sep 23, 2016 at 8:24
  • I haven't not tried that yet.
    – lunai1
    Sep 23, 2016 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


PDF is just a wrapper for many possible contents. If the PDF file was exported from Illustrator, or is otherwise still vector there is a good chance you can just open the file in Illustrator. If the PDF is nothing more than a JPEG (or TIFF) having been flattened (or rasterized) there's no easy automatic solution. You can use live trace, but the results are never perfect. There are a few ways to go about recreating them, using the different tools in Illustrator.


These are line art graphics, this style is usually done in a vector program such as Illustrator.

These can also be traced to vector within Illustrator.

Go to "File" menu, click "open" and choose the image you want to use.

Then, go to the "Window" menu and choose "Image Trace". In appeared tab you can choose "Mode".

Then, you can select a tracing preset from the list.

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