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Is there any way I can trace a white image in illustrator without going into Photoshop to create a mask? When tracing an image it turns my white image into a full white block that I then can't direct select the background to reveal the traced logo as that too is white. Is there perhaps a way to change the default background fill of a traced image from white to another colour?

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If you have an image to trace which consists of white on transparent background, invert the pixels by going to Edit > Edit Colors > Invert Colors, which will turn the white parts to black. Now you can trace it with the "Ignore White" option on. You can always color your accepted result into any other color after you expand the tracing.

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