I'm converting hand-drawn and scanned letters into vector paths via live trace. So far, so good.

The next step I need to do is break up the live-traced letters into individual objects, so I can move them around, independently of each other. But after live-tracing, the object seems to have the dimensions of the original .psd file it was copied over from, and I don't see a way to ungroup or otherwise extract the different letters from the trace are.

Is there a way to break there letters out of the traced object so I can manipulate them individually?

  • 3
    Did you click the "Expand" button on the Control Bar after tracing?
    – Scott
    Sep 7, 2012 at 0:34
  • As Scott said, Expand, after that try Ungroup, and if it traced the white background, you can probably delete that, it just gets in the way. Then the word fragments should be movable.
    – Hrulga
    Sep 7, 2012 at 0:46
  • "Expand" - ah - that was the missing piece. All happy now. Many thanks.
    – baudot
    Sep 7, 2012 at 2:41
  • 1
    @Scott, do you want to give this a proper answer? I was going through unanswered questions and saw that this one is resolved. If not, I can post your answer as community wiki...not here to take your rep, just figured one less unanswered on the list would be a good thing :)
    – Brendan
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


Simply click the "Expand" button located on the Control Bar after completing the Trace.

You may then need to choose Object > Ungroup and Object > Clipping Path > Release depending upon the artwork.

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