For example I have 10×10px icon. I want to produce 100 squares with correspondent color and location each. Actually, the question is how to make exact pixel mosaic out of raster image.

I tried Live Trace but it added some distortions to squares.

4 Answers 4


This is actually really easy. Take a selected copied or placed (unlinked) raster image, then:

  • Object > Create Object Mosaic
    • Or, in older versions of Illustrator, it was Filter > Create > Mosaic
  • Input the exact width and height of the pixel image under "Number of tiles".
  • That's it!

Your vector pixel squares will be wrapped in two groups, so ungroup twice or double-click into isolation mode twice to get at the individual squares (or rectangles if your ratio is off...).

Two examples:

Quick example using a Yahoo emoticon borrowed from this question:

enter image description here

Detailed example, with polar bears:


  • I have been looking for a solution to this as well, Thanks a lot! SO far I only found "just use Flash".
    – KMSTR
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 7:29
  • I had no clue about this, I once manually traced an image (spent a few hours to get it right) :S
    – Welz
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 18:15

While not converting, here's a quick way to recreate. I don't believe any tracing will give adequate results.

Draw a rectangle the size of the entire image.

Choose Object > Path > Split into Grid...

Split into Grid

Grab the Live Paint Bucket Tool (Under the Shape Builder tool in Illustrator CS6)

Live Paint Bucket

Start Clicking sections to fill....


(editing note: this response was moved to the question and deleted from the original question. it simply fits better here.)

  • Nice method. I'm still on CS3, going to upgrade soon.
    – yakunins
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 13:12
  • 1
    @utype this works in CS3 as well. The only difference is the location of the Live Paint Bucket Tool.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 17:07
  • Thanks Scott that helped solve another issue I was having with the rectangular grid tool not making evenly spaced lines when working with a lot of rows and columns. Snap to grid did the trick.
    – user20272
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 17:35

If you have acces to Photoshop, there is a rather easy way:

  • reduce your image to your desired 'resolution' (say 30x30) with Image size;
  • re-enlarge it again (to, say, 600x600), with the 'resample image' setting on 'nearest neighbour';
  • copy the result to Illustrator;
  • LiveTrace;

If you use enough colours for the trace, this should yield squares.


This tool should provide what you're looking for: http://florian-berger.de/en/software/pixel2svg/

  • 2
    Hi user29824, could you please explain a bit more what we'll find behind the link you provide and why it answers the quesion? That way, your answer is still of value in case the link breaks at a later time. Link rot is the main reason we really dislike link-only answers here. Thanks for your effort and keep contributing!
    – Vincent
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 9:20
  • The link is broken Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 8:09

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