What is Rasterize in Illustrator and 4 Easy steps How to Do it

What is Rasterize in Illustrator? Converting a vector to a raster image is referred to as rasterization. But what is a vector and what is a raster image? Also, when do you need to rasterize in Illustrator?

What is a Vector Image?

A vector image is a file format made of points and lines to create complex shapes and images. They can be stretched to any size without losing image quality. To know whether an image is a vector, just select it and you will notice points selected.


What is a Raster Image?

On the other hand, a raster image is made of dots, pixels, and lines. The dots, pixels, and lines will be displayed at the same time to create an image.

If you blow up the size of the image, it will continuously lose resolution quality. To increase the resolution of an image, you will have to increase the number of dots or lines per inch.

How to Rasterize in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator will allow you to create different types of files including vector files. Additionally, Illustrator will allow you to convert vector files into raster images if needed.

Step 1: After opening Illustrator, go to File>Open and navigate to your vector file

Step 2: Once you open the file, select it then go to Object>Rasterize a new window pops up that will allow you to adjust raster image settings.

Step 3: From this Menu, you can set the color mode, you can choose CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) or RGB (Red, Blue, and Green). RGB is ideal for graphics intended to be displayed on a screen while CMYK is for graphics intended for printing.

rasterize in illustrator

Step 4: Choose the resolution, I recommend 300  and whether you want to have a transparent background or not. You can choose between a white and transparent background.

You will also choose whether you want anti-aliasing or not. For this choose the raster option instead of anti-aliasing. It will be more clear and crisp compared to anti-aliasing.

Step 5: Click OK to accept the settings and your image will be rasterized.

How to Unrasterize in Illustrator

The easiest way to reverse this action is to undo it by clicking Control+Z. If you have gone too far and can not reverse the action, it will be impossible to go back. 

To avoid this, always save the backup vector file. Alternatively, you can try vectorizing the image in Illustrator’s image trace option. However, it may not be the best if you are not conversant with it. We recommend you consult us on our illustrator gig for advice on your specific project.

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Once you have rasterized an image it is difficult to go back to your vector file, especially for complex artwork. The new raster image is made of pixels and may lose clarity if blown up. To avoid problems, make sure to save a backup vector file.

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