Please note: This article was originally posted on one of my former blogs; it was transitioned to this website on March 5, 2017. Graphics may still reflect the name of the former website.

Although I’ve been working with Adobe Illustrator for almost a year now, I still love learning new tips and tricks. And I love sharing the joy I feel when I learn something new through short introductory tutorials.


In today’s post, I’m sharing a quick video – under four minutes long – that shows you how to make vectors of your handwriting. Now this is a very basic intro. I’ll only cover the initial steps needed to vectorize your handwriting. In a later video, I’ll share more details on how to clean them up after they’ve been made vectors.

If you’d like to read the step-by-step process, you can find it underneath the video.

But here’s the short video if you’d prefer to watch me go through the process:

Basics of Vectorizing Your Handwriting – Step-by-Step

  1. Take your written words and scan them into your computer. I use these settings: black and white, 300 dpi, jpg.
  2. In Illustrator, go up to File>Open. Find your jpg file and click, Open. (Or you can pull the jpg file into an existing document by going to File>Place. After finding the jpg to place in your document, simply click the art board, and the file will appear.)
  3. Now you can click on the jpg file to activate it. This is when your Image Trace options appear. To change your presets, you can use the Image Trace flyout menu. If you don’t see it to your right, go up to Window>Image Trace, and then it will appear.
  4.  Within the Image trace panel, select a preset like Sketched Art or Silhouette, and then give it a little time to work.
  5. Look over the trace result to determine whether or not to make changes. If there are disconnected lines, try increasing the threshold. If your lines are thicker than desired or too bumpy, try gradually decreasing the threshold.
  6. You can also click the arrow to the left of “Advanced” and slide those options up and down as well.
  7. I select “Ignore White” all the way at the bottom of the menu so that the white paper is removed once I expand my writing.
  8. Once you’re happy with the results, click “Expand” (above your art board). This last step makes vector objects out of your handwriting.

Et voilà! You’re done, and you now have a vector version of your handwriting that you can enlarge to any size, color, or alter in almost any way using Adobe Illustrator.

If you found this helpful, feel free to share it on Pinterest:

How to Vectorize Handwriting in Adobe Illustrator


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