How to make a Pixelated Image Clear in Illustrator

Illustrator Adobe

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A lot of veteran photo editors and designers will argue that Adobe Photoshop is the right photo editing tool from Adobe’s creative suite to make images clearer and not Illustrator. While this is true, not everyone has access to Photoshop either – even though they may need to make their image clearer. 

Luckily, there’s a way to still do this with Illustrator, and get a pretty decent result. In subsequent writing, we will give a step-by-step guide on how to make a pixelated image clearer in Illustrator.

Making a Pixelated Image Clear in Illustrator

Method #1 Change the Resolution

Sharpening an image is the quickest way to enhance its quality – this is what you’re looking to do by changing the resolution. The resolution of most images is often set to 72ppi, you want to change yours to 300pi to improve its quality, making it clearer. 

  • Upload your image to Illustrator
  • Navigate the overhead menu through Effect >> Document Raster Effect Settings
  • You can change the resolution right away to “High (300ppi)”, or do it manually by clicking “Other” and entering the chosen resolution.

Method #2 Trace the Image

There are two ways you can use to trace an image in Illustrator; with the Pen tool and Image trace too. While the former is best for tracing outlines, the latter is ideal for vectorizing a raster image – which is what we want to do to a pixelated image.

  • Upload the image in Illustrator
  • Navigate to the Image Trace tool by going through Properties >> Quick Actions
  • On the options, choose “High Fidelity Photo”
  • Next, select the image and click “Expand” in the Quick Actions panel
  • Now, you want to recolor it so it gets the colors of the original image

Admittedly, Illustrator shouldn’t be your first choice for making images clearer. More so, using Photoshop follows much easier steps. However, if your only available option is Illustrator, these two methods can help you get your image as clear as possible. 


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