importing png with transparent background into illustrator CS6

New Here ,
Aug 27, 2016

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I have seen this question posted a bunch of times yet none of them are answered correctly it seems. When I try and paste or place a png with a transparent background into Illustrator CS6 (Windows 8.1 64) it does not recognize the transparency. The silly workaround that I have found is dragging/pasting into Powerpoint first and then cutting and pasting into Illustrator, et voila, transparent background is preserved. What is going on? How can I fix this super annoying problem? Thanks in advance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2016

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The silly workaround that I have found is dragging/pasting into Powerpoint first and then cutting and pasting into Illustrator

Does that Really really work !  it does not make any sense to me .

Illustrator is a " vector" based application and Png is a Pixel file format,

To Maintain Transparency you can either: open or place the png file.

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New Here ,
Aug 30, 2016

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Yes, the Powerpoint copy/past does work. I wish I knew why.

No, using place does not work.

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New Here ,
Nov 02, 2019

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@spaceguy_spiff, TY for sharing the PowerPoint trick. The "Place" function requires that you keep the original file where it was at the time of placing it.

How did you learn the trick? I hope Adobe works on this...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2019

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If you are using the outdated CS6, then no, Adobe is not working on that one anymore.

As for that PowerPoint "trick": PNG comes in a multitude of flavors, it has a gazillion of options and stuff and no, Illustrator doesn't understand all of those.

Placing a file doesn't necessarily require you to keep the placed file. It depends if you link or embed the file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2016

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Illustrator will not recognize the transparency in a png if the png is pasted into Illustrator. Instead of copy/paste, first save the png and then File > Place it into Illustrator. Or if you drag the png to your desktop, then drag it into Illustrator it should keep the transparency.

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Explorer ,
Feb 17, 2021

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Are you sure this is it? I just did some tests. My PNG got a black background when importing via drag and drop and also via  File->Place. What made the black background go away is saving the PNG differently:

- if I allowed Paint.NET to automatically determine the bit depth, the background would be black in Illustrator

- if I set the bit depth to 32 bit, the background was correct (transparent) in Illustrator.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2016

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On top of wht has already been said there are a couple of options and versions in which PNG can be saved (from numerous applications which might or might not do this correctly).

Illustrator maybe does not understand all of them.

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2018

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Simple

Open in photoshop

Use "save for web " and save as "png" and opt for "png -24" .

Make sure that Transparency box is checked, or else turn it on and save.

now drag and drop it into illustrator.

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New Here ,
Jul 24, 2018

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I had this problem and it tuned out to be the PNG's Color Mode was the cause.

If I opened the PNG in Photoshop its Mode was "Indexed".

Once I changed it to CMYK I was able to export it as a PNG that maintained it's transparency in Illustrator.

I hope that helps!

- Thomas

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New Here ,
Dec 25, 2020

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I was having this problem also... going crazy because I knew this worked fine in other contexts. As @thomash96551741 said, the problem for me was also that this particular PNG was saved in Indexed mode instead of RGB mode. I just opened it in Photoshop, changed the mode to RGB, saved, and then dragged and dropped it into Illustrator and all was as expected again. I think others have commented that Illustrator might have trouble with certain format options.

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New Here ,
Apr 15, 2019

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I believe that the aplha channel containing the transparency information gets removed somehow when copy pasting directly. Might be an issue with reading from the clipboard. (Illustrator does some funny stuff for example directly copy pasting text from Word has issues, but pasting within a textbox works perfectly).

There are numerous workarounds though. Place image / Copying from powerpoint etc.

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