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Add Strokes to Placed Images in Illustrator

Participant ,
Jun 24, 2011 Jun 24, 2011

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Hi All,

I'm having a problem to add a stroke "frame" around my tiff image in Illustrator. My image is a "traced picture" from Photoshop. I used the following technique:-

Technique: Use an Effect

  • Choose File > Place and select an image to place into Illustrator document.
    1. Choose File > Place and select an image to place into Illustrator document.
    2. The image is selected. Open Appearance panel and from the Appearance panel flyout menu, choose Add New Stroke.
    3. With the Stroke highlighted in the Appearance panel, choose Effect > Path > Outline Object.
    4. However, the result I got was the stroke around the image NOT the frame around the image.

      How do I  achieve it. Any help and tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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      Mentor ,
      Jun 24, 2011 Jun 24, 2011

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      Can you provide screenshots of your 1) results achieved and your 2) desired results?

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      Adobe Community Professional ,
      Jun 24, 2011 Jun 24, 2011

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      David,

      It sounds as if you are simply placing a raster image in Illy and trying to work on that.  Do you actually see the stroke round the image or does it only appear in the Appearance panel? What does the Layers panel have to say about the object(s)?

      At least in an older version you will have to create a separate vector object.

      You may:

      1) Select the image,

      2) Create a rectangle of the same size by clicking with the Rectangle Tool and inserting the W and H seen in the Transform panel,

      3) Align the rectangle with the image (Align>Align Objects),

      4) With the frame object stroke selected, you may Object>Path>Offset Path by the desired width of the frame,

      5) Select both rectangles and Object>Compound Path>Make.

      To avoid a separate stroke, you may use a fill/nostroke rectangle in 2).

      As an alternative to 4) + 5), you may use a stroke/nofill rectangle and move the stroke outwards by half the desired width of the frame (in CS5 you may do it while creating the rectangle) and Object/Effect>Path>Outline Stroke.

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      Participant ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      HI,

      Things you did are right, no prob with those. u need one more step to go on

      after u did outline object, just go to Object>Expand Appearance

      hope it will help u..

      Praveen

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      Participant ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      Hi,

      These are 2 screen shots I managed to get. The 1st one was the orginal tiff placed and result is shown in 2nd screen shot. The stroke is round the image NOT the rectangle frame. Pls adv. Thanks a lot.

      stroke.jpg

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      Mentor ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      The best answer is tio use Jacob Bugge's suggestions listed above which is similar to what I would have recommended--using a separate non-filled stroked rectangle to simulate a frame.  You can even add 3D effects to a rectangle this way to simulate a 3D frame with a little more work involved, of course--but this is also possible.

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      Adobe Community Professional ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      David,

      If I understood it in the right way, that you wish to have the frame following the Bounding Box (rectangle forming the boundary), I believe my post #2 holds the answer.

      Edit: Hi markerline.

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      Mentor ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      Hi Jacob, I guess we replied about the same time .

      That seems to happen quite often in adobe forums.

      Best,

      -markerline

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      Participant ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      HI,

      So I have to create a rectangle of the same size by clicking with the Rectangle Tool? Unless it is a placed image without traced then adding stroke will accomplish my desired result. Thanks a lot.

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      LEGEND ,
      Jun 25, 2011 Jun 25, 2011

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      How do I  achieve it.

      The image you're using includes an alpha channel mask (i.e.; white pixels are treated as "transparent"). If the image were not transparent, the Outline Object effect would do what you want.

      To see:

      1. Duplicate the object.
      2. Remove the Outline Object effect.
      3. Object>Rasterize. In the Rasterize dialog, be sure the White Background radio button is selected. (Understand; this will re-rasterize—resample—a raster image, which is always a bad idea. We're just doing it for explanation purposes.)
      4. Redo your steps to add a stroke and apply Outline Object effect.

      Regardless, it's safer (in terms of accuracy) to just draw a rectangle than to rely on this effect.

      JET

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      Participant ,
      Jun 26, 2011 Jun 26, 2011

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      Hi All Masters,

      Thanks for all the effort and time looking at my problem. I will follow the instruction to get it done, thanks again.

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      Adobe Community Professional ,
      Jun 27, 2011 Jun 27, 2011

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      For my part you are welcome, David.

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      Community Beginner ,
      Jul 29, 2014 Jul 29, 2014

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      Technique #1: Use a Mask
      This technique requires Illustrator CS3 and works only when your keyline will be rectangular in shape.

      1. Choose File > Place and choose an image to place into your Illustrator document. You can either Link or Embed the image. Once you've chosen the image, click the Place button.
      2. The image is selected (if your image already exists in your document, select it now), so if you look in your Control panel at the top of the screen, you'll see a button labeled "MASK". Click on it. This creates a mask at the exact bounds of the image.
      3. Press the "D" key for Default. This gives the mask a black 1 pt stroke attribute. Adjust the stroke per your design needs.

      NOTE: An additional benefit to this method of using a mask is that you now have the elements in place to simulate a "frame and image" paradigm like InDesign. Once you've created your mask, you can decide to "crop" your image by double clicking anywhere on the photo. This will put you into Isolation Mode. Now click on the frame edge and resize at will. When you're done, double click outside the image to exit isolation mode and continue working. This method works wonderfully when you're using the Selection tool (black arrow) and have the Bounding Box option turned on (in the View menu).


      Technique #2: Use an Effect
      At first, it may seem that applying a keyline with the use of an Effect is a tedious process. But we all know that once we've applied an effect, we can store it as a Graphic Style, at which point applying our keyline will become a single click. Go ahead, ask me why Adobe doesn't ship Illustrator with such an effect as a default setting in the NDPs (New Document Profiles). Go ahead, ask me why Adobe doesn't allow us to assign keyboard shortcuts to styles like InDesign does. I don't have answers to either of those questions (sorry). But let's get on with the styles, shall we?

      There are two separate effects that we can use, and each provides a different benefit.

      1. Choose File > Place and select an image to place into your Illustrator document. You can either Link or Embed the image. Once you've chosen the image, click the Place button.
      2. The image is selected (or if your image already exists in your document, select it). Open your Appearance panel and from the Appearance panel flyout menu, choose Add New Stroke. We can't see the stroke yet, because all we have is an image. But we'll change that in short order.
      3. With the Stroke highlighted in the Appearance panel, choose Effect > Convert to Shape > Rectangle. Check the Preview button, select the Relative option, and set both the Extra Width and Extra Height to zero (0). (Be careful not to press Tab after you enter the second value, or it will switch back to Absolute.) Click OK to apply the effect. Style the stroke attribute to match your design preference.
      4. Now make this easier to apply in the future. With the object still selected, open the Graphic Styles panel and click the New Graphic Style button at the bottom of the panel. Give the style an appropriate name. If you then add this style to your NDPs, it will be readily available in all new files that you create.

      Add Strokes to Placed Images in Illustrator | CreativePro.com

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      Community Beginner ,
      Aug 03, 2014 Aug 03, 2014

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      This is really helpful.

      For Technique #1, once you've set the stroke weight, how can you go back and adjust it again?  When I click on the image I've put the mask on, I am having a hard time getting back to the place where the mask's settings can be adjusted.

      Thank you.

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      New Here ,
      May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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      I used Appearance 🙂

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      Explorer ,
      Nov 20, 2019 Nov 20, 2019

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      Do it in InDesign, it takes three seconds (click the object you want to add a stroke to, type a number in the stroke text field). Copy / paste it in Illustrator. Done. I do a lot of design in InDesign, which is faster and more intuitive (try adding one rounded corner to a square in Illustrator, for example...)

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      New Here ,
      Nov 05, 2020 Nov 05, 2020

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      Save your clean image as a PNG in Photoshop before creating outline in Illustrator.

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