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Why Can’t I Edit Image in Illustrator?

Many creative individuals, including graphic designers and artists, turn to Adobe Illustrator for its powerful image editing capabilities. However, it can be quite frustrating when you encounter difficulties while attempting to make changes to an image within this popular software.

In this article, we will explore some common reasons why you may encounter obstacles when trying to edit images in Illustrator. If you like to read more useful articles, check out our blog.

If you ask Why can’t I edit image in Illustrator, then read the following reasons:


Why Can’t I Edit Image in Illustrator?

  1. Unsupported image formats

Adobe Illustrator primarily works with vector graphics, whereas some image formats, such as JPEG or PNG, are raster-based. Unlike raster images, vector graphics are made up of mathematical equations rather than pixels. If you’re trying to edit a raster image in Illustrator, you may face limitations or encounter unexpected results.

In such cases, consider converting your image to a vector format or using Adobe Photoshop, which is better suited for working with raster graphics. Fortunately, Face converter has several converting tools to solve that problem. You can use JPG to AI or EPS to AI tools for converting.

Why can t i edit image in illustrator mac

  1. Image complexity

Complex or highly detailed images, especially those with numerous layers, effects, or filters, may pose challenges in Illustrator. The software is primarily designed for creating and editing vector illustrations, logos, and graphics, rather than performing extensive image manipulation.

Consider using Photoshop or other dedicated image editing tools if you need more advanced image editing capabilities.

  1. Linked or embedded images

If the image you’re trying to edit in Illustrator is linked or embedded from an external source, such as a file or website, any changes made in Illustrator may not be reflected in the original image file. Ensure that the image is embedded or linked properly to retain editability within Illustrator.

  1. Locked or protected layers

Illustrator provides the option to lock or protect layers, preventing accidental modifications. If you can’t edit an image in Illustrator, check if the layer containing the image is locked or protected. Unlocking the layer should grant you editing access.

  1. Compatibility issues

Sometimes, compatibility problems can arise when using older versions of Illustrator or unsupported file formats. Ensure that you are using a compatible version of Illustrator and that your image file format is supported. Updating your software or converting the image to a different format could resolve the issue.

So, if you don’t know How to make an image editable in Illustrator, check these problems first.

How To Unlock An Image To Edit In Illustrator?

As we said before, locked images cannot be edited in Illustrator. So, if you don’t know How to edit an imported image in Illustrator, you should unlock it first. To unlock an image and make it editable in Adobe Illustrator, you can follow these steps:

  1. Launch Adobe Illustrator on your computer by clicking on its icon in the application folder or taskbar.
  2. Go to the “File” menu and click on “Open” to browse for the image file you want to edit. Select the file and click “Open” to import it into Illustrator.
  3. After importing the image, it will appear on the artboard. By default, images in Illustrator are locked to prevent accidental changes. To unlock the image, select it by clicking on it.
  4. To make sure the Layers panel is visible, go to the “Window” menu and click on “Layers” if it’s not already open.
    How to edit an image in Illustrator
  5. In the Layers panel, you will see a lock icon next to the image layer. Click on this lock icon to unlock the layer. Once unlocked, you will be able to edit the image freely.
  6. Now that the image is unlocked, you can make various edits such as resizing, cropping, applying filters, adjusting colors, and much more. Utilize the tools and features in Illustrator to achieve the desired changes.
  7. Once you’ve finished editing the image, don’t forget to save your work. Go to the “File” menu and click on “Save” or “Save As” to save your edited image in the desired file format.

Edit vectors with Illustrator


If you’re wondering Why can’t I edit image in Illustrator, there could be a few reasons. It is important to keep in mind that Illustrator is primarily a vector-based software, designed for creating and editing scalable artwork. Thus, it may not be the ideal tool for complex image editing tasks.

However, Illustrator does offer some image manipulation capabilities such as applying filters, adjusting colors, and modifying image paths. If you’re looking for more advanced image editing features or need to work with raster-based images, alternative software like Adobe Photoshop would be better suited to your needs.

Additionally, exploring other specialized image editing tools might provide more comprehensive solutions for your desired editing tasks. For further information on various image editing techniques, tips, and tools, feel free to explore our website blogs.

Face converter offers blogs on Adobe Illustrator and other design software. Also, it provides users with convenient image-converting tools to aid in their creative processes. Check out our tools for better compatibility in your graphic works.

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