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How to Embed Images in Illustrator

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What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, you'll learn two simple methods that you can use to embed photos in Illustrator.

What You'll Learn in This Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

  • Difference between linked and embedded images in Illustrator
  • How to embed images in Illustrator via the Control Panel
  • How to embed all images in Illustrator via the Links Panel

Linked vs. Embedded Images in Illustrator

By default, Illustrator links any image that you import into a document. This means that Illustrator connects the image with the location of the image on your hard drive. The image will no longer show up in your document if you change its location or name, or if you delete it.

This can be a bit cumbersome, especially when you are sharing a design with linked images, as you would have to also share the linked images. In such a case, it would be much easier to embed the images. By embedding an image, you are making it part of the design. Just keep in mind that this will increase the size of your document.

Select an image (or more) from your document, have a look in the control panel, and on the left-hand side you can see when you have a Linked File selected. Alternatively, you can open the Links panel (Window > Links), where you can see all linked or embedded images from your design. Now that you understand the difference between linked and embedded images, let's learn how to embed images in Illustrator.

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Method 1: How to Embed Images in Illustrator via the Control Panel

The first method that you can use to embed photos in Illustrator is via the control panel.

Just select your image/images, focus on the control panel, and click the Embed button. Have a look on the left-hand side of your control panel, and your selection title should turn from Linked File to Image.

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Method 2: How to Embed All Images in Illustrator via the Links Panel

The second method that you can use to embed images in Illustrator is via the Links panel.

Keep in mind that you can select the image straight from this panel. To quickly select multiple images, you can hold down the Shift key, select the first image, and then click the final one to select the rest of the images that lie between these two.

Open the fly-out menu and simply go to Embed Images to turn your selected linked images into embedded images. Focus on the Links panel and notice that all your embedded images are marked by a tiny icon on the right-hand side.

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Congratulations! You Know How to Embed in Illustrator!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Now that you know how to embed in Illustrator, you can enrich your design using beautiful photos. You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

Popular Resources from Envato Elements

Envato Elements is an excellent resource for photos, templates, and other assets. Here, we'll show you a top template from the graphic templates category.

Travel Flyer Template (AI, EPS, PDF)

Check out this clean travel flyer design if you wish to embed photos in Illustrator with a few clicks. Just drag the images inside this document and scale them to fit the masks. Then adjust the text, add your logo, and you're ready.

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Want to Learn More About Adobe Illustrator?

We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look! If you also prefer to watch video tutorials like this one below, don't forget to visit and subscribe to the Tuts+ YouTube Channel:

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