How to Make a Background Transparent in Adobe Illustrator CS5
By Joshua Mcgee
Updated September 28, 2017
Illustrator uses a transparent background by default. The transparent background allows you to see through unfilled artwork to the printed paper or the background where you place the illustrator file. However, if you need to save or export the illustrator file, some formats fill the transparent background with white. For example, if you need to import the illustrator into PowerPoint, which does not support AI files, you will need to export the image to PNG file.
EPS Vector File
Click on the “File” menu and select “Save As.”
Click on the “Save as Type” drop-down menu and select “Illustrator EPS.” Then click “Save.”
Click on the “Transparent.” Click “OK.” Illustrator will save the Illustrator file as an EPS file with a transparent background. EPS files are similar to PDF files in that they are compatible with more programs than an Illustrator file.
PNG or PSD Pixel File
Click on the “File” menu and select “Export.”
Click on the “Save as Type” drop-down menu and select “PNG” or “Photoshop.” Then click “Save.”
Click on the “Color” drop-down menu and select “Transparent.” Click “OK.” PNG and PSD are the pixel formats available in Illustrator’s export menu that will allow transparent backgrounds.
Josh McGee graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in English, professional and technical communication, and a minor in marketing. He has worked as a technical writer and illustrator for two large manufacturing companies, ICON Health and Fitness and Cover-Pools Incorporated. He is currently employed full-time for the latter.