JPG to SVG Tutorial | How to vectorize an image for free?

In this article, I will show you how to change any photo or image into a vector image (e.g. JPG to SVG, or PNG to SVG) using a tool called “Inkscape.” It’s a 100% free and open-source vector graphics editing software that allows us to create scalable vector graphics (SVG) formed by various lines and shapes. The benefit of vector graphics is that you can enlarge the image however you want without losing quality. It is the most ideal format if you are going to print it out as a poster or wall art.

The best free JPG to SVG (or PNG to SVG) tool. Step-by-step guide!
Bitmap/raster image to vector illustration

Here, I will use a digital cat drawing as an example. If you have tried any of the online image vectorizers find on the Internet, you will probably encounter the following issue. The generated vector image is not good enough. There may be gaps in-between and there is not much control of the number of colors and rendering methods within the online interface or application, let alone the privacy issue that you are not aware of.

A corrupted vectorization image showing a cat drawing after using an online auto-tracer.
A bad example of vectorization result

Step 1: Download and Install Inkscape

Google “Inkscape” and you will probably find the download link in the first result, or you can simply click here:

Step 2: Drag and drop your image into the Inkscape shortcut

Screenshot of PNG bitmap image import using Inkscape, a free SVG vector image editor.
Select “Embed” next to Image Import Type, and then click “OK.”

Step 3: Select the image once it is opened in Inkscape

Cute drawing of a cat. A sample image for the "photo to vector" tutorial using Inkscape.
Click the image once after it is opened in Inkscape.

Step 4: Open the “Trace Bitmap” panel

How to open bitmap trace window in Inkscape? - Explained!
From the “Path” menu, select “Trace Bitmap.”

Step 5: Setup and preview the result

Step by step tutorial of changing a photo to SVG vector graphic for free using Inkscape.
  1. Select the “Multiple scans” tab
  2. From the dropdown menu, choose “Colors”
  3. Increase the scan values for more details and colors depending on your picture
  4. Click the “Update” button to preview the result
  5. Click the “Apply” button when you are happy with it

Step 6: Edit the rendered path (optional)

Vectorization result of the cat image.
You can now adjust the path or colors as you wish like a vector graphic

Step 7: Save the file in SVG format

From the “File” menu, select “Save As” to save a copy of the file in SVG format

Hope you find it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions; I would love to help further. If you are looking for speedy, high quality and well-priced work from a professional photo editor, check out more of the photo editing services available here.

Free icons Free online tools Free photoshop brushes Free poster templates Free textures Free vectors JPG to SVG NFT Photo editing Photopea tutorial Photoshop tutorial

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