How to Embed Images in Adobe Illustrator

How to Embed Images in Adobe Illustrator

October 11, 2023

The Adobe Creative Suite provides multiple products that help professionals unleash creativity in an “always-moving” digital environment, including Illustrator and Photoshop. While integrated platforms make sharing files more effortless, it can still lead to issues such as broken links.

Sharing design files with clients, graphic designers, and teammates can be a hassle if you incorrectly use the “Link” and “Embed” features. Let’s explore various methods on how to embed images in Illustrator. 

How to Embed Images in Illustrator Using Quick Actions

Knowing how to embed images in Adobe Illustrator can save you from "could not find original image" headaches, especially if you’re working with multiple people, deadlines, and projects.

Embedding images is best if you must share files with many contributors. Here's a simple guide to seamlessly integrating your pictures into your project:

  1. Open Illustrator, click "File," then select "Place."
  2. Pick the image you need to embed from your hard drive and place it on the canvas.
  3. The "X" in the picture indicates the image is linked.
  4. Click "Embed" in Quick Actions, which can be found on the right-hand side of the screen. 
  5. The "X" should disappear after you embed an image. 

With embedding, you can enhance the consistency and portability of your Illustrator projects while eliminating broken links. However, you need to re-embed your file again if you need to change the image or make edits.

How to Embed Images in Illustrator Using Links Panel

If you want to use another method for embedding images in Adobe Illustrator, then the Links option would be an option. This alternative approach ensures your visuals are securely integrated into your projects while providing additional options as needed. 

  1. Follow through File > Place, and choose your desired image from your hard drive.
  2. Place the image onto the canvas and readjust as needed. 
  3. Take note that all images with “X” are linked images.
  4. Navigate to "Window," then select "Links” to make the Link options appear. 
  5. Open the hidden menu by clicking the three-line icon.
  6. Select "Embed Images" from the dropdown menu. 

Using the Link Panel ensures your designs remain intact and easily shareable, which is a great time saver especially in remote workspaces. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have additional questions? Navigate through our FAQs section if you need more information on how to embed images in your Illustrator project. 

What is the difference between linking and embedding an image in Illustrator? 

Linking images means providing source images along with your Illustrator file when sharing. Any changes to the original file by external apps like Adobe Photoshop will automatically reflect in your project. The downside of this method is that projects will break when the linked file is missing due to referencing issues. 

On the other hand, embedding your images can prevent unlinking issues by making your source photos a part of the Illustrator file.  Consider that this method will increase your file size and make external edits difficult for your source materials. Select this option only if you cannot edit the original source images further. 

Can I embed multiple images at once in Adobe Illustrator? 

Absolutely! Embedding multiple images at once is doable. Whether using the Quick Action or Link method, you can efficiently secure several photos into your document, ensuring they remain steadfast and accessible.

Quick Action Method:

  1. Place your desired images in the document.
  2. Select all photos you wish to embed.
  3. Click "Embed" in the Quick Actions section.

Link Panel Method: 

  1. Navigate to Window > Links to open the panel.
  2. Press Shift+Click to select and embed all images in Illustrator.
  3. Click the menu icon, then select "Embed Image(s)."

What image file formats are compatible with embedding in Illustrator? 

Theoretically, all the files Illustrator supports are available for embedding. These items become a part of the final file. Here’s a list of the Illustrator-supported files. 

  • Illustrator Files (ai, ait)
  • Adobe PDF (pdf)
  • AutoCAD Drawing (dwg)
  • AutoCAD Interchange File (dxf)
  • AV1 Image (avif)
  • BMP (bmp, rle, dib)
  • JPEG (jpg)
  • PNG (png)
  • GIF (gif)
  • TIFF (tiff)

Is it possible to replace or update an embedded image in Illustrator? 

Yes, updating or replacing embedded photos in Illustrator is straightforward. Follow these steps below, or check more about the topic from the Adobe Help website. 

  1. Select your target image with the Selection Tool (V).
  2. Open the Links panel via Window > Links.
  3. Click the Relink icon within the Links panel.
  4. Choose your new image in the dialog box and click Open.

Can I resize an embedded image in Illustrator without losing quality? 

Yes, you can resize your image without losing quality by following these steps:

  1. Select your photo using the Selection Tool (V).
  2. Activate the Free Transform tool with Ctrl/Cmd + T or select it from the left toolbar.
  3. Right-click the Free Transform tool, then navigate to Transform > Scale in the menu.
  4. Adjust your image proportions or use the "Uniform" for automatic adjustments.


We've covered Quick Actions and Link Panels methods in embedding photos into Illustrator. By following these user-friendly methods, you can securely and effectively embed your photos, improving the reliability of your design projects. Or, at the very least, help you decide whether to go linked or embedded when sharing your files. 

You can showcase your Illustrator file or other design files like a pro with Ahsuite’s “View” feature. Using i-frames, users can embed items, photos, videos, and other documents to centralize client resources and make presentations smoother. 

Get this free feature (up to 10 portals) with Ahsuite Starter, or use it for a 30-day trial. 

Publish your blog on this space.

RedAlkemi publishes a collection of blogs submitted by guest bloggers in the space of digital marketing, graphic design and web development. If you think you can add value to our blog with your content, we'd love to have you on board! Email us at