How to Change Opacity in Adobe Illustrator

Opacity is an important part of Illustrator since it determines if an object or background can be seen or not.

Have you ever had an object that you want to fade into the background or create a transparent gradient?

My name is Aly, I have over 5 years of experience in Adobe Illustrator and am even Adobe Illustrator certified. In this article, I will show you three easy ways to change the opacity levels in Adobe Illustrator. 

Key Takeaways:

  • In Adobe Illustrator, 100% is the default opacity when you create an object, position an image, or add text. However, you can adjust the opacity in the Appearance panel or Transparency panel.
  • All forms of content, including individual objects, groups, and entire layers, can have their opacity (how transparent it is) changed.

Method 1: Select and Change Opacity

Follow the steps below to change the opacity of your object or text.

Step 1: Select the object or background on that you want to change the opacity. 

Step 2: Go to the top of the menu and find the Opacity slider. Click on the slider to change the levels of opacity to your liking. 

Method 2: Appearance Panel

Step 1: Another way to change the opacity in Adobe Illustrator is to go into your appearance panel. This should be located on the right hand side of your screen. If you don’t see it go up to Window > Appearance. 

Step 2: Next, click on your object that you want to alter the opacity level. Once you have selected it go to the appearance panel on the right and find Opacity. From there, it will be a slider or you can enter in a value that you prefer. And that’s it!

Method 3: Blending Modes

You can also edit the opacity in different ways such as using Blending Modes. By selecting the Opacity option on the Appearance panel or opening the Transparency panel, you can modify the blending mode. The same results can be obtained using either method.

You will see the different styles of blending modes next to the Opacity setting on the right-hand side in the Transparency window. If you don’t see this go up to Window > Transparency to have it appear. 

Now, where you see the default of Normal click on the dropdown to see multiple blending modes. I’ve found that using blending modes is best if you are trying to blend an object into one another.

For example, say you choose Multiply even if your opacity level is at 100% Illustrator will blend your object into the background to create a transparent look. If you notice that your object isn’t transparent enough, then you can go back to your opacity settings and change the level there. 

There are many different blending styles so I would suggest playing around with them to see what works for your objects the best. 

Pro Tips: 

  • Opacity can be changed on multiple objects at once as long as they are all selected at the same time. 
  • When you adjust a group’s opacity and then ungroup the group, the opacity change is undone but the individual objects in the group have their original opacity settings.

Final Thoughts

The simplest way to alter an object’s opacity is through the Window > Appearance tab if you want to make something transparent. The Appearance panel won’t show up if nothing is selected, thus you must choose an object for it to appear.

Although in a more varied fashion, changing the blending mode can likewise modify the opacity. Explore the blending possibilities at your leisure.

Any questions about changing the opacity in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *