How to add SVG backgrounds to Adobe Illustrator

By Matt Visiwig Matt Visiwig Portrait Oct 27, 2021

There are two ways to import SVGs into Adobe Illustrator. Simply opening an SVG file (download) is the most common way, but the easiest and lesser-known way is to copy and paste the SVG code. You can watch the video demo or skip to the written tutorial below.

Video demo on how to add SVG backgrounds to Illustrator

Written tutorial on how to add SVG backgrounds to Illustrator

To demonstrate how to copy and paste an SVG right into Illustrator, I’m going to grab a free SVG design from Once you preview a background and customize it to your liking, you click the “Export” button.

Screen capture of the SVG Backgrounds dot com UI with an arrow pointing to the export button

Pressing the export button will open a prompt with various ways to output the SVG. You will notice a dedicated “Illustrator” button, click that button to add the SVG to your clipboard.

A screenshot of the export options with an arrow point at the Illustrator button

Lastly, once you’re in Adobe Illustrator, you can now paste the SVG Background directly onto your artboard. The keyboard shortcut for pasting is CTRL+V (or Command+V on Mac). Alternatively, you can go to the edit menu to find the option to paste.

Once the SVG Background is pasted onto your artboard, you can now edit the SVG Background like any vector graphic and resave.

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Hey, I'm Matt , the creator behind SVG Backgrounds. I produce free and paid resources every month, sign up for alerts.

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