iStock - Stock Illustration Training Manual

5.1 - Editability

The vector file you submit must be fully editable, meaning your file must contain only vector elements. All shapes in your image should be moveable and modifiable, and the colors should be easy to change. We can't accept any illustration that is not saved as an editable vector EPS, was created in a raster program (like Photoshop), or which contains raster elements (such as a linked photograph or sketch).

By "editable" we also mean the file must be reasonably easy to modify for a downloader. Remember, not everyone who purchases your illustrations are vector geniuses like you. Build your files with the end user in mind, and keep your images as simple and easy to edit as you can. The shapes you use should be clean and well constructed, without a lot of fancy effects, extra layers, additional color swatches, and unnecessary extra shapes.

We recommend that you unlock your layers, delete any extra color swatches from your color palette, group related elements, don’t mix RGB and CMYK color swatches, turn off your guide lines, delete invisible ‘work’ layers, and clearly label your layers. If your files are confusing and unnecessarily difficult to navigate your image may be rejected with a request to tidy things up before resubmitting.


  • Create your images in vector editing software such as Illustrator, Freehand, Xara, or CorelDraw
  • Unlock your layers and turn off any guides you may have used
  • Delete unnecessary color swatches
  • Name your layers appropriately


  • Submit images that aren't editable in a vector software program
  • Submit raster files created in a raster program (such as Photoshop)
  • Submit images containing linked raster files (JPEGs, PDFs, TIFFs)
  • Export files from vector software in an "uneditable" vector format, check your save settings to make sure the file can be modified once you've saved your EPS

Example of an editable vector EPS in outline view:

Editable and Non-Editable

Example of a non-editable EPS in outline view:

Editable and Non-Editable

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