stones ruins

Say yes to saying no: Guide your AI art with negative prompts.

Sometimes a little negativity is just what you need. Try naming the elements you want to exclude from your images.

Negative prompts 101.

Negative prompts are just another tool for guiding AI art generators. Just as you use text to prompt the engine to create images with certain elements, you can use text to prompt it to avoid others.

When should you use negative prompts in AI art generation?

Add negative prompts whenever you want to narrow the parameters of your AI-generated art. For example, say you type “black cat scratching a sofa in a fancy living room” and the generative AI model uses its knowledge of black cats, sofas, and fancy living rooms to generate an image. Maybe the resulting images all have house plants in them (because they’re fancy), but you need an image free of greenery because you’re not sure if any of the plants are toxic to cats.


This is where negative prompts come in. You can instruct the AI to exclude house plants, greenery, leaves, and flowers, and generate a new, plant-free image, reducing any risk to our misbehaving feline friend.


You may not always get your desired results using negative prompts, but they can add more guidance and help you get closer to creating the images you imagine.

castle on the beach

Why create AI art with negative prompts.

Thinking of effective AI art prompts is an art to itself, but there are good reasons to explore negative prompts while you generate images with AI.

Add specificity.

The more specific your prompts, the more likely you are to be happy with the results. Negative prompts just allow you to add more guidance by ruling out some of the decisions the AI might make.


If you try the prompt, “Stone ruins being taken over by plants, tropical jungle, video game background,” you may hope for a sense of closeness, of the jungle consuming the ruins and blocking the light. You can try adding the negative prompts “sky,” “sun,” and “mountain view” to eliminate the elements that make the image feel more spacious.

Exercise the AI’s creativity.

Take your AI image generation into new and uncharted territory by asking the AI to produce abstract concepts and then peeling away the more concrete elements it produces. For example, try prompting it to generate “peace and tranquility.” Then ask it to remove the obvious elements you see in the resulting images, like the sun, the person meditating, or the trees, and generate again for different results.

Exercise your own creativity.

Generating images in AI involves a lot of creative problem solving. You can spend hours trying different prompt ideas, combinations of positive and negative prompts, and various effects or style influences. In the end, you might get exactly what you’re looking for, or you might discover something completely surprising that you like even more than what you originally imagined.

How to use negative prompts in Firefly.

Follow these steps to tell Firefly what to exclude from your images.

Adobe Firefly logo

1. Open Firefly.

Go to the Adobe Firefly Text to Image module.

2. Generate images.

Type your prompts in the prompt field and click Generate to see the results. (Get more detailed tips on how to make AI-generated art.)

Firefly generated cute baby lamb running with different backgrounds
how to find advanced settings

3. Open Advanced Settings.

If you find elements in the image results that you want to remove, go to the control panel on the right, scroll down, and click Advanced Settings.

4. Add your negative prompt.

Type up to ten elements you want to exclude from the image in the prompt field. You can separate them by commas or click Enter or Return.

How to exclude from image in Firefly
Firefly generated image of lambs without clouds

5. Generate.

Click Generate again and check out the results.

If negative prompts don’t work, turn to Generative Fill.

Sometimes you may not get your desired result using negative prompts. Say you’ve generated an image of “coffee cups on a table” but your results are full of red coffee cups. Red won’t work for you but excluding “red” doesn’t seem to fix the issue.


You can try two ways to get rid of elements that stick around despite your negative prompts: Revise your original text prompts and generate new images or use Generative Fill as an AI image enhancer to edit specific areas in the image that you want to change.


To open the Generative Fill workspace, just click the Edit button in the top left of the image you want to edit. Then you can remove what you don’t want or replace it with new objects (like blue coffee cups) using new text prompts.

negative prompt with dog and vase

Keep experimenting with Firefly.

One of the amazing features of generative AI is that you can get different results every time you generate images. The more you play with different prompts, negative prompts, effects, and tools like Generative Fill, the better you’ll understand how to guide the model to give you useful images.


With some practice, and an openness to the serendipity that comes with Text to Image, you’ll find that Firefly can inspire new ideas and help you take your art in new directions.

Questions? We have answers.

Negative prompts are text prompts that instruct the AI model that it should not include certain elements in its generated images.

Negative prompts can provide additional guidance to the AI model, eliminating some resulting images that don’t fit the user’s needs.

Negative prompts help remove unwanted elements by eliminating them from the AI art generation. If your prompt is “a family gathering at home for dinner with their dog,” and you like every type of dog except pugs, you can type “pug” in the negative prompt field, and images including pugs will be excluded from influencing the generation.

Yes. You can use negative prompts to emphasize certain aspects of the positive prompt. If you want to create an image of a vibrant, brightly colored garden lake with flamingos and tropical flowers, for example, you can add negative prompts like “muted colors,” “shadows,” and “dull green” to enhance the brightness of the image.

Step into the future with Adobe Firefly.

Use generative AI and simple prompts to create the highest-quality output — images, text effects, color palettes, and more.

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