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What is Adobe Illustrator?.Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator | Guide to Pathfinder Panel in Illustrator

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Create the object you want to use as the mask. This object is called the clipping path. Only vector objects can be clipping paths. To create a clipping path from the area where two or more objects overlap, group the objects first. Add to shape area using the Unite mode B. Subtract from shape area using the Minus Front mode C.

Intersect shape area using the Intersect mode D. Exclude overlapping shape areas using the Exclude mode. Select the objects you want to trim using the Selection tool. Choose a Shape Mode and Pathfinder effects using the Pathfinder panel. For more information, see Pathfinder effects. Legal Notices Online Privacy Policy. Adobe Illustrator Features What’s New. Buy now. User Guide Cancel. Learn about the different methods for cutting, dividing, and trimming objects in Illustrator.

Commands for cutting and dividing objects. Divide Objects Below. Select the object to use as a cutter, and position it so that it overlaps the objects to cut. Split Into Grid. Select the object. Enter the number of rows and columns you want. Optional Do any of the following:. To add guides along the row and column edges, select Add Guides. Click OK. Optional Select the path to see its current anchor points.

Tools for cutting and dividing objects. Knife tool. Do one of the following: To cut in a curved path, drag the pointer over the object.

To cut in a straight path, hold down Alt Windows or Option macOS as you click the artboard with the Knife tool, and then drag. The cuts created using the Knife tool appear as strokes on the object. Illustrator selects the object by default while cutting.

We will kick it up a notch and create custom shapes using primarily the Pathfinder Effects. This tutorial is primarily drawn from my Skillshare class, Illustrator Nuggets for Surface Designers. You can grab a free seat using this link. There are two rows of options that live in the Pathfinder Panel. We will go over the options one by one. The options from the first row are shape modes.

And the options in the second row are pathfinder effects. I find it unhelpful to spend efforts distinguishing the two. Our time will be best spent on associating the icons with visual results.

So that’s what we will do next. Select two or more objects to which you want to apply the effect. They can be individual or group s of shapes and objects. This option joins all the selected objects together. If the objects have different fill colors and other graphic attributes, the final shape takes on the visual style of the frontmost object.

This option works like a cookie-cutter. With both shapes selected, click “Minus Front,” The bottom shape should now have a cutout of the top shape. Sometimes the situation is a bit more complex than the example above.

The Intersect option is pretty straightforward because it produces the intersect shape areas between two shapes. In other words, you will have the overlapped area as a result. And it will take on the graphic style color, fill, gradient, etc. You can consider this option the opposite of the Intersect because it combines all the shapes except the overlapped areas.

And it works with two or more objects. The option looks at the overlapping objects and divides them into the most sub-areas based on the selected shapes. Unlike previous options, where you see the visual result immediately, this divide option doesn’t show any visible difference initially.

To make it even more confusing, it also groups all the sub-areas into one group, so if you were to move them around using the selection tool V , they all travel together. Ok, now we have officially reached a point where words don’t make sense anymore. It is when an animated GIF is worth a thousand words. So, excuse the brevity of the paragraph and watch how the Trim option works in action below.

Same as above, I will let the GIF do the heavy-lifting of explaining. By the way, if you’d like a quick download of all the GIFs covered in this post as a handy dandy cheat sheet, here is your link. This is one of my favorite and the most used option on this panel. But read on because I don’t use it right out of the box. I have a separate post in the near future that explains all the different ways to crop inside Adobe Illustrator.

But long story short, the best practical use case for this option is to trim off the excess anchor points after applying a clipping mask again, read the post for deets. Crop in action with a clipping mask applied. This option divides an object into its component line segments or edges.



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  Pathfinder effects in the Pathfinder panel can be applied to any combination of objects, groups, and layers. This option divides an object into its component line segments or edges. Release and expand a compound shape. Select the compound path using the Selection tool or Layers panel. By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Make sure that the compound path uses the nonzero winding fill rule.