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Separating strokes & offset paths from text?

Apr 5, 2012 8:41 AM

Tags: #paths #separating

I need to outline large titles to be output to a large format inkjet printer with a contour cut on a CNC router. I often need to create strokes then convert them to outlines or sometimes create offset paths so that I can use that layer as a through cut (contour guide/line). Sometimes it involves having a clipped image that is outlined and with an offset path for the cut line which may lie in the middle of the stroke/outline. So there could be several lines around an image. I need to separate all of these lines from each other so that I can put them on their own layers for production purposes. I would also need to separate the outlined stroke if I am clipping an image into the main text. Otherwise the image will clip out to the edge of the stroke. If I can separate all of this I can work much easier in layers. Is there a way to easily separate or disassociate each line from one another? I've tried the release compound paths groups etc. None of these seem to be effective. I have to go through a lot of steps and time to manually do these tasks.  

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2012 9:19 AM   in reply to just get me in

    All that can be done by a combination of applying multiple strokes and/or fills to a text object in the Appearance palette and applying live effects like Pathfinder Add and Offset Path to the various fills/strokes. Once the various elements look the way you want, Expand Appearance and sometimes Pathfinder Unite are used to "nail down" the results to discrete paths suitable for plotting.

     

    You should familiarize yourself with those commands and features in the documentation. Post an image here (screenshot or sketch) of a specific example, with callouts labeling the intended purposes, etc., of each outline element.

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2012 9:34 AM   in reply to just get me in

    clipping masks and compound paths have to have their content in the same layer (level of hierarchy).

     

    In addition to what was already suggested:

     

    For separating for production pruposes (cutting lines), you can create copies of the content and move it on different layers. One way to do that easily is selecting a path with the direct selection tool (white pointer) and in the layer's panel, hold Alt and drag the dot representing the selected content in a layer to another layer. Another way is to select a path with the same tool while holding Alt key down, copy, select the new layer in the layer's panel and paste in place, front, etc.l (Ctrl + F) - just make sure "Paste "Remembers Layers" is turned off from the popup menu on the layer's panel.

     

    For the purpose of working easier with the content, there is not much you can do than expanding the layer containing it and select the paths from there. You can use Lock/Unlock or Hide/Unhide Others/All features with their hotkeys. You can also rename each path with names that will make it easier to identify and select. I whish Illustrator had a feature like  selections sets that can select any arbitrary group of objects from different hierarchies but unfortunately nothing like that exists yet.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2012 9:44 AM   in reply to emil emil

    I whish Illustrator had a feature like selections sets that can select any arbitrary group of objects from different hierarchies but unfortunately nothing like that exists yet.

    ??

     

    1. Draw two circles. Make a compound path. Put this on Layer 1.

    2. Draw two squares. Put them on Layer 2.

    3. Draw two triangles. Group Them. Put this on Layer 3.

    4. White Pointer: Select one subpath from the compound path on Layer 1, one path from Layer 2, one path from the group on Layer 3.

    5. Save Selection.

    6. Deselect.

    7. Load the selection.

    8. Deselect.

    9. Move an object on Layer 2 or Layer 3 to Layer one.

    10. Deselect.

    11. Load the selection.

    12. Group all the objects on Layer one.

    13. Deselect.

    14. Load the selection.

    15. Select>Inverse.

    16. Object>Hide>Selection.

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2012 10:03 AM   in reply to JETalmage

    Ha, ha, thanks, How could I miss that? Please don't tell me that it has been there for all 22 years since I started using Illustrator. Time to check what's in all the menus and read the entire manual again - last time I did that was in the last century

     

    cheers

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2012 10:42 AM   in reply to just get me in

    You most likely will get all that's possible to make this easier if you share a file representing the complexity of of the file you are working on.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2012 9:23 AM   in reply to just get me in

    Use a free file transfer site (check Google) and post the link to it here.

     
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