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Advice on selecting and removing background objects (CS6)

Apr 4, 2013 2:26 PM

Tags: #illustrator #photoshop #adobe #tool #cs6



I know the title is not that precise. I have used AI since 1.1, but not a power user. I know there are a lot of different ways to get the job done. And if you know what you are doing you can get this done fast. Particularly with many files to process. Below is an example of a vector I need to work with. I would like to remove all the "background" objects. Those grey to white vectors, leaving the main artwork only. I would then use this to make a black mask for PS, as well as being able to place it over other files without the extranious geometry. I have tried selecting a variety of the grey objects and using the various select similiar, but that has usually creaded more work, leaving points and empty vectors, without really selection everytrhing I'd like to remove.


So, is there a easy way to select and remove all the background (light grey) objects to remove? I would like to be able to batch this since I have many files to clean up.


Here is the ai file if anyone wants to take a look (


I'm sure there is an effective way to do this.



In advance!!








  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 3:22 PM   in reply to Picturequest

    That download link looks very scary. Please upload it to a reputable service.


    Apart from that: have you tried the eyedropper?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 3:33 PM   in reply to Picturequest

    Look at the Layers panel.

    Expand layers to view sublayers and move the grey/white objects to a new back layer.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 4:37 PM   in reply to Picturequest

    Sorry, I meant the magic wand.


    You can enter a fuzziness value (take the darkest level of grey you want to select) and then click on a white object. Might perhaps work. If yellow objects are caught, you could subtract them using the magic wand with zero tolerance.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 4:39 PM   in reply to Picturequest

    is there a way to just select those objects that are darker/more saturated, leaving the background un selected.

    As far as I know there is no way to select that sort of thing automatically.

    Conversely, it might be easier to select the coloured stuff and move it to a new front layer.

    Select Same ... might help you there, but it’s difficult to tell without seeing the whole layer stack.

    I have an uneasy feeling that you are going to get into deep spaghetti, so at any rate save a copy of the file as it is so you don’t mess things up by meddling :-)

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2013 4:46 PM   in reply to Picturequest

    select one of the offending shapes and go to Select->Same->Appearance, if you get what you wanted, but there are more offending shapes that need to be deleted, repeat the process...


    if you get some of the darker shapes selected along with the ones you need to delete, deselect all and try again with a different choice in the menu, for example, select one of the offending shapes and go to Select->Same->Fill Color and see if you get better results with that.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2013 6:49 AM   in reply to Picturequest

    Glad that it worked. As for the magic wand: you can not only select by fill color, but also by stroke color (see the magic wand panel's menu to show all the options)

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