I know that I can use a clipping mask, but I prefer not to have the extra shape of a clipping mask. I've tried all of the Pathfinder commands and those don't work. The Shape Builder tool is tedious for this. An example is the circle with lines extending past the circle in the illustration below. Is there an easy way to delete just the portions of the lines that extend past the circle and leave those inside the circle?
Perhaps you know a better way to do it, but as far as I can see, using the Shape Builder, I would have to tediously Alt click on each one of the lines that extends past the circle. The file I posted is just an example. The Illustration I have to work with has many more lines extending past the circle and would take quite awhile Alt clicking each one.
jay means he would like a command that would chop off the sections of the lines that extend past the circumference of the circle with one command such as a crop tool would accomplish.
In other words he is looking for the non existing crop tool.
One click action, there is no reason such a tool does not exist in Illustrator except that so far we have not been able to convince the team there is a difference between cropping and masking.
Similar requests has been discussed here for ages.
Earlier versions of Illustrator did not provide any reasonable way to crop / trim a greater amount of open stroked paths in one step. There were workarounds that sometimes worked trouble-free. Most of the time they had too many restrictions, though.
One example (year 2007) that illustrates the dilemma:
Now, 6 years later, there is still no such method you're looking for. The Shape Builder tool is a good enhancement that could be further enhanced (for example: how about adding the ability to free-hand drag with it, just as you can do with the Lasso tool?).
In case you want to go beyond Illustrator's nose: Corel Draw has a Lens cropping mechanism that does exactly what you want to achieve. Still one of the most efficient ways to crop stroked paths – available for about two decades.
so, for the Undisputed Illustrator Easy Way of Clipping Unwanted Paths Championship of the World
in the Blue Corner, the undefeated defending champion, still very workaroundish...Kurt's Compound Paths Combining method
in the Red Corner, the ultra hip young contender click-click-click-drag Shape Builder Tool
who will prevail?
OK I have another answer for this problem while it is still stupid though works really well.
The problem is that when you draw a path, it is just a stroke with no fill. To use the crop or other pathfinder tools you must have a fill. I'll give you an example.
If you have a rectangle with say black fill and then you draw a line in front or above that rectangle in say a lime green (so you can see it), you will notice that
|1) The line (path) only has stroke & no fill||&||2) the rectangle has both a path and fill.|
1) What needs to happen here is the green line (path) has to be converted to a fill. To do this select it, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke (CS4).
2) Now I want to crop the green line outside of the black rectangle. To do this I have to make the black rectangle be on top.
3) (Note before I crop it I highlight the black rectangle & command C to copy it, so I can replace it back after the crop action).
4) Then I select both the green line which is now a fill object as well as the black rectangle & go to Pathfinder > Crop
5) Now this is what you left with
6) So now go ahead and paste the black rectangle back in. Remember I wanted the green line to be ontop, so select only the green line remaining after the crop action & command B to past the rectangle back behind the green line.
& there you go. I like this way the most.