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Problem using "Subtract From Shape" feature

Jan 31, 2009 7:19 PM

I'm new to Illustrator and have run into a problem that I can't find the answer to online. There is a simple solution to this problem i am sure, but I just can't figure it out. I am trying to subtract a shape from another (well actually a few). Here is my workflow:

1) Layer 1 consists of 4 shapes. Layer 2 consists of the shape that will act as the "cutter".
2) I select all the shapes in Layer 1, and then the "cutter" shape (layer 2).
3) I then hit the "subtract from shape.." icon found in the pathfinder pallette.
4) It appears to have cut out only 1 of the desired 4 shapes of layer 1? ...and when I click on the "cutter" layer it no longer shows a fill color? Why didn't the cutter shape cut a selection from ALL 4 of the shapes in layer 1? I made sure the "cutter" layer was fully overlapping the layer 1, and I even tried swapping the layer order of the "cutter layer" and "layer 1". I don't get it. Why is this being so difficult? I have tried all of the other tools in the pathfinder as well..nothing works. Here is another thing: why does the "cuttout" shape layer turn into the "cutter" layer after the "subtract from shape" is executed? Makes no sense.

Edit: I did find a solution, but a very time consuming one. Since the "cutter" layer apparently can only cut 1 shape at a time, I just created a bunch of "cutter" layers, and did 1 cut for each shape in layer 1 separately. There has got to be an easier way to cut all of the shapes in layer 1 in one easy step.
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 8:28 PM   in reply to (derek_Kimball)
    This is a 2-step process. First, select the 4 shapes and click the "Add to shape area" button (1st button). This makes AI see them as one shape. Then select the 4 shapes plus the "cutter" shape and click "subtract from shape".
     
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