You cannot mask using an envelope or a mesh
Hi, maybe I can help since most of my pupils uses to find the same problem sometimes:
1. make sure that all the objects to be masked are only ONE entity, a group for example.
2 make sure your template is either a path or a compound path, never a group.
3. if you are using a template, make sure that the vectors are not in "guide" mode.
As Illustrator is likely to create groups with asking no permission is a common issue to find yourself trying to make a mask with a group not knowing it.
Excuse my english
The hape for the clipping masl has to be on the same layer as that which is be masked.
You can use envelopes and meshes in an Opacity Mask. Will that work for you? Advantage is, you can have graduated transparency.
Wade is right. You must have all that you want masked on the same layer as the mask itself. Do this first then let us know if you're still having issues.
Tsnmr - thanks for the tips.
I have tried grouping all to be masked
I have converted the mask into a compound path
How do I know if the vecotrs are in guide mode or not?
Thanks to everyone for their input its such a great help!
Jeffcd19 - Yep its all on the same layer so not sure why it just keeps deleting everything!
I hope you have another trick up your sleeve....?
Select the "future mask" and go to the menú View - Guides - Release Guides (if avaliable).
In Ill you can convert any vector object into guides.
When i said "guide mode" i meant object converted to guides ir order to not print them and use just as a template, when you said it was a template for an envelope the idea that maybe you were dealing with guides instead of an object seemed a possibility.
PD. Nevermind, i just tried to create a mask with guides and the message you get is pretty descriptive. I ran out of clues, if its not a groupping problem I dont know what else can be.
Without having the file to investigate it's hard for me to guess at this point Lydia. If you can post the file I could take a look at it for you. Sounds like you've done most of what I would have tried so far though.
I you are using a template in AI CS 4 or 5 then it is possible thgat the template is an artboard which you cannot use as a clipping mask.
You would have to draw a rectaangle to the size of the enevelope template and use that rectangle path as a clipping mask.
Ok! Besides from that possibility if yiou are printing an envelope withy objects that have to be clipped to the edge of the front of the enevelope that is not a very good idea.
Even if you are printing and then converting the envelope it is a bad idea as you8 would definitely need a bleed and that would wrap around to the back of the envelope and in a nott so pretty way.
OK so say you are using an inkjet that can print on an envelope and it can even successfu8lly print it with a bleed feature the way thoise bleed features have to work is that they enlarge the art slightly and so whyat every you design and create will be enlarge and trying to figure that out is not going to be very easy.