I would use the magic wand to select all the black items, fills and strokes, Expand, then Pathfinder Unite. If you double click on the magic wand you can set tolerences for fills and strokes. Since I don't have your artwork in front of me I can't tell if your artwork has both strokes and fills creating the black.
Thanks - I've attached the artwork.
In effect I'd like the car to all be one black object and all the white (including the heads etc and headlamps etc) to be transparent - in effect the same as tracing it in raster.
car.ai 1.0 MB
You have to clean up the drawing, for me is more easy to show you than to write and explanation, so see attached your file corrected,
I have used the pathfinder / unite in some parts and finally a compound path from the object menu
carFixed.ai.zip 1,012.7 K
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You need to remove some of the superfluous Cra… stuff in the art. Then you can use the magic wand set to zero tolarance fill to select one of the head lights and Pathfinder Unite. Then select the black area and Pathfinder Unite. Then select all and use the Pathfinder Minus front.
PrepressPro1 is right about using the "Magic Wand". However, after I opened the Ai file I noticed 2 problems with the artwork.
1) The files contains 2 types of black
2) We have 2 Strokes of 21.595 point
To solve the first problem, select all white areas using the "Magic Wand" (just like PrepressPro1 said) and hide the white areas (Main Menu: Object + Hide + Selection). Now all you can see all the black areas.
Select all and use Pathfinder Shape Modes "Add" (Please note that in CS3 this feature does not work if select it from the "Effect" menu)
(Main Menu: Window + Pathfinder) From this window apply "Add" and click "Expand"
With this last operation with have deleted the 2 Strokes of 21.595 point and we have 2 half circles. Cover those 2 half circles with black squares and repeat the Pathfinder option.
After these steps now you have one single black object.
Now lets bring back the white areas (Main Menu: Object + Show All) and bring them to the front (Main Menu: Object + Arrange + Bring to Front)
With the white selected, we have to compound them (Main Menu: Object + Compound Path + Make)
Now select all and use Pathfinder "Subtract" and click "Expand" and you are done.
As you can see the vector file that you received was wrong, and this type of files can produce problems during the printing process. However, if you fix files like this, you will avoid problem with the pre-press department and you will have more control of the artwork.
I hope this helps!
Guys - all most helpful.
Thank you ever so much.