13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 30, 2010 10:09 AM by nicomouse

    Trimming away parts of shapes

    jay fresno Level 1

      I created a pattern that has many shapes in it. Some of the shapes are hanging out past the rectangular tile that is in the back of all the shapes. No problems with the pattern.

       

      But now, I want to trim away the parts of the pattern shapes that are outside the rectangular tile -- not the whole of the shapes, just the parts that are extending outside of the tile. I've tried Pathfinder commands, but none of them seem to do the job. Slicing through the paths with the Knife tool and then deleting the excess pieces works, but it is very difficult to make an accurate slice.

       

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
          Harron K. Appleman Level 4

          Terminology check: When you refer to "pattern," do you mean an actual Illustrator pattern (that can be repeatedly tiled)?

          • 2. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
            jay fresno Level 1

            Yes, it is an actual pattern. But I don't want to use it as a pattern. After I remove the extra parts that extend past the rectangle that defines the pattern tile, I want to use the pattern tile as a repeating web page background.

            • 3. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Jay,

               

              You may do the dirty deed and:

               

              1) Create a path enclosing the tile;

              2) Select everything and Object>Clipping Mask>Make;

              3) In the Transparency palette/panel dropdown tick something other than Normal;

              4) Object>Flatten Transparency (default settings including 100% vector).

              • 4. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                JETalmage-71mYin Level 3

                Every time this question (and other basic things like it) comes up, it makes my Norwegian blood boil. And I'm not even Norwegian.

                 

                Be aware that the oft-cited flatten transparency trick results in outlining of all strokes--something I almost never want to occur when trying to simply trim paths.

                 

                Besides being tedious, AltDragging with Illustrator's hideous Knife tool fails to trim open unfilled paths--an absolutely ridiculous problem that manifests itself all over Illustrator.

                 

                The closest thing Illustrator presently provides for this no-brainer, bare-bones-basic functionality is the also poorly-implemented Eraser tool. For each side of the desired rectangular trim, AltDrag a marquee starting from outside the artwork and ending along the desired cut edge. However, this is also horribly inaccuate. The stupid Eraser tool does not abide by snaps and it cannot be set to zero swath width. It also has a nasty habit of altering the shapes of remaining portions of paths.

                 

                THREE SEPARATE cutting tools and together they fail to satisfy the basic path-cutting functionality provided in any decent drawing program.

                 

                This is just one of many similarly stupid bare-basic omissions that have long, long, long been discussed ad nauseam in this outdated, sloppy program. It's WAY past time (we're talking literal decades) for this program to get serious. Tomorrow, version 15 will be announced. How many such long overdue basic drawing features do you think will finally be provided?

                 

                JET

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  Hence the term dirty destructive deed (I forgot the middle part, the actual destruction of artwork making it a dirty deed).

                   

                  There is a silly alternative for accurate and non destructive cutting away which leaves strokes as strokes and path shapes unaltered, often considerably more laborious:

                   

                  1) Create a Compound Path, the inner path matching the intended tile, the outer path covering all the artwork, and create copies so there is one for each path to be cut placed immediately above it in the stacking order;

                  For each set:

                  2a) Select both and Pathfinder>Minus Front (Subtract from shape area inolder versions, remember to hold Alt/Option to expand);

                  2b) Create a copy of each resulting cut path, remove the stroke from the bottom one and the fill from the top one, cut the top one at the corners and remove the stroked paths along the tile border, and group the paths that were one once.

                   

                  Det er tøfft, når blodet koker, men fullt forståeligt her.

                  • 6. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                    shunithD Level 3

                    JETalmage wrote:

                     

                    Every time this question (and other basic things like it) comes up, it makes my Norwegian blood boil. And I'm not even Norwegian.

                    Maybe that's why it boils? 

                    • 7. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                      jay fresno Level 1

                      Jacob,

                      Thanks for the clever workarounds. Fortunately, the particular pattern I'm working on at the moment does not have any strokes, so your first suggestion worked.

                       

                      JET,


                      I agree, some basic features are sorely needed in Illustrator, but my guess is that we will not see any of them implemented in CS5. (I thought it was the latins who were hot-blooded.)
                      • 8. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                        JETalmage-71mYin Level 3
                        (I thought it was the latins who were hot-blooded.)

                         

                        The only full-blooded Norwegian I've personally known well (my dear departed Pop-in-law) was one of the easiest-going guys I've ever known. Thus, it took alot to make his Norwegian blood boil. Thus, all the more appropriate is my appropriation of one of his favorite catch-phrases.

                         

                        JET

                        • 9. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          You are welcome, Jay.

                           

                          Have you never heard of berserkers?

                          • 10. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                            jay fresno Level 1

                            Jacob,

                            Not until you mentioned them. Interesting to know the origin of 'berserk' -- apparently not all Norwegians were so easy going.

                            • 11. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                              nicomouse

                              ugh... so i think I'm having the same problem and I'm very new to illustrator. Is there a way to export this so the white doesn't show up, while still persevering the vector format?

                               

                              i've tried using the eraser/scissors/knife to no avail. Can i isolate those corner edges and cut the white off, like i could in my dear photoshop?

                              white path.jpg

                              • 12. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                                JETalmage-71mYin Level 3

                                Persevering the vector format?

                                 

                                Your situation is a different subject. Try this:

                                 

                                Select the whole illustration. Click the Merge button in the Pathfinder palette.

                                 

                                JET

                                • 13. Re: Trimming away parts of shapes
                                  nicomouse Level 1

                                  well shoot.

                                   

                                  Thank you.

                                   

                                  I tried merging before i posted my question but saw the outline of the white path was still there and assumed i couldn't trim it away.

                                   

                                  My apologies for posting in the wrong thread.

                                   

                                  You rock!