How to Cut One Shape at the Stroke of Another in Illustrator CS5


This would be quite simple but I can't see to do it.

I have a shape/object (shape 1) and another shape object (shape 2).

Shape one has fill and a stroke (1px black). Shape 2 has a fill but no stroke.

Shape 1 is bigger than shape 2 and shape 2 sits on top of shape 1 in such as way that some part of shape 2 is on shape 1 and the rest part of shape 2 is outside shape 1.

How would I go about "cutting" the shape 2 and delete that part of the shape 2 that is outside shape 1 and leave me only the part of shape 2 that is inside the shape 1 in such a way that the stoke of shape 1 is visible.


3/28/2012 7:16:00 PM

Accepted Answer

If I understand correctly.....

  1. Select both shapes
  2. copy
  3. Delete shape 2
  4. Select Shape 1 and Object > Hide (this is just to make it easier and is not required)
  5. Edit > paste in front
  6. Select Shape 1
  7. Object > Expand
  8. Pathfinder > Minus Front
  9. Select Both Shape 1 and Shape 2
  10. Pathfinder > Minus Back
  11. Object > Show All (To unhide Shape 1 in step 4)

Result : lower half of Shape 2 by itself trimmed to match edge of Shape 1.

What this does is expands Shape 1 then trims the size of the stroke from the shape allowing the Minus Back to only use the inner area of Shape 1.

3/28/2012 7:24:00 PM

You have a fundamental issue with how you conceive your shapes. You want to "cut" Shape 2 using Shape 1, yet you want the resulting shape to include space for Shape 1's stroke. There isn't a simple way to do that - any method you try will require you to take Shape 1's stroke into account.

There are several ways to do this, but I would do the following:

  1. Copy Shape 1 and paste in back (if you want to keep it).
  2. Select Shape 1 and perform ObjectExpand (check both Fill and Stroke)
  3. Ungroup Shape 1's expanded components.
  4. With Shape 1's components selected, use Subtract from shape area on the Pathfinder menu. (This will give you a fill object that is smaller than your original Shape 1)
  5. Select Shape 2 and your new, smaller fill object from Shape 1 and select Intersect shape areas on the Pathfinder menu.

This will give you an object that is constrained by the visible fill area of your Shape 1 object.