How to make certain area transparent in Illustrator


I have a rectangle with a grid pattern as fill:


Now I want the white part to be transparent so I can add a background image to it. I didn't find a way to do it. I know if you are in Photoshop you can use the quick selection tool but I am in Illustrator. So how do you do it in Illustrator? Thanks

5/6/2016 3:54:00 AM

  1. Drag your pattern out of the swatch panel
  2. Make white invisible (for some patterns this means you may need to make a new bounding box.)
  3. Drag the pattern back to the swatch panel.
    • Either alt drag and overwrite the old pattern.
    • Or make a new pattern and reapply.

enter image description here

Image 1: Timelapse of the process

Some closing thoughts. I wouldn't use a pattern for a grid there are several reasons for this but simply put it's not very efficient. In any case it should take no time to recreate the pattern form scratch.

5/6/2016 7:01:00 AM