Knife tool does not work

Contributor ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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For some reason the knife tool will not work when I create a shape, no matter how I create it, I can create an ellipse or a rectangle and it still won't cut.

Has anyone else had this issue?

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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Is the object selected?

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Advocate ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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it works fine.

Be carefull and select object you want to cut, start end finish using knife outside the selected object

pawel

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Engaged ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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The knife tool won't cut open, unfilled shapes. Only open FILLED shapes or closed shapes (filled or unfilled).

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Engaged ,
May 19, 2020 May 19, 2020

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Is it still true that the knife tool not work on open paths in illustrator?

Finding it hard to believe myself.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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Also:

  • If no objects are selected, the knife tool will cut across all shapes
  • If any objects are selected, it appears that the knife tool is cutting, but it will only cut the selected objects

If it isn't working, the first step is to confirm that nothing is selected or select the object you wish to cut.

What do you see when you try to cut and it fails?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2020 Feb 24, 2020

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This is my first post to the community so - Hi!

 

I'm using illustrator 2020

 

I'm having the same issue with my knife tool not cutting. I have a shape that was created from a font. I converted the font into outlines, and then changed it into a compound path. I filled this shape with gray. With that new shape selected I grab my knife tool. Holding down alt/option to drag a straight line, and starting off the image, I drag a line but no slicing is happening. I did it with my mouse and with my wacom tablet - same result - no slicing.

 

Anyone have any ideas? 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2020 Feb 24, 2020

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Update:

I created a new shape, a basic ellipse, and the knife worked just the way it's supposed to. The only thing I can imagine is the original shape I was trying to cut up had an issue. 

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New Here ,
Apr 21, 2020 Apr 21, 2020

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For anyone that finds this in a Google search - I solved the problem. 

 

I was selecting the knife tool, pressing alt for a straight line, making my two cut marks to take out a segement (in my case of a circle), but when I tried to drag the one piece away - I could only move the whole shape, even though I could see the cut marks. 

 

By trial and error I found the solution - select the object, then select the knife tool. Make your cut marks. Then press select again (V). Then double click on the section you want to separate (so it opens the isolated mode with everything else greyed out). Then drag your section away from the whole image and they'll separate. You can then press escape to go back to normal view and you have two objects. 

 

Hope this helps 🙂 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 21, 2020 Apr 21, 2020

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"By trial and error I found the solution - select the object, then select the knife tool. Make your cut marks. Then press select again (V). Then double click on the section you want to separate (so it opens the isolated mode with everything else greyed out). Then drag your section away from the whole image and they'll separate. You can then press escape to go back to normal view and you have two objects. "

 

If you need to enter isolation mode then you need to check the object in the layers panel. Is it really just a simple path?

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New Here ,
Apr 21, 2020 Apr 21, 2020

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Thanks Monika. No, not in my case. Which is why I posted this solution. To help anyone who can't get their shape to cut out following the usual route. 🙂 

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2020 Sep 25, 2020

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THANK YOU!!!  谢谢!

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New Here ,
Mar 25, 2021 Mar 25, 2021

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This was exactly what I needed! Thank you!!!

 

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New Here ,
Jun 03, 2020 Jun 03, 2020

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This appears to happen when the object is contained within a clipping mask. I've seen it happen when I have sub-layers and the main containing layer has a clipping mask, which clips everything in the sub-layers too. So try this: create a new layer that is not nested in any other layer. Move your object there. Try the knife tool now. If it works, you'll know it's the clipping mask that's intefering somehow.

Isolation mode also works because somehow it negates the clipping mask bug.

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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Can someone help me to enable the slice tool in illustrator

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Community Expert ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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The slice tool is not related to the knife tool. If you can't access it in the Advanced toolbar (Window > Toolbars > Advanced) or by pressing Shift + K, I suggest you make a separate topic and give as many details as you can.

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Participant ,
Feb 14, 2022 Feb 14, 2022

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In case someone else finds this thread with the same issue I was having:

The knife tool does not seem to work on lines, only shapes. I wanted to cut out a segment of a line I had drawn, and it wouldn't work. Tested it with a square, and Bob's your uncle. 

If you want to cut a segment out of a line, you'll need to draw your line using the square tool.

 

Thanks! 🙂

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New Here ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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Very frustrating. Seeing exact issue as described.

1. draw ellipse.

2. select ellipse

3. select knife tool

4. draw line across ellipse with knife (line appears 20 pixels below where the cursor is for some reason = even with snaps turned off?)

5. reselect object and nothing has happened.

6. ends up with the original ellipse - unchanged

7. frustrating

 

>> An alternative that works all of the time for me is creating a cutting edge over the object you want to cut or trim, (using a line or another object)  - select object to be altered and the cutting edge then use pathfinder's "Divide" mode. Then select and delete the portion(s) you want removed.

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New Here ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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Quck note to above -- The divided objects after applying "pathfinder" > "divide", will be grouped - so simply "ungroup" and each object will be separate, so unwanted objects can be selected and deleted. Hope this is helpful for someone.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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I have no issues using the knife on Windows, AI 26.4:

 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 29, 2022 Jul 29, 2022

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Same on Mac OS (I even cut myself). Maybe time to restart machine, reset Preferences?

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/setting-preferences.html

 

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