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Knife tool or similar for use on paths

Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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Is there a way to use the knife tool or something similar on paths?

 

I'd like to be able to cut a bunch of lines without using the Scissor tool and having to hit each on individually. The way the Knife tool works on closed shapes would be perfect if it worked on paths also.

 

Situation: Overhead CAD drawing output of long conveyors where I'd like to be able to cut out 75% of the length quickly.

 

 

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

Oh yes, as Kurt says, the Shape Bulder is another potential solution

 

Draw a cutting path across the collection of paths as described in the Divide Objects Below suggestion. Then, with all selected, choose the Shape Builder tool and Alt/Opt-Drag over the unwanted path segments.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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Have you tried using a new path across (above all) and Object>Path>Divide Objects Below? Do both ends and then select and delete the middle.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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Same results--divides a closed object but not the lines/paths. See below.

mattmoore72_0-1603289907543.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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Wholesale path cuting in Illustrator can be elusive.

 

When faced with a challenge like yours, depending on the existing construct and output intent, one or the other solution may be better for the case at hand:

  1. Use a Clipping Mask to "crop" the collection of paths for composition purposes. Then, if destructive finality is appropriate at the end, Expand the Clipping Mask contents and use Pathfinder > Crop.
  2. Draw a cutting path across the collection of paths as described in the Divide Objects Below suggestion. Then, with all selected, click Pathfinder > Outline. This will have the unfortunate effect of wiping out all appearance (Stroke weight, color) from the paths, but will effectively "cut" them as you need. So if their appearance is simple in the first place, it will be simple to re-apply, then delete the unwanted trimmings, along with the remains of the cutting path.

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New Here ,
Feb 25, 2024 Feb 25, 2024

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Mr Expert, I spent few hours trying to do what you wrote on a pattern of open paths: I have few questions:

- why you create and release a mask before using the pathfinder crop function? What value does it add? Why not using the crop function directly?

- after trying two hours, I discovered that the crop function does not work con paths. Isn't it? Do you have additional insights about how to make crop work on open paths?

Best regards.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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@Sofia35518337rlkx  schrieb:

 

- why you create and release a mask before using the pathfinder crop function? What value does it add? Why not using the crop function directly?

- after trying two hours, I discovered that the crop function does not work con paths. Isn't it? Do you have additional insights about how to make crop work on open paths?

Best regards.


 

 

Please show your artwork and tell us what you want to do. Include the layers panel with objects visible in it.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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You may use the Shape Builder tool (in case your version of Illustrator has it).

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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Oh yes, as Kurt says, the Shape Bulder is another potential solution

 

Draw a cutting path across the collection of paths as described in the Divide Objects Below suggestion. Then, with all selected, choose the Shape Builder tool and Alt/Opt-Drag over the unwanted path segments.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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BOOM! Thank you!

mattmoore72_1-1603299431537.png

 

 

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