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How to cut out hole in shape and fill the rest

Advocate ,
Apr 03, 2018

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I have an SVG file of a shape that I need to fill and then import into Photoshop. The oval part at the top needs to be cut out (transparent). If I select the entire shape and choose a black fill, the entire shape including the oval, is filled with black. I tried a tip I found in the forum (Object - compound path - make), but it didn't work. Is it because the outlines of the shape are two paths instead of just one? Or because the file is an SVG file and not a native Illustrator file? As a workaround I could rasterize it in Photoshop and do the cutting and filling there, but I would like to know how to do it in Illustrator.

Illustrator Shape.JPG

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Correct answer by Monika_Gause | Adobe Community Professional

You're correct about the outline.

What you could do:

Select all, take the Live paint tool and click inside the object. Then select a fill of "None" and click into the area that needs to cut out.

Then you can expand the thing. Illustrator will take care of it.

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How to cut out hole in shape and fill the rest

Advocate ,
Apr 03, 2018

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I have an SVG file of a shape that I need to fill and then import into Photoshop. The oval part at the top needs to be cut out (transparent). If I select the entire shape and choose a black fill, the entire shape including the oval, is filled with black. I tried a tip I found in the forum (Object - compound path - make), but it didn't work. Is it because the outlines of the shape are two paths instead of just one? Or because the file is an SVG file and not a native Illustrator file? As a workaround I could rasterize it in Photoshop and do the cutting and filling there, but I would like to know how to do it in Illustrator.

Illustrator Shape.JPG

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Monika_Gause | Adobe Community Professional

You're correct about the outline.

What you could do:

Select all, take the Live paint tool and click inside the object. Then select a fill of "None" and click into the area that needs to cut out.

Then you can expand the thing. Illustrator will take care of it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2018

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You're correct about the outline.

What you could do:

Select all, take the Live paint tool and click inside the object. Then select a fill of "None" and click into the area that needs to cut out.

Then you can expand the thing. Illustrator will take care of it.

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Advocate ,
Apr 03, 2018

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This was a big help - I got it to a state where the hole is cut out. I can't fill the rest of the shape, but I can do that in Photoshop. Thanks for your help!

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Guide ,
Apr 03, 2018

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Select all:

click with the Shape builder tool to make shapes

Alt click with the Shape builder tool to punch a hole, or remove lines

Go back to the  selection tool to assign fill colours

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 03, 2018

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acresofgreen,

Nothing wrong in making good old simple ways work.

I tried a tip I found in the forum (Object - compound path - make), but it didn't work.

It may be a matter of path direction, so you could reverse one of them.

But it is easier to just Pathfinder>Minus front if the one to be the hole is at the top, or Pathfinder>Minus back if the one to be the hole is at the bottom.

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Advocate ,
Apr 03, 2018

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I already altered the original file with the information provided by Monika Gause, so I can't go back and try the Pathfinder method. I'll keep it in mind for future projects though. Thanks!

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 03, 2018

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You are welcome, acresofgreen.

I believe you could if you had kept the original (SVG) file. I believe it is generally recommended to keep a copy of any artwork you are going to destroy/change irreversibly.

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Advocate ,
Apr 05, 2018

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Thanks, Jacob! In this particular case I only needed to quickly import a shape into Photoshop by hook or by crook, and once I had it there I didn't need the original svg file any more and deleted it. But of course you are right, I usually keep the original copy of any artwork.

About 15 years ago I spent a lot of time watching Illustrator tutorials and did a lot of hobby-type things with it (family Christmas cards, birthday invitations, etc.). I was still a beginner, but more of an advanced beginner, I think. Then I started learning Photoshop and haven't done anything with Illustrator since. I find that I have forgotten almost everything I once knew. It is very frustrating, because I used to have a lot of fun with it. This experience has made me want to re-learn all the things I used to know, and I'm bookmarking the tips I got here to practice with.

I recognize the names of many of the experts in this forum (including yours) from those long ago days when I used Illustrator frequently and sought help in the forum. If Adobe hadn't changed the forum format long ago I may have continued to monitor it and refresh my know-how, but I found the new (now old) format much less user-friendly and just stopped visiting it.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 05, 2018

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Indeed, acresofgreen,

Many natives left when the days of the fair forums ended in 2009, but at the same time the Mac and Win tribes merged in this one forum, and now all threads are kept; almost all the threads from before died, the exception being those few kept alive with new (enough) posts until the forum change.

As you say, luckily the forum appearance changed back to become closer to that of the fair forums; if you wish to enjoy the latter, a few silly chats are kept here:

Illustrator Windows hints

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