How to Cut in Illustrator

by Joshua Mcgee

When drawing in Adobe Illustrator, it is often necessary to cut a line segment or divide a path to create or a correct your design. Illustrator provides many tools to accomplish this; however, determining which tools to use can be challenging. You can cut a freehand path with the knife tool, cut a line segment with the scissors or use a cookie-cutter shape with the pathfinder panel. Using one of these cutting tools can yield some interesting artwork.

Knife Tool

1

Select the object that you want to cut.

2

Select the "Knife" tool.

3

Draw a freehand path on the shape where you want to cut. Illustrator will divide the shape according to the cut path.

Scissors Tool

1

Select the object that you want to cut.

2

Select the "Scissors" tool.

3

Click on a line segment to split the line.

Pathfinder Effects

1

Draw a shape on top of the path that you want to cut.

2

Click the "Window" menu and select "Pathfinder" finder to open the pathfinder panel.

3

Select the "Selection" tool. Hold down the "Shift" key and select both shapes.

4

Click the "Minus Front" icon or the "Trim" icon. The bottom shape is cut based on the top shape; "Minus Front" removes the top shape and "Trim" leaves the top shape on top of the cut portion.

About the Author

Josh McGee graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in English, professional and technical communication, and a minor in marketing. He has worked as a technical writer and illustrator for two large manufacturing companies, ICON Health and Fitness and Cover-Pools Incorporated. He is currently employed full-time for the latter.

Photo Credits

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