Illustrator clipping path

by Design Workshop Sydney

Artwork is often tidied up in Illustrator by creating a clipping path around the artwork. We show you how perform this easy procedure in our Adobe Illustrator courses.Illustrator-clipping-path
As you can see in our finished artwork shown here, the image of the frog and the flight path of the ladybird would extend to the edge of the page. We may wish to crop the image, or in Illustrator terminology, clip it.
To create a clipping path or mask, select one of the drawing tools or draw a custom shape with the pen tool. In our case we use the Rounded Rectangle tool to draw across and over the image. You can scale and move this with the Selection tool (the black arrow), or adjust single point with the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow). Make sure the shape is inside your page or art board, however.
Then go to the Select drop-down menu and choose All (or Hit Ctrl+A; Mac: Command +A). Then right-click on the artwork and choose Make Clipping Mask. The artwork will be cropped down to your top shape. You may still move elements around with the Direct Selection tool.
However, if you have a lot of adjustments to make, you may wish to right-click > Release Clipping Mask. Note that the shape still exists, but it has no stroke or fill colours, therefore is difficult to detect. You can use this shape to re-create the Clipping Mask as before.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes