What if I told you that creating a clipping path in Adobe Illustrator is a fundamental technique you can use in more advanced effects?

It’s true, and it’s not hard to do. I’ll show you how to create a clipping path in Adobe Illustrator in no time. I’ll even give you tips for making it look and work better. Heck, I’ll even show you some tricks for adjusting an existing clipping path.

How to Create a Clipping Path in Adobe Illustrator

The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a typeface for the effect. If you aren’t using type, you can use a shape to create some neat effects. If you do use a typeface, make sure it is a bold one. The best ones are sans serif fonts like League Gothic, or something similar.

setup for how to create a clipping path in Adobe Ilustrator

On thing to realize is that if you use live, editable text, you can edit the text again afterwards, with the clipping path still in place. It’s important to note that the text or shape that you want needs to be on top of the photo or graphic. Also, if you are picky about your layers, the clipping path will still take effect, even if the objects involved are on different layers.

an example of a clipping maskWays to create a clipping mask

Once you have your objects arranged they need to be, you can create a clipping path by going to Object, Then Clipping Mask, and then choose Make. You can also just hit ⌘ + 7, or Ctrl+7 on a PC.

Ways to release a clipping mask

You can release a clipping path in one of 2 ways. The first one is to go to Object, Then Clipping Mask, and then choose Release. The second method is to hit ⌘ + option + 7, or Ctrl +Alt + 7 on a PC.

what it looks like when you editing a clipping path

How to edit a clipping mask

If you want to edit a clipping path, you can double-click an existing clipping mask. The way you can tell you are editing a clipping path is the indicator in the top left of your work space. If you have multiple clipping effects, this will tell you how many levels deep you are.

If your type is converted to outlines, or you are working with a shape, you can use the Direct Selection Tool to edit the shapes, which can create a cool look to your clipping path design. The result, shown below, is after I converted the text to outlines and editing the points.

altering a clipping mask

Wrapping Up

Clipping objects in Illustrator is one of the fundamental skills for creating some advanced effects. Understanding how to create, release, and edit clipping masks in Illustrator will make working with more advance effects, like working with the Appearance Panel, much easier. Do you have any questions about clipping paths? If so, leave them in the comments section below.

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I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can: Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+

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