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In Adobe Illustrator CS3, how can I fill just the boxes of a plot with color? The plot displays as just one object in Illustrator, so it is not as simple as selecting the box object and filling it.

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One raster object or one vector object? There is a world of difference. If it's vector AICS3 has the Live Paint Bucket Tool. – Scott Oct 8 '12 at 18:33
One vector object. – user1202664 Oct 8 '12 at 18:36
@Scott when I try the Live Paint Bucket Tool, I get the following: The selection contains objects that cannot be converted. Paint groups can only contain paths and compound paths. Clipping paths are not allowed. How can I get around this? – user1202664 Oct 8 '12 at 18:41
Well, you could release the clipping paths (Object Menu) but honestly, without seeing the file it's very difficult to give any direction. – Scott Oct 8 '12 at 18:57
I've tried your suggestion: no success. If you 'Save Image As' of the figure I've included, that should serve as a surrogate. – user1202664 Oct 8 '12 at 19:02

Find the paths you want to fill in the layers panel. That's much easy than stumbling around with the selection tools on the artboard. In some cases it's easier to just dupe the path in the layers panel (opt-drag) and then fill it.

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