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So I've made a rectangle, and I want to cut some text out of it, so that the text will appear as the background pattern.

I expected to be able to achieve this by selecting the rectangle and the text, opening pathfinder and clicking "minus front" - however this hasn't worked. I've tried searching for the solution everywhere and can't find an answer.

Can anyone tell me where I'm going wrong? If I haven't explained myself properly please let me know - I'll be very grateful for any kind of answer here.

Thanks a lot,

Wilf

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Please explain in more detail what you want to accomplish. I Don't believe you need to outline text and it is highly unlikely (but it is possible) you need to "cut" the text from a rectangle. A sample image would help a great deal. –  Scott Oct 30 '12 at 16:57
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3 Answers

You just need to convert the type into paths first: right-click on the type element and choose Create Outlines. Then select both objects and click the button 'Subtract from Shape Area' in the Pathfinder panel (from version CS6 on the button is worded 'Minus Front'). The text element needs to be above the rectangle – if the text is below, click the 'Minus Back' button instead.

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Thanks for the response, but I can't find a "Convert to Paths" option - I've got "create outlines", but that doesn't work either! –  Wilf Oct 29 '12 at 12:15
    
Yeah sorry, it's 'Create Outlines'. (I translated literally from my German Illustrator version …) However, it should work – it does here in CS5. Please describe exactly what you do and what happens. How did you create the two objects? Is any of them part of a grouped object? What Pathfinder option did you use exactly? –  TehMacDawg Oct 29 '12 at 12:37
    
Cool, no problem! I'm using CS6. The exact process I'm going through is placing a black word on a white rectangle (both not grouped to anything), then right clicking the word and selecting "Create Outlines". I then select both the word and the rectangle and click on "Minus Front" in pathfinder. What then happens is that I can still see the outlines, but the black text itself has disappeared - I just see a white triangle with the type outlines on top of it. Any ideas? Thanks again! –  Wilf Oct 29 '12 at 13:33
    
There shouldn't be triangle...? The text should have 'cut holes' into white rectangle, the highlighted 'outlines' being the 'inner edges' of the rectangle know. To check up on that, place something else behind the rectangle or press Cmd-Shift-D to display the checker board pattern (indicates transparency of the canvas background). – If, for any reason, it's not cut out, try using the white arrow (Direct Selection) tool to select each type outline and press delete to remove them. –  TehMacDawg Oct 29 '12 at 15:45
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Under some circumstances it might be necessary to keep the Option key pressed when clicking 'Minus Front' (not sure about the exact key in the Windows version.) –  TehMacDawg Nov 7 '12 at 19:10
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Sometimes the path direction causes the effect to not be visible. After creating outlines from the text, try selecting the outlined text as well as the rectangle and create a Compound Path via the Object menu.

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I managed to find a good solution using Illustrator CS5.5. Like they mentioned earlier in the post, create your filled rectangle. Next place your choice text on top. Then transform text into paths (Type > Create Outlines). Finally select both type and rectangle and Alt+Click 'Minus-Front' command to create a Compound Shape. That should do it!

I added a drop shadow for a nice 3D effect on my button. (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow)

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