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Is it possible to trim a clipping mask in Illustrator? I have an image that I created a mask for, but the entire image is so much larger than the space I need, I would like to crop the rest of the image to the mask.

Basically, I need the same result as in Photoshop when you Right-click > Apply Mask.

This is what I'm after

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Assuming all artwork is vector and not placed raster images...

  • Select the image with the mask
  • Choose Object > Expand Appearance if Expand Appearance is available
  • Choose Object > Expand
  • Click the Crop button on the Pathfinder Panel

This should trim the artwork to the boundaries of the clipping mask shape. It will leave unfilled objects in some cases, so to clean up I also generally...

  • Draw and unfilled, unstroked rectangle
  • Choose Select > Same > Fill & Stroke
  • Hit the delete key.

Or you can deselect everything and use Object > Path > Clean Up. Just be aware of the clean up settings. If you have other objects with masks, the Clean Up command may cause issues.

Additional based on sample image....

(Image was added after I typed the above, so I left it.)

You've got a raster image there. There's no way for Illustrator to crop a raster image. None. However, you can use the Rasterino plug in from www.astutegraphics.com to crop raster images within Illustrator.

(the astute web site seems to be very, very slow at the moment)

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Thanks again, Scott! LOL, maybe I should just email you my questions. –  ckpepper02 Sep 3 '13 at 20:58
even google bring me here... –  Ilan Aug 28 '14 at 20:38
Quite often I find Expand > Crop wipes everything except the top object, but Expand > Trim often works instead. –  user568458 Dec 2 '14 at 16:39

Apparently, it is doable with a raster image!


Involves setting a blend mode other than "normal" and then using flatten transparency.

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