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2

You can apply any effect on a layer and it will affect all items in that layer as if they were one item. Doing this requires you to know a non-obvious thing about the layer panel. That is that things are selected with the round ball next to the object name (and if its filled its applying an effect) Image 1: Select the layer from round ball next to it. ...


3

It sounds like you want to use an opacity mask (accessed through the Transparency panel). The masking object needs to be on a layer above the art it is masking. So, if you want to apply a Gaussian blur to the interior of some object, you would first make a copy of the object and paste in front (cmd-C, cmd-F). Convert the "copied" object to white fill and ...



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