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I'm trying to take a pre-drawn shape, move it into position over a number of smaller elements, and select all of the elements it covers so that I can change their colour.

It would be not unlike turning an image/logo into a mosiac, except the small elements aren't square, and they're pre-drawin into a (giant) array.

In the attached photo, I'm trying to fake a 'fair isle' effect without drawing it 'pixel by pixel' I'd like to take a shape (more complex than the circle) and select all of the knot elements in behind or covered by the shape.

enter image description here

  • I'm unaware of any "select below" functionality in Illustrator. – Scott Nov 20 '17 at 20:59
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Illustrator cannot detect which elements of the pattern are covered by a shape. But you can use a Clipping Mask to hide anything outside the shape:

  • group all the knot elements. select one of these, go to 'Select → Same → Fill Color' and hit Ctrl+G
  • make sure your shape sits on top of the group of knots
  • select the group and the shape and hit Ctrl+7

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