I try to cut a couple of lines into a form of a shape. If I expand the lines into shapes, everything is working fine. Unfortunately, I need to have lines at the end, since the file (svg) is going to a plotter and it should draw these lines, that's why it's not working to convert the lines to shapes.

In addition, I cannot use Clipping Masks, since the software I import the file cannot work with them. Is there maybe a possibility to save an svg and remove all clipping masks or something like that?

What I want to achieve is this, but the lines should remain lines and not shapes and it must not contain any clipping masks. Any ideas?

Shape Shape with Lines on top Final Result

  • Sounds reasonable - but how do I flatten?
    – Tetrikus
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


You can use a clipping mask and then flatten:

Object→Flatten Transparency

(based on your scenario I would set it to 100% Vector)

Flatten Transparency Panel

Using this, you still may have some transparent loose ends to clean up, just make sure to remove them


You use the new shape builder tool to cut the lines. Place the letter form over the lines select everything then using the shape builder tool get rid off the parts you don't want by holding down the alt key until the tool tip turns to a minus and select the parts to delete.

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