Just a quick question. I'm working on a couple of shirt designs, and I want the print to be single colour. However, There are some elements, mainly letters on top of shapes, that I don't know how to make them transparent. For example on a poster this wouldn't matter because it's all the same paper, but on a shirt it's of course different to have a white screen print instead of the white texture of the shirt. I hope you understand. I've attached a screenshot where I've moved a part of the design outside the artboard so you can see what I mean. So I want to turn those text elements into text shaped cutouts on the boxes.

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3 Answers 3

  1. Click Window → Transparency, to bring up the Transparency panel.

  2. Select the text, and cut it (Ctrl+X).

  3. Select the blue box.

  4. Double-click the mask box in the Transparency panel.

  5. Paste in Place (Ctrl+Shift+V).

  6. Uncheck the "clip" option

  7. Click on the blue box square in the Transparency Panel to stop editing the opacity mask.

enter image description here

  • This looks like exactly what I needed but for some reason it only seems to work on actual text. I forgot to mention that the text I'm using is expanded so it's no longer actual text
    – Terpit
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 19:21
  • @Terpit Hmmmm, . . . works for me with outlines. Make sure it's filled black, not white, or if your outlines are filled with white you'll need to click the "invert mask" option.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 8:38

Are the texts outlined or expanded? If it is expanded you/printer can cut through the blue boxes or the white text will have it shapes embedded with the blue, and then they can print only the blue plate.

Take time to study the difference of outlined/expanded and not expanded/editable white texts through the screenshot provided.

I have two set of rectangle with text here for example. The upper group is not outlined, or it is still editable while the lower one is expanded.

enter image description here

It looks like the same, right, but they are different. You can see it clearly if you are in outline view. Press Ctrl+Y or Go to Outline view. Here you can see the upper part is solid black or currently as text and the lower part have outline shapes

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To achieve the transparent texts you must use patfinder options.(for this example I use divide. You can also use other option like minus front (given the white text is in front))

  • Small advice: don't automatically assume that someone you are talking to online is male. OP has a non-gendered handle, and might even be taken aback or offended by you calling them 'sir'. I edited it out of your answer. Thanks for understanding! :)
    – Vincent
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 13:58
  • lol no offense taken!
    – Terpit
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 19:22
  • 1
    You can edit all you want for the better-meant of my fellow artists/designer. Thank You for your corrections. :-) Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 5:24

Solved it! It was so simple, wonder why I didn't think of it! I just selected both the outlined text and the box and clicked 'Minus front' on Pathfinder panel. If there was something behind it I just used the eraser tool. Took like a couple of minutes to go through all the designs.

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