My chosen title doesn't really get across what I'm trying to ask since my issue is a little hard to put into a few words.

Here's an image that describes it better. I've made this design in Illustrator and I need to remove all the black in it, leaving behind transparency. I've tried it with Photoshop but the result is always a little sloppy. Vectors are just way more clean and sharp.

But to achieve this in Illu I'd have to expand all the strokes and shapes and then continuously subtract them from all the underlying shapes which would take way too long.

Atleast I think this is the only way to do it in Illu. Do you know of any better way? Or maybe some way to export it into a PNG with a specific color removed? Maybe with a plugin?

Thanks in advance!

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Do what you were saying, expand all the layers. it may look like a mess of outlines over-top of eachother

Then Select all of the shapes and do a Pathfinder > Merge tool (can also use trim tool)

enter image description here

that will trim all shapes by what is visible.

click on the object, as all the shapes will be grouped, and right click > Ungroup

then use the magic wand tool to select a black shape (it should select all of the black shapes) and hit delete

  • 1
    Actually Pathfinder > Merge may be better than Trim.
    – Scott
    Jan 8, 2018 at 20:58
  • Ok, I added using the magic wand tool to select all of the black shapes. Jan 8, 2018 at 20:58
  • Scott yea you could use merge as well. depends on what he wants the final result of the existing layers to be, either way will get rid of the black. Jan 8, 2018 at 21:01

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