I am new to Affinity Designer. I am trying to clip an object, say, a text 'IMPOSSIBLE' using two intersecting circles so that only 'IMP_empty space_ BLE' is visible (letters within the boundaries of either of the circle be visible).

Even when I group these two circles layers, and then try to clip, only one of the circles is clipping the text. I don't want to 'combine' the two circles into one.

I am not able to find a solution for it anywhere. Need help.


  • I'm not sure I fully understand your example, but have found that going piece by piece and following your layer order when subtracting/combining etc. is often key. Can you share your image pre-clipping so we can better understand what you are trying to do?
    – Katie Lee
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 7:36
  • 1
    Why are you ruling out combining the two circles as 1, since that would be the obvious way to do it? In all vector image editing software, a clipping mask needs to be 1 path, or multiple paths combined.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 7:43

2 Answers 2


There are two answers.. 1. You can't. it's "IMPOSSIBLE" :) 2. You can. it's NOT "IMPOSSIBLE" :)

In the first answer.. it's basic rule that you have to combine shapes..to use masking feature.

in the second answer.. Simply, make them a group .. right click and mask them down.. look at the image bellow.

enter image description here but.. You will have to ungroup, unmask, reposition and mask again..

There is one more option .. if you want to edit the group later... for mask the group with text.. and you will be able to edit group contents

enter image description here

  • You can also group single objects to move them around in the mask.
    – felixhu
    Commented Dec 2, 2018 at 19:33

There's an easier way to achieve what you want:

  1. Put all your masking shapes (e.g. the two circles) into a group.
  2. Set the blending mode of the masking group to Erase.
  3. [Optional] Put the masking group and the layer(s) to be masked into a new group (leave the blending mode of this new group as is, i.e. as Passthrough or Normal).

enter image description here

Using this setup, the masking shapes are still fully editable without the cumbersome back and forth masking/unmasking needed in the earlier answer.

PS. Step 3 allows you to control what's masked, so you can have background content that isn't erased by the masks (like the gradient rectangle in the screenshot above). If you don't have any background content, you can omit step 3.

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