I am working with a pretty complex traced AI that I received, and I want to basically make it so that all the visually black stuff is shapes, and all the white outlines (invisible here) are removed. Most of the spaces when a line crosses over another is created by a white outline.

I know about expanding appearance and the pathfinder tool, but because there are so many lines that are crisscrossing, I haven't had an easy way of minusing the fronts away. I could expand appearance and sort every object carefully, but I feel like there may be a quicker way of doing this.

If I put it in Photoshop as a smart object in 'screen' mode, it looks right.. I could put that back in Illy and trace it, but I don't want to complicate the paths.

knotwork pattern

1 Answer 1

  1. Expand Appearance and Expand
  2. Pathfinder > Merge
  3. Select one white area...
  4. Select > Same > Fill & Stroke
  5. Delete

Merge combines areas of the same fill color and deletes any underlying shapes.

Pathfinder > Trim would also work, but it will split all the shapes into individual objects where they overlap. This generally then requires additional work to combine shapes of similar color. Merge is essentially Trim + Combine similar shapes.

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