How can I make an Ellipse with gradient on separated layer, and remove everything, which is not in shape, located on another layer?

I will describe it on a schema, like I do this in Photoshop (example):

1) I create an object, for example a text. Then I create an ellipse selection, that i want to fill later with gradient: enter image description here

2) Then I make a gradient, inside this ellipse enter image description here

3) As a result I get: enter image description here

4) Then on a text layer a make a selection & revert it, so I can later remove everything, that is outside my text: enter image description here

5) Then I click delete on a gradient layer - and gradient, that is outside my shape (text) - is removed. As result I have a nice text, with a good gradient, that will not cause any issues, if I change my background. enter image description here

And that's the problem with AI. How can i do the same in Adobe Illustrator? For example I have such two objects on two layers, and want to add a gradient on both of them (ellipse), and later cut everything in this gradient, that is outside my layer. Is it possible to do? And how? enter image description here

1 Answer 1


After making the ellipse and the text:

  • Outline the text from Menu Type > Create Outlines
  • Select the text and the ellipse
  • Using the Shape Builder Tool and pressing Alt to delete, click once on the area of the ellipse outside the text
  • Select the new shapes > Menu Object > Compound Path > Make
  • Apply a Radial Gradient and modify the gradient shape using the Gradient Annotator



  • 'Create Outlines' - is disabled (My text is a custom shape... not a text in AI)
    – byCoder
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 12:18
  • ok, skip that step.
    – user120647
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 12:22
  • cool! it works!
    – byCoder
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 12:27

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