For example, I want to draw a teal circle with part of an orange circle on it.

When I select them both and choose "make clipping mask", it gives me the correct orange part, but the teal part is now invisible:

enter image description here

Here is what happens in Photoshop and what I'm trying to achieve in Illustrator:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Shapebuilder would also be pretty simple for this task: Shapebuilder tool - You can erase by holding down the Alt modifier. — There's also the Window > Pathfinder, in which you could use the Divide. Hovering over the icons shows the names. It's the one at the bottom left. It's more destructive than using masks. Pathfinder is sorta like a cookie cutter.
    – Joonas
    Sep 28, 2018 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


Whatever shape is used for the mask shape is automatically invisible

Clone the shape you want to use as your mask (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F) and then select all and make the mask.

Make sure that the mask shape is on top. clipping mask will follow whatever the top shape is.


Once the Clipping Mask is made

  • Get the Direct Selection Tool and click on the mask edge to select it
  • Fill it

colored mask

  • Thanks, that seemed to work. I don't supposed there's a setting anywhere that does that by default?
    – stackers
    Sep 28, 2018 at 22:12
  • 2
    I don't think so. Anyway, the best way to work with Illustrator is not thinking in a Photoshop way and viceversa.
    – user120647
    Sep 28, 2018 at 22:14

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