I am very new to illustrator. I want to cutout a stroke of a circle (fill color is turned off) using another object and then color the segments like the below steps:

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2 Answers 2


Expand your circle stroke (so that it becomes a path) by going to Object → Expand and only choose Stroke

Expand Panel

You can now use the Shape Builder Tool or Pathfinder to break up the shape.

Pathfinder (Window → Pathfinder or Shift+Ctrl+9);

Select all and click on Minus Front

Minus Front in Pathfinder

Shape Builder* (Shift+M);

Select all and then Alt+Click+Drag on the areas you want to remove from your shape

GIF showing Alt+Click+Drag process

Now color your shapes and apply shadows how you'd like

colors and shadows

*Shape Builder can be a better option when dealing with very complex shapes, as pathfinder won't usually perform well. In your case, Pathfinder is very suitable (as it is very simple).

  • All things worked well except coloring different segments. At first, I have to ungroup the circle after cutting out the arrows, only then segments can be colored with different colors. If not, same colors will be applied to all the segments. Anyway my main question was answered correctly and I will accept your answer. Thanks to other user who replied. Dec 16, 2018 at 15:43

Open the pathfinder > select all > click the ’substract’ icon. Done!

pathfinder palette

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