I'm a new member here and I started Illustrator a few days ago. I'm trying to find out stuff here and there but a huge problem I'm encountering is changing the opacity.

First problem Opacity picture

The opacity is supposed to be 26% however that colour is literally the same as it is. Once I leave the object and click on it again.

enter image description here

Why can't I change the opacity? I honestly don't know a lot about Illustrator but I clicked on the appearance tab (the sun thing) by luck and I found this thing.

enter image description here

Is that normal? Is the eye of Opacity supposed to be like that (I mean I think it's supposed to be like the rest but hey?)

Second problem

I have faced this with the shape builder tool, Shift + M, I had opened a new document (Idk what I choose or what I did but it opened) and I drew some rectangle, and wanted to build a shape, so whenever I overlapped them together (In the same layer) and tried to use the tool, it would completely choose one shape (with the intersection part obviously). I plan to draw and paint and stuff what format should I choose.

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    Do yourself a favour expand all the panels you have collapsed and get rid of the panel you have expanded. Thatway ypu atleast a fighting chance to undrstand what you are doing.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:34
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    Please note, you can only ask one question per post, unless they are directly interconnected (or a follow-up of the original question). These 2 questions should be broken up into 2 separate questions.
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:22
  • Hi stare, welcome to GDSE. Would you be so kind as to move your second problem to a brand new question, since we like to adhere to a strict Q&A format? Thanks! Also, your second problem in its current form will probably be closed due to being unclear. Try playing around again and tell us exactly what you were doing, what happened and what you expected would happen. Thanks for your time and effort!
    – PieBie
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


You have the Stroke set to none...
Then you've changed the stroke opacity...
so 10% opacity of "none" means..
You don't see anything.
Just like you won't see anything at 100% opacity of "None"

In order for the Opacity of a stroke to make any difference there must be a stroke (color and weight) applied.

If your intention is to change the opacity of the Fill then you need to target the Fill, not the Stroke, and then change the opacity for the Fill.

Older screenshot... but functionality is still pretty much the same...

enter image description here

It may be additionally helpful to review Adobe's Help Topic Regarding the Appearance Panel.


First problem:

Easy & fast - you were happily changing opacity of the STROKE of your shape - the stroke you had set to none in colour, zero in lineweight... so the zero weight, non coloured stroke was rendered at 26% opacity - and you couldn't see it 'cos.. well, no shock here: no colour & no stroke = no see it!

EDIT: I have just been kindly corrected by @ WELZ that my glib answer here may well not be accurate... so a moment more R&D on my part led me to this edit:

When you use the appearance palette, and use the top-level opacity (here showing as default initially and greyed out as there is not initially a value there to apply) and you click on the word "Opacity" on that palette, you get a pop-up where you enter your value.

enter image description here

This then reads that there is a value there, and the eye symbol next to the Opacity changes, as does the appearance of your entity.

enter image description here

Second Problem:

Less clear. As @Joojaa has suggetsed, minimise your palettes and tools to just what you're actively using, screengrab your issue and add those images to your post, as I'm not sure what you're asking there.

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    I don't think he was changing the stroke opacity, when I change opacity it applies on the entire shape (both).
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:09
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    It may work differently in CC19, but in CS6 I have ot go to appearance panel and expand stroke to only change stroke opacity.
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:12
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    @WELZ You sure? I can change ONLy the stroke opacity or ONLY the fill opacity in CS6 (via the Appearance panel, not the Transparency panel) -- There are 3 options for opacity in the Appearance panel, one for each, then one for both.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 1:02
  • @Scott that's what I said in my second comment. They don't have that option open in their settings (from their screenshot).
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 1:08
  • 1
    @WELZ Oh, okay :) I must've missed it :) Sorry.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 1:12

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