I've made a paisley flower shape and I'd like it to have a transparent fill, the issue is if the layers are transparent then you can see the shapes behind. is there a way to flatten or combine the paths?

enter image description here

enter image description here

Hopefully the images make it clear.

Thanks in advance.

  • Select all
  • Object > Expand Appearance (if available)
  • Object > Expand
  • Click the Merge button on the Pathfinder Panel (Window > Pathfinder)

Note that this will expand all strokes to filled shapes. If you need to retain strokes as strokes, the the Shape Builder Tool may be a better option.


Make a transparency mask to the back group of objects:

enter image description here

  • Copy the top object
  • Select the back object and group it
  • From the Transparency Panel click the Make Mask button and uncheck Clip
  • Click the Transparency Panel Mask area (the right square)
  • Past in front Cmd + F Mac or Ctrl + F Win
  • Fill the pasted object 100% black
  • Click the Transparency Panel Edit area (the left square)



AFAIK the shape builder tool is your friend for stuff like this: copy all these paths into a new flattened layer so you keep your original undestroyed - shape builder is a destructive workflow.

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