I have a large illustration with several groups and subgroups of objects. I want to flatten everything and separate the whole illustration by colors. I tried merging the artwork into one layer and clicking trim but nothing got trimmed. I also tried flattening the artwork and clicking trim but nothing happened. Am I supposed to use another tool in the Pathfinder? What am I doing wrong?

  • I'm not really sure what you're asking here, also it seems like you have multiple questions here. Can you please do your best to clarify and break up your questions?
    – WELZ
    May 2 '19 at 11:52
  • Sorry, I changed the question. I'm just trying to separate an illustration by color. But it's a complex illustration with many groups and subgroups so I'm not sure how to do it.
    – Desi
    May 2 '19 at 11:54
  • 1
    Are you able to ungroup everything or would that not work for what you need? Can you include a screenshot too?
    – WELZ
    May 2 '19 at 13:08
  • 2
    @Desi you can select everything and keep hitting ctrl shift G until everything is ungrouped. Even with twenty nested groups ist still just 20 keystorkes.
    – joojaa
    May 2 '19 at 16:42
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    FYI Trim won't often have any immediately noticeable visual change. Trim will alter the structure of objects and how they overlap/interact. It won't change the visuals in 99.9% of instances.
    – Scott
    May 2 '19 at 17:24

If I understand correctly, you need to "ungroup all" repeatedly, assuming you've already used pathfinder to subtract shapes as necessary for overlaps and knockouts to look correct once you've layered by colour.

Once you've done these two steps, then select one element of colour XX, go to Select>Same>Fill Colour, and using the layers palette, pull your elements into the new target layer.

Bear in mind you could also do this without ungrouping by using the Direct Select (White Arrow) tool for the initial selection (being careful to select the whole item versus the segment or anchor point of course) and then completing the same Select>Same>Fill Colour workflow.

Hope that helps.

  • 2
    This is not a new answer. I'm kind of being silenced due to lack of reputation, but I thought I should add how brilliant the answer provided by @GerardFalla is: it absolutely works, saved me tons of time, and is more precise than painstaking selection, which can often be laden with mistakes.
    – cccube
    Mar 19 at 17:57

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