I am very new to Illustrator so sorry for the simple question. I wanted to delete an inside part of an image and I cannot find a way to do that.

I already used the Clipping Mask to delete the background outside of an object but there are still parts inside that I would like to make transparent. I selected with pen tool this triangle inside of a wheel that I would like to cut. Thank you in advance!

(I know Illustrator is not the best tool to format photos but I would like to combine image with vector graphic afterwards so that's why I chose it).

Deleting inside part of image

  • 2
    Illustrator is not the correct tool fro this. Use Photoshop to remove the portions and then embed the Photoshop image into Illustrator.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


Here's a beginner tip for you: well trained users will never do that in Illustrator. Do your photo editing in Photoshop.


You can in the pathfinder panel subtract from your already working clipping mask (after you have released it) the triangle. The result is your new clipping mask.

There's no proper reason to make photo background removals in Illustrator. Photoshop has better collection of editing tools for different cases. In addition you can make cloning fixes if removing something harms something else. For ex you might want to remove the spokes in front of the foot. After doing it you must create the nonexistent flesh under the spokes. Cloning is one possible tool for it. It's the same for the spokes in front of the green parts.

If you save as PNG24 or PSD and place in Illustrator, the transparency stays. It vanishes if you cut in PS and paste in Illustrator.

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