I'm trying to follow this tutorial to create an iPhone from scratch in Illustrator. I'm onto step 18 and cannot seem to create the pattern needed.

My problem is this, after creating the layout of objects that are to make up my pattern, I need to select an area(rectangle) within this layout and use that area to create the actual pattern, the tutorial I'm following along with an Adobe tutorial tell me to do as follows:

1. Create a rectangle within the guide borders
2. Send rectangle to back
3. Set opacity of the rectangle to 0%
4. Select all
5. Edit > Define Pattern… and name it "Dot Pattern".

When I choose Select > all, everything in my file gets selected, not just the pattern, when I don't choose Select > all and just leave the rectangle highlighted, my pattern turns out as a blank white area.

I have never used Illustrator prior to this to this tutorial so please be detailed in your responses.

  • I'm confused by step 5... Edit > Define Pattern is a Photoshop menu item, not an Illustrator menu item.
    – Scott
    Jan 30, 2013 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


You need to select everything you want in your pattern and the rectangle that defines the tile area. You can have things that fall out of that tile, but it will determine the crop for your pattern as long as it resides at the very bottom of the layer stacking order.

Incidentally, I've never used a background rectangle with 0% opacity. I always use a rectangle with no fill or stroke or appearance of any kind. It's easiest to select these things if you isolate them on their own layer and use the layer panel to perform the selection.

  • That worked, I knew it would be something simple...thank you!
    – Ronald
    Nov 25, 2012 at 3:20

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