Example of the problem:

enter image description here

I'm new to illustrator and am stuck at the last stage trying to export my icon. The image is an example of part of the icon with stippling applied. Straight exporting as svg has a filesize of 8MB and too large for web purposes. I'm hoping there's a way to export and have illustrator automatically delete all the shapes/path outside of the clipping mask (done through draw inside). I've tried flatten transparency at 100% vector, and expanding all the stippling and merging them. This has reduced the file size by a little bit but doesn't solve the boundary problem and is still too large.

I've tried googling but can't find anything that addresses how to efficiently export work with clipping masks. Any ideas on how to proceed would be appreciated.


  • There i no function to remove stuff outside of a clipping path. You can release the clipping path and shape build your geometry though. Not that i think it will save in file size, becausw generally it does not. In your case it might save 50% though. But had you not expanded your stripling brush and kept it as a symbol it would have saved even more.
    – joojaa
    Aug 16, 2019 at 4:18
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    Pretty much the same as: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/117802/… – Except in your case you should do steps 3-6 on the texture object (or both if you're not sure). The point of those steps is to make sure the base shape and the texture are both a single object. Then do step 7. The point of making a copy of the base shape is because it goes to prison after it cuts the texture shape. — But I don't think you'll be able to make the svg that much smaller without getting rid of the texture. Png on the other hand...
    – Joonas
    Aug 16, 2019 at 6:57
  • Thanks for the suggestions. It's good to know about these limitations for the future. I think PNG in this case is definitely looking like the quickest solution but I'll try the compound shape crop method in the link as well and see what it yields. Thanks again! Aug 16, 2019 at 15:06
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    Possible duplicate of Illustrator - Delete everything that's outside Objects Aug 16, 2019 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


I think your approach is problematic if file size is going to be an issue.

If you have lots of individual paths, then an SVG is going to be big, no matter what you do. It's unavoidable.

One solution might be to consider using a symbol for the stipple objects, and spray them using the Symbol Sprayer. This will certainly reduce the number of paths and the file size.

However, even with this approach if you have lots and lots of stippling, you are eventually going to end up in the same boat. If you add enough of them the SVG is still going to be big regardless.

As an alternative, perhaps think about using a raster image for the stipples. SVGs can contain raster elements too!

In this SVG example here I clipped a PNG image inside an oval in Illustrator. The PNG was made with Photoshop using a splatter brush. The SVG file size is only 120kb

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    this might be usefull and handy if he want a fixed sized in fact rather than making a hundreds of path going with embedded png is far better than thousand path because even canvas will take a time to draw such a much amounts of path! +1
    – Mr.Online
    Aug 16, 2019 at 11:54
  • That's good to know, thanks for putting together the example. I'm not sure if it's possible, but would the symbol sprayer spray PNG's as well? If it could, would that be a viable combination of the two solutions? Aug 16, 2019 at 15:07
  • @Chocomoocow - I suppose you could use a PNG in a symbol, but I can't see the benefit of that. Ultimately you'll still be spraying symbols, and the file size will increase again the more stipples you spray.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 16, 2019 at 16:54

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