I'm digitalizing a map I drew and scanned, and overall everything is working, more or less, fine. I wanted to make the names of places stand out and found THIS tutorial on how to do a knockout border so the text doesn't clip with the land borders...

Starting state looks like this (notice the G over the black border) enter image description here

But when I follow the guide step by step, it ends up looking like this: enter image description here

despite having a 0% transparency border and the knockout option marked on the layer containing the Texts and Lands sublayers.

Am I doing something wrong? Or maybe it is a configuration issue?

EDIT: I've activated the transparency grid and it looks like this: enter image description here

  • Unless you turn transparency grid on you cant know for sure. Anyway for printing purposes its the same thing. Although for digital files not.
    – joojaa
    Aug 2, 2020 at 19:58
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Why do you need trasnparency? In print, white is transparent (no ink).
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 3, 2020 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


It looks like the knockout group (or layer) is doing it's job correctly.

I assume that you would only want the black land lines "knocked out" around the text and the colored land and water areas underneath to remain visible.

If so, then you need to separate the black "land lines" from the colored background and do your knockout process just between the black lines and the text.

Separating the black lines from the colored areas might not be an easy task depending on how your map was constructed.

  • Thanks, apparently I had misunderstood how the Knockout effect is supposed to be used. After reading this I got a better handle on how to do what I wanted to do. Aug 4, 2020 at 0:32

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