I'm fairly new to Illustrator and trying to figure out how to create an arc that doesn't have the bottom line/stroke that you get from using the Minus Front shape mode.

For example, if I start with a circle like this:

enter image description here

And then either add a rectangle or just draw a simple line through it like this:

enter image description here

Using the Minus Front shape mode will give me a half circle that has the diameter line from the rectangle

enter image description here

The Divide option also gives the same results here.

Is there a simple way for me to achieve what I need? See below for an example I created in MS Paint:

enter image description here

Also, not sure if there's a big difference, but I actually want to achieve this with an oval, which is where my inexperience with the pen tool comes in and makes things difficult.

2 Answers 2


After the Minus Front operation, simply use the Direct Selection tool (the White arrow) to click the bottom path and then hit the Delete key..

enter image description here

But.. if you want the entire upper (or lower) half of a circle/ellipse, you don't really need Pathfinder at all. Because there are anchors on all 4 sides of the curve to create the smooth path. You merely need to delete 1 anchor and you are left with 50% of the shape.

Just use the Direct Selection Tool to select the bottom anchor and hit Delete...

enter image description here

  • Amazed every day over how much I tend to overcomplicate things in Illustrator... Thank you!
    – Sensanaty
    Jul 3, 2021 at 12:25

Using Scissors Tool

  1. Create the circle

  2. Select Scissors Tool C or from the tools bar.

  3. Select the circle. Hover upon the two anchor points and click on each of them

    (Use Smart Guides if you want a little more guidance. But it's not necessary as once you select the circle, you can see 4 individual anchor points are highlighted)

  4. It will divide the circle into two separate paths. Select any one of them and delete it.

enter image description here

Using Pathfinder

  1. Create the circle
  2. Create a rectangle over it where you want to cut it
  3. Select both shapes, go to Pathfinder Panel and click Outline. It will split the shapes on intersections
  4. Doing so will remove all stroke weights. Apply any stroke width again so you can see them.
  5. Press Ctrl+Shift+G (Windows) to ungroup everything.
  6. Select the unwanted shapes and delete them enter image description here
  • There's almost never a reason to use the Scissors tool on an anchor. Anchors are "stopping points" and any deletion will never go beyond an anchor unless the anchor is selected. (Actually, the Scissors Tool itself is rather pointless.)
    – Scott
    Jul 3, 2021 at 21:38

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