Making a graphic to go on a blue shirt. I am trying to make the white stroke of one object transparent on the back object. I was able to use minus front to create the hole (to allow for the shirt color to come through in the photo as an example) but I need the stroke shown to be transparent. I have tried this numerous ways using appearance (opacity and knockout), path (offset), and pathfinder options (minus front). I cannot achieve the look I need. The result is always a hole rather than just the stroke. I know the answer is incredibly simple - but I don't know it!

enter image description here

  • You just need to expand the stroke before doing minus front.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 10, 2021 at 21:22

4 Answers 4

  1. Group the items
  2. Mark the group as a knockout group in the extended options of transparency panel.
  3. Make the stroke transparent in the appearance panel, but not the fill.
  • OK...I grouped the yellow object with the white-stroked object. The transparency panel had "Page Knockout Group." I selected that. For the stroke...how do I make it transparent in the appearance panel? If I change the opacity to 0, it just disappears. So it is not transparent.
    – Amanda
    Sep 10, 2021 at 14:49
  • Tried it out as I never seen this technique. – You need to click "More options" as "Page Knockout Group" is something different – not sure what this option would do. Sep 10, 2021 at 15:30
  • Amanda no dont select knockout group for the stroke you have to select it for the group. If you enable it for the stroke it does not do anything. Note line isnt enabled its may be on dont know. Make it a checkmark
    – joojaa
    Sep 10, 2021 at 15:36
  • Also more visual guide of same technique: guerillalabs.co/blog/knockout-strokes-in-illustrator.html Sep 10, 2021 at 15:38

To further explain previous answers-

The Knockout Group is great for this if you want to keep your objects separate. You can move them or reshape them as separate objects and maintain the tranparency.

enter image description here

In your case I think that simply expanding the white stroke shape and using Pathfinder Minus Front will get the results you want.

Pathfinder does not do well with Strokes- hence your circle object must be expanded (Object>Expand). Then use Pathfinder> Minus Front.


If you aren't concerned about the stroke remaining a "stroke"...

Expand the stroke, via Object > Expand so it's a shape.
Then Pathfinder operations will function as expected.

Pathfinder doesn't really do much with strokes - Pathfinder needs shapes not stroked paths. In fact, I think divide is really the only Pathfinder operation which will use strokes as expected, but even then it uses the spine of the path, not the stroke appearance.


If you want to make the stroke transparent go to the transparency panel and set its opacity to 0. Then the stroke should disappear.

But I guess wont make much sense in this context. You probably want to subtract the stroke from the form. For that outline the stroke with "Object / Expand" and the either do "Object / Component Path / Make" or use the Pathfinder panel to exclude the form.

  • You can use tranparency flattener at any point you need to do this.
    – joojaa
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:13

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