I tried to draw a circle inside a rectangle using the Draw Inside mode, and when I did it the stroke around the rectangle simply disappeared. Strangely, the fill stayed the same, of course apart from the new circle. It seems there's no way to get the initial stroke back. It was set to "inside", so should be visible, I even tried resetting the preferences, but it didn't help. Why is this happening? Here's the initial rectangle:

enter image description here

And this is what I got after drawing the circle: enter image description here

Thanks in advance for any replies.

2 Answers 2


What "Draw Inside" actually does is it uses the object to be "inside" as a Clipping Mask. In general, you really don't want appearances on clipping mask paths. It's best if they have no fill and no stroke.

A possibly better workflow is to copy the rectangle, then Edit > Paste In Front remove the stroke and fill and then choose Draw Inside.

Draw inside is one of those Adobe features they *think helps users, but the reality is that it causes more confusion for those less familiar with how Illustrator works.

  • This is a good solution to your issue and the proper way to construct them. I would add that you will end up with 2 objects- the background rectangle and the circle with a clipping mask applied. You might want to group these together so they can be manipulated as one (Move, Scale, etc.)
    – Kyle
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 19:39
  • Thank you, that works.
    – wb77
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 19:49

Your rectangle has become a clipping mask for the circle- this is basically what the Draw Inside mode does.

Rather than choosing objects and then creating a clipping mask with the top most object, the Draw Inside mode allows you to pre choose a clipping path and then draw the objects to be clipped.

A Stroke applied to the rectangle and then set to Draw Inside mode will maintain it's stroke appearance only when the stroke is set to Align Stroke to Center. It does not maintain the stroke appearance when the stroke is is set Align Stroke to Inside or Align Stroke to Outside.

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