I am trying to cut out all white stripes from black shape, but Object -> Path -> Divide object below doesn't work. Stripes and shape are on different layers. It is a way to casually erase all stripes, but I'm looking for smth another...

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I was not able to find any detailed documentation or up-to-date answers, so... Please help me if you can <3

  • Hi. Why do you want to cut out the white stripes? Do you know that white is generally non-printing?
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 22, 2022 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


You should be aware that many shape operations involving more than 1 object simply won't work across layers. Shape operations typically require that all objects be on the same layer. In some instances, performing some operations (such as grouping) will move objects between layers so the result is all on one layer.

The result below will move everything to the topmost layer.

The art I used is just a black shape with paths on top that have a white stroke. Everything is an individual object, i.e. nothing is grouped. The paths with white strokes are on a layer above a layer containing the black shape.

  • Select all
  • Object > Expand Appearance (If it's available)
  • Object > Expand (Turns strokes into shapes)
  • Object > Compound Path > Make

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This compound shape is now on the topmost layer, where the white strokes were located.

You may need to then clean up bits where the white extended outside the black area. Select the shape and grab the Shape Builder Tool from the toolbar. Holding down the Option/Alt just click any bits that extend outside the shape....

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If you require the stroked paths to remain stroked paths, as opposed to expanding them, an Opacity Mask may work better. It's not possible to create a compound shape with strokes.

See here: How can i trim the artwork

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