I currently have this result:

Here are my Appearance window settings:

I created it by putting the Round Corners on the clipping mask.

As you can see, in addition to the Round Corners there is also supposed to be a navy blue Stroke, but it's not showing up.

I have tried dragging the Stroke up and down, changing its order in the Appearance window. Still nothing.

The Opacity is set to Default, so it's not invisible due to it being transparent.

Here is a simplified example of the kind of result I want:

But I got this result by creating a duplicate rectangle, not by adjusting the Appearance settings of the original clipping mask.

I would like to create this as an Appearance that I can then apply to many other clipped images.

1 Answer 1


If you use the Direct Selection Tool (White arrow) to select the clipping path, you can then add a stroke. One must specifically select the path as opposed to the "object".

It's always a bad idea to have fills/strokes on clipping paths though. Output is highly unpredictable with that configuration (such strokes can just disappear upon output). Secondary objects are suggested. For screen rendering it may be less of an issue but I don't think Adobe has caught up there and still tries to configure things correctly for print output.

In addition, the issue arises that the stroke will not actually be part of any Appearance Stack and therefore not saved with a Graphic Style. As soon as one creates a clipping mask, the mask shape removes all fills and strokes from itself. And it's not possible (at least here) to save a clipping mask shape with a fill/stroke as a Graphic Style.

I don't think as a single object, saved to a Graphic Style, it's possible. You can save the clipping mask with rounded corners as a style.... but not the stroke on a clipping path.

  • Thank you! That is all helpful and specific info that would have taken me a long time to figure out if unassisted. My instinct in most graphics programs is to try to find a non-destructive and modular way first, and that's why I tried to manage it all with Appearance. But it seems there are a lot of Illustrator-specific gotchas that make that not a good idea here. So rounded corners on the clipping mask are okay for output, but Graphic Styles for fills and strokes should be given their own dedicated path object... have I got that right?
    – Mentalist
    Aug 30, 2022 at 6:59
  • @Mentalist Yes. If you need a fill or a stroke, you want them applied to a non-clipping path. Most often I merely copy the clipping path, paste in front, and then add a stroke or fill. Then group the two separate paths.
    – Scott
    Aug 30, 2022 at 16:59

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