enter image description hereI have an imported picture, which I want to punch rectangular holes in.

Trying many options from Youtube or the Adobe website don't seem to work.

When I try to use a Compound Path, for example, it states that the picture is not a path or it was brushed on.

Help or advice is appreciated.

(I am using Adobe Illustrator)

In the picture below, the black rectangles are what I am trying to create holes in.

  • Welcome! I'm afraid no one here can really help either unless you edit the question to include what software you may be using.
    – Scott
    Nov 2, 2022 at 19:38
  • I am using Adobe Illustrator, and added it. Thanks for reminding me!
    – lxght.
    Nov 2, 2022 at 20:26
  • Are you trying to "punch holes" in a placed raster image? It'd help if you could add a screenshot as an example of what you want to punch holes in.. it doesn't have to be the actual art you are working on, just some random sample.
    – Scott
    Nov 2, 2022 at 20:39
  • It's a Roblox Shirt Template. You can search it up, and then go to the first link.
    – lxght.
    Nov 2, 2022 at 21:06
  • Please understand that I want to help you...I'm not sitting at your desk. I can't see the file open in front of you. I have no clue what you are working with and ultimately trying to accomplish. Searching for some link does not explain the nature of your objects in Illustrator (vector/raster) or what "holes" you are trying to "punch in". I need to see want you are working with or a similar sample. If you can't be bothered to explain ... well...
    – Scott
    Nov 2, 2022 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


Okay.. thanks for adding the screenshot.

I'll explain how to "punch holes" in the raster image below, but....

The reality is if I were working on this I would not use the raster image. I would just redraw all of the rectangles merely using the raster image as a guide. It's easy enough to create rectangles in the same layout.

enter image description here

Having the forms as native vector objects frees you to do whatever you want to them directly.

To work with a raster image...

In order to "punch holes" in it using Illustrator, you need to use a Clipping Mask. It's not possible to merely "erase" parts of raster images in Illustrator. The best you can do is hide portions by masking them.

  • Draw rectangles (or any shape) where you want "holes" and a big rectangle which is outside the dimensions of the raster image. Here, I've drawn 4 rectangles and given them a Magenta stroke so you can see them...

    enter image description here
  • Make certain the inner, small, shapes are above the large outer rectangle in the stacking order. (i.e. bring them all to front Object > Arrange > Bring to Front)
  • Select all the shapes you've drawn. Here, I've reverse the fill/stroke so they are all filled shapes.

    enter image description here
  • From the Menu, choose Object > Compound Path > Make

    enter image description here
  • You should see "holes" appear in the big, outer, rectangle...

    enter image description here
  • Select this big compound shape and the underlying raster image.
  • From the Menu choose Object > Clipping mask > Make...

    enter image description here
  • You should now see "holes" in the raster image...

    enter image description here
    (The yellow-green background is used to show where there is transparency.)

With clipping mask shapes, anything which is covered by the original shape will be visible when the clipping mask is created using that shape.

  • Thanks! :) This should help!
    – lxght.
    Nov 21, 2022 at 18:21

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