I'm trying to find a way to use the pathfinder options under effects in the appearance panel, to produce the following effect seen in example #1: enter image description here

This effect was created, by adding three fills in the appearance tab and altering the position of the lower two of them using the transform effect. The fill in the middle was set to the yellow background color. Visually, example 1 satisfies my needs.

Example #2 shows the problem though, the transparency only is an illusion and I need to change the color of the specific fill each time I alter the background color. Furthermore, as soon as I choose a background that is not a solid color but for example a gradient this method stops working entirely.

I want the yellow colored fill to actually be subtracted from the fill below.

Known Workarounds: I know, that this can easily be achieved by expanding the appearance and using the "regular" pathfinder tools, e.g. "minus front", but I would like to keep the text editable. I assume I could also use a clipping mask and multiple text boxes, but I would like to have one text box only, to keep text and font changes streamlined.

I experimented with all the pathfinder effects in the appearance panel, the order of the fills etc., strokes and other ways, but I couldn't make it work.

Is there any way to achieve this effect solely using the options of the appearance panel?

TLDR: Is there an equivalent to "minus front" in the pathfinder effects in the appearance panel?

  • Does this help: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/64362/…
    – joojaa
    Mar 14, 2023 at 21:21
  • The key seems to be to configure things on a standard object, save it as a Graphic Stye.. then apply the style to live text objects. Joojaa's got a fantastic answer at the link.
    – Scott
    Mar 14, 2023 at 21:58