In GIMP there is a feature called Copy Visible. It flattens and copies all visible layers to the clipboard.

Right now I'm taking screenshots of Illustrator instead, but have to put extra care to properly crop them.

Does Illustrator have a feature like "Copy Visible"? My search queries yielded nothing.

  • In what instance would invisible objects in Illustrator be copied? Can you explain a bit more? Non-visible objects can't be selected, therefore can't be copied. But I do realize there is some locking voodoo with groups which sometimes causes locked or hidden objects to be part of a copy operation.
    – Scott
    Apr 4, 2023 at 21:49
  • I'll rename the question, perhaps it'll make more sense Apr 4, 2023 at 22:06
  • Why would a screenshot copy something that is invisible? Why would a screenshot care about illustrator settings (screenshots are done by the operating system)? Why dont you just use file save or even the legacy save for web? Why not make a artboard that fits the selection?
    – joojaa
    Apr 5, 2023 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


I'm kind of guessing here....

Assumption: The artwork in illustrator contains various opacities and blend modes. This makes the object appear a certain way on the artboard(s). But when copied to the clipboard any varying opacities/blend modes get lost.

So, I'm guessing what you are seeking is a method of flattening artwork on-the-fly when it is copied to the clipboard. So that what's on the clipboard looks the same as it does in Illustrator.

If that is indeed what you are asking....

Then no. There is no method to flatten on-the-fly when copying objects to the clipboard in Illustrator. Objects would need to be flattened directly before they are copied to the clipboard.

  • FWIW, I've been zooming to 100% and using "Snipping Tool" in Windows. Linux and Mac have similar tools, and it does the trick. Apr 5, 2023 at 20:36
  • I haven't done this is some time.. but.. you should be able to select your objects in Ai, use Object > Rasterize, Edit > Copy, Edit > Undo. (make it an action with a hot key for speed). That will flatten and rasterize the selection, copy, then undo the flattening.
    – Scott
    Apr 5, 2023 at 22:32

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