i am not looking for a way on how to make clipping masks, or whats the shortcut for it. because i already know how to do that. but i was just wondering if anyone knows about a shortcut command that lets you use the bounding box of the image, as a way of clipping an image.

i was resizing an image from the internet (https://www.eatgood4life.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/IMG_1900.jpg) because i am creating a moodboard, and then because i wanted to resize it, with the usual command, (alt + shift and drag) i pressed another key instead of shift and somehow i was able to clip it, from its own bounding box. and this is without me creating a separate empty rectangle, placing it on top of the image, adjusting it and pressing ctrl + 7.

this was indeed a happy mistake for me but i dont know how to replicate it, the key i do remember pressing was alt. so yeah, if anyone knows please let me know. thanks :)

3 Answers 3


Some raster images inherently come with a clipping mask in Illustrator.

In some instances a raster image in Illustrator will already have a clipping mask at the bounds of the image. There's no shortcut or method to create this clipping mask yourself (other than standard creation). It's merely how Illustrator treats raster images at times depending upon the image itself and how the image made its way into Illustrator.

I can't recall the exact conditions - something about transparency in the mage and pasting perhaps. Opening PDFs in Illustrator notoriously adds a clipping mask around every raster image.

It's not something a user can "force" as far as I'm aware.

  • ah, i see. thanks for clarifying, i thought this was available.. too bad ;(
    – Eduardo
    Commented May 21 at 0:44

As I see there is no need to create any additional rectangle for masking a placed image. Just by selecting it and pressing ctrl+7 (object -> clipping mask -> make) AI will creates a mask rectangle sized to current selected link. Right after that, AI already selected the mask rectangle for you to be transformed to your desired shape.

Also, as you may already know (just remind you), if you need to crop image (delete the unwanted part of image) you can apply a keyboard shortcut to Crop Image command in edit -> keyboard shortcuts.


Could be you had selected the image and accidentally clicked on 'Mask' from the Control panel? This would create a clipping mask on the image. Refer to attached image below.

enter image description here

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