Edit the symbol:
Here I've created a symbol similar to yours, with the same problem as yours:
You need to alter the symbol so that it remains within its visible dimensions. So...
- Double-click on the symbol in the Symbols Panel.
This takes you into Symbol Editing Mode... Now I've resized the Artboard to the same size as the final desired symbol dimensions by activating the clipping object, going to Object > Artboards > Fit to Selected Art.
Here's what my symbol looks like in the Layers Panel within Symbol Editing Mode:
- Go to Object > Clipping Mask > Release
Duplicate your clipping object (by Alt+dragging in the Layers Panel) and group the rest:
- Make your group active by clicking on its layer 'Meatball':
Go to Object > Expand Appearance
Go to Object > Expand, make sure Fill and Stroke are checked and click 'OK'
Now again activate the group's 'Meatball', then Shift+click on the clipping object directly above it... With both active go to Window > Pathfinder and click on the 'Crop' button:
That left me with a remaining group and an image in my Layers Panel (in my case I also had to drag the image above the group to restore the layer stacking). Your results may vary but we're dealing with either vector objects and/or images here... I've just handled the vector objects.
Now we need to crop the remaining image (which in my case was inside of an opacity mask – which I'm going to crop to). I'm using Illustrator CC 2017 which can crop images natively, so it's an easy task to drag the edges to the desired dimensions.
After selecting the image go up to the top of the UI and click the 'Crop Image' button, then just drag the edges in and click 'Apply':
If your version of Illustrator doesn't have this feature perhaps you can use Astute Graphics Rasterino plugin (free 14 day trial) which also has an image cropping feature...
Otherwise read on...
In my case the image has an Opacity Mask on it (which we don't want right now). With your image 'Meatball' activated, go to Window > Transparency and click on 'Release', then delete it (drag it onto the trash can icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel).
- Also turn off the visibility of the group beneath your image
Now go to File > Export > Save for Web (or if you have nimble fingers press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S), choose PNG-24 and check 'Clip to Artboard', then save the image to your Desktop for simplicity's sake...
This will close Symbol Editing Mode, so just double-click on the Symbol in the Symbols Panel again...
Now delete the existing image inside of the Symbol and go to File > Place and choose the image we saved to our Desktop a moment ago.
Align it to the group by setting the image below the group and choosing 'Align to Key Object':
I then had to drag the image above the group once again to restore the stacking order once again. Toggle the visibility of the group back on. Now I can exit Symbol Editing Mode...
And I'm done. If you happen to have more than one image inside of your symbol you'll have to repeat the process as necessary...
Here finally is the edited symbol with a nice tidy bounding box sized to the visible symbol dimensions:
Note: It's a lot easier just to create the symbol to its desired dimensions in the first place!