When using the pathfinder to exclude overlapping shapes from another shape, the base shape will inherit the visual fx applied to the overlapping shapes. How can I prevent the "bottom" (base) shape from having the same vfx?

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Draw a large random shape with corners using the pen tool
  2. Draw a small rectangle contained within the blob
  3. Add Appearance > Stylize > Rounded Corners to the rectangle
  4. Use Pathfinder > Exclude with both shapes selected
  5. Note that the blob/splat inherits the rounded corners vfx

How can I keep the rounded corners on the rectangle, but lose them on my "random shape"?

1 Answer 1


Select the rounded rectangle with the effect and choose Object > Expand Appearance from the menu.

If the rounded rectangle has a stroke, you need to also choose Object > Expand after expanding the appearance.

Then proceed with your Pathfinder operations.

Note: This "bakes in" the rounded corner effect so it's no longer "live" and adjustable. However, there's really no other way if you use effects.


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