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I have drawn an image in Illustrator and am working on drawing a second and unrelated image. Part of the new project requires another clip-art image I drew previously.

I "placed" the older image into my current project, but it is showing up as one unified object and I would like to erase part of it.

Is there some way to "break apart" the imported image or just erase a section of it?

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You can edit the original art and the placed image will update.

If you don't want to alter the original, highlight the placed art in the Links Panel and then choose Embed from the Link Panel menu.

This will embed the placed artwork and make it actually editable artwork in the file you are working in. This also breaks the link or relationship to the original file. Therefore any edits to the original file will not be reflected in the new file you are working on.

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If you just want to erase part of the image, it might be easier to put it in a clipping mask that surrounds everything but has a hole over the part you want to erase. This would keep the link with the original file.

So for example if you'd placed this black and white image below, and wanted to keep the link with the original but wanted to erase the huh? text in this place only, you could do it like this:

enter image description here

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