I have a compound path consisting of 5 shapes.

I have a radial gradient which spans across all of them.

Now I'd like to release the compound path because I need to export each of these shapes individually.

However, when I do release the compound path, the radial gradient is applied to each of them separately.

How can I release the compound path while preserving the radial gradient?

I am using Illustrator CS4.


3 Answers 3


Yes, you can do it. By expanding the graphic then: Pathfinder → Divide → Ungroup.

  • I was sceptical, but it seem to work. But I don't understand why you want to expand the graphic first? The cool thing is that if you don't expand first the gradient is split in two new editable gradients, preserving the appearance of the original gradient. It would be nice with some screenshots or a gif.
    – Wolff
    Sep 9, 2019 at 20:47

You can always Object > Expand the entire compound path. This will leave the gradient's appearance intact, at the cost of editability.


Edit: +1 for Vincent's answer above (unless you need editable paths)

Unfortunately I don't believe this is possible. As you've discovered, compound paths are designed to share attributes like fills and gradients, releasing the compound path simply copies these attributes onto the 'new' objects rather than creating new swatches to mimic the previous compound style.

What are you trying to achieve? If you post your end goals we might be able to suggest a different process to achieve what you want.

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