I created a path:

enter image description here

Inside that path I created several more paths:

enter image description here

and group those on separate layer. Inside paths doesn’t have any fill but have a stroke of 1.

Since I want that stroke to be open (or transparent. I don’t know the exact term, I want the stroke line to show the color beneath), I selected the stroke and chose Object > Flatten Transparency. Then Selecting both, I chose Pathfinder > Minus Front.


enter image description here

Now I want the above design to top of this:

enter image description here


enter image description here

and want to create a outer stroke for my star and I want that stroke line to be open (like the paths within star)

I've been beating my head with this for the last 48 hours but I couldn't find where I'm doing it wrong. If it's any help, this design is for a t-shirt design experiment.

Can anyone help me with this? Your help much appreciated.


I want the result to be:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

I want the stroke of the star to be punched through the (square) path and the compound path to create hollow space around the star (to show the background color). Thanks in advance.

  • err... add a blue stroke to the star.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 6:32
  • Hi! Thanks, but if I add a blue Stroke to the star the white space between the compound path and square path will also have a blue on it.
    – user28972
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 11:07

3 Answers 3


You should first understand the theory for print design.

When working in print (which includes silkscreening) white equals paper/stock/material being printed on. It is not necessary to make everything transparent. Simply filling or stroking objects with white is just as good and is often easier to work with.

I don't see any area which would require the use of compound paths nor clipping masks. This can all easily be configured with very standard strokes and fills.

How I'd set things up.....

enter image description here

Even though the areas are white, they will not separate into a color plate for printing. This art is absolutely fine for print reproduction. White is not a color, it is simply a vacant area where no ink will fall, basically white = transparent when dealing with print.

If you really can’t get over the hurdle of what you see on screen translating to print and you really want the white areas to be transparent, set up the above, then follow these steps . . .

  1. Select all
  2. Object > Expand Appearance (If available)
  3. Object > Expand
  4. Pathfinder > Merge
  5. Click 1 white area with Direct Selection Tool
  6. Select > Same > Fill & Stroke
  7. Hit Delete Key

This essentially makes the all the white areas an object, selects them and removes them leaving "holes" where white was.

enter image description here


Okay try this:

With your star selected

Object > Path > Offset Path

Check the Preview button so you can see in real time what happens. Change Offset to whatever width looks good. Joins can probably stay at Miter and limit leave at 4.

In your layers panel you will now see another star, but a bit larger. Select this one AND the paths under it; your square & polygon.

In the Pathfinders panel select Minus Front. Thereafter you have a single path compound shape.

TIP - instead of single clicking on the Minus Front action, hold down ALT as you click. This way you still have a compound path BUT your shapes are on their own layer and fully editable.

  • Hi Dave, Thank you very much. But I want the stroke of the star to be punched through the "path and compound path" below and I want hollow space around the star. Thanks for your help.
    – user28972
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 11:10

You can use the life paint tool to make the strokes appear transparent. First you need to outline your stroke, then object > live paint > make then go to the live paint tool in your toolbar and select the no fill swatch and fill everything you want to appear transparent with this swatch.

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