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For instance, I have a line with a stroke colored navy blue over a shape. How can I make the area covered by the navy blue line transparent, including that area on the shape below?

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  • @OrionGL This question decisively requires a screenshot and some explanation about the efforts done. Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 7:22

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Let me see if I understood your question right (using Illustrator CS 6):

  1. We start with this shape:

enter image description here

  1. Select the dotted line and from the main menu select Object/Expand Appearance
  2. Select the dotted line again and select Object/Expand

Step 2 and 3 will make each dot of the line to become separate objects.

enter image description here

  1. Select both the dotted line and the background and from the Pathfinder panel, chose Minus Front

enter image description here

  1. This will be the result

enter image description here

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  • It doesn't matter if the line is dotted, has a stroke etc. It is what you select from the line that will be subtracted from the background in step 4. Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 8:06

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