I have a text and white paths above it. I need to 'crop' the text with the paths... Similar to the "punch" of adobe fireworks. How I do this? thanks
There's multiple ways: actually subtracting your white path from the text shape, or creating a clipping or opacity mask.
Since Illustrator doesn't see text objects as shapes, you'll have to Object > Expand your text object to a shape first. This has the side effect of your text not being editable as text anymore. Ungroup the text (expanding creates a group of objects, each letter being a single object), and then use the
Pathfinder palette to punch out your shapes.
See this question and answer. Thanks, Jenna.