I'm creating a shield and have used a few shapes with multiple strokes. See pic below. I'm not sure how to get rid of the indicated part of a stroke. If there is a better way, by not using strokes I'm all ears. enter image description here

Thanks in advance for ideas or assistance.


So, sorry to go AWOL on you all yesterday, I had a few other things to take care of.

here's more detail of how it's set up: enter image description here

What I'm trying to make is something like this: enter image description here

Does that help describe my issue better>?

  • possible duplicate of Removing One Part Of A Stroke On A Rectangle In Illustrator CS5
    – Ryan
    Feb 25, 2015 at 19:33
  • Hi Mike, there's no real way to remove part of a stroke. You'll need to expand it probably, for details see the duplicate above.
    – Ryan
    Feb 25, 2015 at 19:34
  • Ryan, I did read the link you posted, tried it but I have a lot more complexity rather than one end of a triangle, so it didn't"translate" for me. Feb 26, 2015 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


The only way I can think of to do this while maintaining the outer shield as a stroked path would be with clipping masks, but unless maintaining strokes is a requirement, I believe using masks would be more complicated than necessary.

If it is required to maintain the outer shield's stroke as a stroke, then this answer won't help you.

Personally, I would convert that outer shield's stroke to a compound path with a fill. You should be able to accomplish this by selecting the outer shield, and then going to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. That should create a group containing the fill as its own path, and what was previously the stroke as another path. You'll need to Object > Ungroup (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G) those objects so they are each individually selectable before proceeding.

Once this is done, I think you should be able to just use Minus Front from the Pathfinder panel. Do this by following these steps:

First draw a path between your top and bottom horizontal black bars:
Area to be subtracted

Then select both that path, and your outer shield path, and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel:
Minus Front

Then you'll have the gap you wanted:
Final result

Repeat those last couple steps on the other side, and I think you'll be done.

  • Thanks, Apex, It did work. Is there a secret sauce as to when to make paths, versus shapes, versus strokes? Feb 26, 2015 at 19:11
  • Glad it worked, but no secret sauce @MikeByrnes - it's all case by case. To clear things up a little though, Illustrator doesn't really have "Shapes", everything drawn in Illy is a path (or "compound path" which just means multiple paths that are treated as one object). All paths can have strokes. Strokes are applied along the path, and stroke weight (width) is always perpendicular to the path. Sometimes it is helpful to be able to adjust the path, and have the stroke adjust automatically relative to it, and sometimes you need to customize the stroke a little more, so you convert it to paths.
    – apex
    Feb 26, 2015 at 19:23
  • That does help me. I've had to dive into a lot of products over the years being a training and development guy... Photoshop, AE, and now "Illy". It sure is great that you and so many others are willing to share your expertise with people like me. I really appreciate it. Feb 26, 2015 at 19:26

There are plenty of ways of doing this. One is to add anchors to create the segment you want to remove, then delete that segment.

  1. Using the pen tool (P) click on the stroke to add a two new anchors to the path: one at the beginning of the segment you want to remove and one at the end. You have to click on the path guideline, which is in the middle of the stroke.
  2. Using the direct select tool (A), click on the segment you want to delete. It might help to click first on an empty area of the artboard so everything is deselected and then click on the segment.
  3. Press the Delete key to delete that segment. The shape will be now open, missing that one section.

enter image description here

Mind you, as you can see in my simplified image, the ends of the stroke will be perpendicular to the stroke as opposed to horizontal. I don't know if this will affect your design or not. There is a way of fixing this, but I will keep it simple for now (tend to write treatises).

enter image description here

  • this is going to also break all the interior strokes, which he wants to keep.
    – Voxwoman
    Feb 25, 2015 at 21:01
  • @Voxwoman: Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by interior strokes.
    – cockypup
    Feb 25, 2015 at 21:04
  • From his description, the shield is a single object with layers of white and black strokes applied to it (unless I'm mistaken).
    – Voxwoman
    Feb 25, 2015 at 21:08
  • I would think that, if the OP is a newbie as they say themselves, they drew different objects and stacked them to create the shield, as opposed to applying more than one stroke to a single path, which is an advanced skill. But they can clarify : )
    – cockypup
    Feb 25, 2015 at 21:15

I think every stroke applied from separate shape, so you can simply give "Bring forward" instead of break the stroke. enter image description here

Then the output come like this, I hope you expect like this one.enter image description here

  • @Senthilkumar: The OP wants to remove more than just the area covered by the red ribbon. Take another look at the area highlighted in green in his image.
    – cockypup
    Feb 26, 2015 at 15:05
  • you got it cockypup. I also added more information on the layers as some are strokes and some are compound paths. I'm open to starting fresh if another way would make it easier. Feb 26, 2015 at 17:29

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