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I tried copying the clipping mask by holding alt and dragging the mask, but when I "release" one mask, both the masks are released.

Is there a way to copy the path I created with the pen tool? I want to use the same path as the opacity mask in other location on the same artboard.

Sorry if this is a dumb question, I am new to illustrator.

  • Hey Vikrant, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Zach Saucier May 20 '15 at 20:21
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This really depends a lot on how a clipping mask is created.

You can have layer-level clipping masks which mask everything on that layer. Layer-level clipping masks are created by selecting a path and choosing the Make Clipping Mask from the Layers Panel Menu. What this does is mask everything on that layer based on the designated shape.

An object-level clipping mask is created by selecting more than one shape and then choosing Object > Clipping Path > Make. This creates a clip group where only objects within the group are masked by the designated shape. (Using the "draw inside" mode creates object-level clipping masks as well.)

I don't know the under-the-hood specifics of how it technically varies, but I do know it varies. There's no way to tell which you have other than looking at the layers panel:

enter image description here

Note the Clip Group in the object level mask.

You can have as many object-level clipping masks as you desire on any layers. There's basically no limitation.

However, you can have only one layer-level clipping mask per layer.

So in short, you need to construct things with Object-level masks, not layer-level masks.

Note: Simply dragging the clipping path outside a clip group does not create a layer-level mask. And conversely dragging a layer-level clipping mask into a group does not create a clip group. Although logically you would think it should. This is a difference at the point of creation which can not easily be "swapped" when dealing with existing objects.

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