Does anyone know how I can change the stars/radio towers to "no fill" without changing the surrounding areas? I still want the surrounding fill to be white, but the inside of the star/radio towers to be transparent/no fill. When I use live paint, it changes, but since it's "no fill" it shows the white fill from the circle that contains it.

Does that make sense? I hope so.

enter image description here

3 Answers 3


Objects can have no fill, when you select them you just change the fill to none. But since you have that white circle behind the shapes you need to use the Pathfinder pallet. This will cut a hole in that white circle in the shape you want.


Then select each of the elements you want to subtract from the white circle and make a compound path.

Command+8 OR Object>Compound Path>Make

Lastly, select the white circle and the compound path you just made and click divide in the Pathfinder pallet (it's the second one in).

If you still want the black line around the shapes, you can copy them all first. So then when you finish you can hit Command+F to paste in place. Just make sure you remove the fill from them.

OPTION 2 (Edit)

If you whole document is a live paint area, you CAN fill with 'no fill'. Just open your color pallet. And click the white square with the red diagonal line. Then with live paint you can click the shape. This is only IF you're already working on a live paint object.

Live Paint with no fill

Good Luck!


It seems to me that the tool you're looking for is the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder allows you to combine objects in different ways, be it merging them into one whole or, like in your case, subtracting a shape from one behind it. You'll most likely want to use the "Minus Front" option. What this will essentially do is punch a star shaped hole in the shape below it. Just make sure your paths are arranged in the correct way (so that the star is on top) in your layers panel.


Screenshot of the Pathfinder tool being used in Illustrator CC 2014


Screenshot of the results of the Pathfinder tool being used in Illustrator CC 2014


Good answers already... a possibly easier solution...

  1. Select All
  2. Grab the Shape Builder Tool (Shift+M)
  3. Hold down the Option/Alt key
  4. Click the areas you want transparent

Shape builder works a lot like Live Paint + Pathfinder only it joins or removes pieces as opposed to filling with color (although you can also do that with Shape Builder).

  • I forgot all about the Shape Builder Tool. I don't typically use live paint/shape builder etc. But I guess it's much faster and easier to learn. Jun 16, 2015 at 23:28
  • @EddieA. for some things Shape Builder is just easier than Pathfinder -- all depends upon the art though. I'm not a big Live Paint user at all.. but I do hit Shape Builder often :)
    – Scott
    Jun 16, 2015 at 23:35

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