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I have an vector image in b/w, and I want to convert black to transparent in AI. I have a layer that I filled with red behind my image so I can see what is white and what is transparent. I select the black path or the black fill, then click on the color window, and select the transparent (white square with line through). The black turns to white rather than red, I think because the black parts of the image are on top of a white background. Is there another way to make the parts that are currently black transparent? enter image description here

  • "I think because the black parts of the image are on top of a white background." Why not make that white part transparent...? Is it a raster image and not a vector? Not sure I understand what's the issue then and what's so complicated. Also read about "pathfinder" and see if you can clean-up your vector to get more control. – go-junta Nov 15 '15 at 1:36
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May I ask thy not make the black layers, red?

Anyway, you can always "cut" the black shapes out of the white shape with Pathfinder > Minus Front.

To do them all at once you need to make sure that all the black shapes are in a single group and in front of the white shape. Select them all and hit Minus Front.

Update

In order for this to work, you must:

Have all the black objects inside a single group.

  1. Copy the entire group.
  2. Select the black objects group and A SINGLE WHITE OBJECT.
  3. Hit Minus Front.
  4. By now the black objects must've been cut out of the single white one
  5. Remember when we copied the entire blacks group at point 2? Now pres Shift+Ctrl+V (Paste in place.)
  6. Do steps 3,4,5,6 all over for each white remaining object that you want to cut the blacks out of.

(I am adding this second update cause the answer above depends on your objects arrangement inside layers)

As far as I can see you have 3 main objects, the Hawk, the G and the Ribbon. To make things simple:

  • First Minus front applies to the ribbon, select the white ribbon and the blacks that are over it and hit Minus front.
  • The second Minus front is between the Hawk white and Hawk blacks.
  • The third is between the G and the copy of Hawk blacks.
  • Your first suggestion was right on. Perfect. That worked well. I had tried the pathfinder minus front, and it got rid of blacks but they showed up as white, not red. Not sure why. – Nancy Nov 14 '15 at 16:21
  • @Nancy In order for this to work, you must: 1. Have all the black objects inside a single group. 2. Copy the entire group. 3. Select the black objects group and A SINGLE WHITE OBJECT. 4. Hit Minus Front. This only works well if you have a single white object. See my updated answer for the rest – Alin Nov 14 '15 at 16:30

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