Good day!

Just wanted to ask designers for tips on how to speed up my workflow when creating the following:

Example 1: When creating wrapped effects for paths on top of another, i have to add anchor points to the main path, cut it out and adjust to hide it underneath the path on top of it.

Example 2: When creating bulging effects, I can do the same for the 1st example, however I was able to easily remove the bottom path by using the subtract feature of the shape builder, but it modified the look of the path.

Thanks in advance for those who can help out! :)

Example 1: Building 2 paths around main path to create 'wrapping' effect; Example 2: Creating paths around main path for 'bulging' effect


There are several tools you could use. I personally prefer to use Shape Builder Tool for this as its by far the fastest tool. The trick to using shape builder is to hold Alt down to subtract parts of paths. Sometimes the Object → Path → Divide Objects Below Is the fastest tool. And last but not least is the scissors tool, but I tend to only use it if I really need the cut out segments.

enter image description here

Image 1: Shape builder tool in action, Alt clicking segments to delete. You could be faster if you allow for shape builder to redo your close shapes but I rarely want that.

Tools that you could use:

  1. Shape builder
  2. Object → Path → Divide Objects Below
  3. Scissors tool
  4. Knife tool but this is by far too imprecise for this task.
  5. Eraser, a bit clunky but might work.
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  • I have to say I like this shape builder tool... and admittedly wasn't aware of it. Might have to get a refund for that course I took covering CS4 illustrator, XD hahaha. Voting for this over my answer too - thanks for sharing @joojaa! – user51113 Dec 11 '15 at 18:17
  • @user51113 shape builder was introduced in CS5 see: adobe.com/products/illustrator/versions.html so no i dont think you can ask for a refund. – joojaa Dec 11 '15 at 18:55
  • Then I guess I wont be needing this anyhow! hehe, Haven't upgraded past 4, but shape builder tool may be worth it. – user51113 Dec 11 '15 at 23:43

For the second object, you can fill a non-closed path in Illustrator, so rather than editing the underlying path, just set the ones on top to be filled w/ white which will knock out the path beneath it.

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  • I really appreciate you taking the time to answer @WillAdams. It seems to work when I have my fill set to white and "Fill new brush strokes" are selected on the brush options. However, this only seems to work with single paths that intersect the path underneath. For intricate designs however, the fill is cutting out portions in between when multiple paths are needed link – Antonio Saqueton Dec 4 '15 at 16:00

I would use the Knife or Scissors Tool provided by the program.

Here is the Adobe Help page giving an overview of the tool. https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/cutting-dividing-objects.html

Please let me know if you're looking for more! - Cheers

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  • Thank you very much @user51113 for directing me to the tools mentioned. I would like to confirm if this is the easiest way to do it, as I'm much more concerned with speeding up my workflow when designing in Illustrator. I've looked into several speeddraw techniques in youtube but i can't really tell what they are doing :( If anyone can confirm if cutting the path and adjusting it is the way to go, then i'll have to live with that :) lastly, if anyone can share a few screens on how they do it for these lines: link I would greatly appreciate it! :) – Antonio Saqueton Dec 5 '15 at 6:42

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