I am new to Illustrator and trying my best to understand how it works! I am used to working with Photoshop and there are some things I was able to do on Photoshop and I am now trying to find a way to make it look the way I want...So here goes :)

I am looking to have this effect on Illustrator:

My image is a globe with text that only appears on the continents. The text disappears where the image is empty. I forgot to save it as a png, but the white is transparent.

I have managed to write my text in Illustrator and to change the effect of the text to "Color Burn" so that it looks the same on the continents. However, I am unable to remove the text where it leaves the other layers. The text remains black where the background is transparent.

enter image description here

So I am wondering if there is a way to delete the text outside of the continents, and still keeping the background transparent. The same effect you would achieve on Photoshop by selecting inverse and deleting the (pixelized) text.

Thank you so much for your help!!

  • 1
    I'm on mobile atm, so can't write a full answer, but your best bet would be to use a clipping mask. Jan 29, 2016 at 17:59

2 Answers 2


If you are familiar with Layer Masks in Photoshop, the solution for similar problems in Illustrator is a Clipping Mask

Start by making a copy of the object you want to overlap - and place that copy on top of the text (or anything you want to mask out)

Copy of World map - on top

Then you can just select the text and the object on top (the copy of your object, in this case the map) and apply a Clipping Mask

Clipping Mask

Then you should have something like the effect you're looking for :)

The copy that you placed on top will become hidden when you apply the Clipping Mask


  • It works! It's perfect! Thank you so much! I couldn't wait to get back to work to try your solution! This was very helpful! I had read that a clipping mask was the solution, but I didn't quite understand how it worked! Thank you again!
    – Ezab
    Feb 1, 2016 at 20:36

Create a sphere the same size as your globe or if the globe is it's own sphere then just make a copy and paste in place over the text. Select both the text and sphere/circle, then under the "object" menu select make clipping mask. That should do it.

Just make sure that your circle and text are on the same layer. If you apply something like this and the objects reside on two separate layers, the layer beneath the top one will be sucked into that top layer. Just something to keep in mind.


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