I have an oval shape with a stroke and no fill. I'm trying to erase part of the shape as have something lying on top of the shape and i don't want them touching. I have tried using the eraser tool but it keep pushing the line away.

Can anyone help with this at all?

Thanks in advance.

3 Answers 3


Here's one way it can be done

Outline the stroke, so you can easily edit it.

Outline stroke

Then you can create some other kind of object to be subtracted from the first shape, using Pathfinder. The button you want is on the top row, second from the left (it's called ”Minus Front“).

Pathfinder, yeah!

The result is a stroke, with your other shape punched out.

The result

Pathfinder is pretty awesome.

  • 1
    How do you preserve the stroke? Does Illustrator pathfinder only support fills and not strokes? That's very limiting considering I may want to change the stroke width or style later. Flash does it no problem.
    – user28971
    Aug 24, 2014 at 0:24
  • Yep, Pathfinder only deals with fills. I am not aware of a way to perform these kinds of actions in Illustrator for the stroke, while maintaining editability. (Surprisingly, I can think of a way to sort of do that in Photoshop!) Mar 24, 2017 at 0:08
  1. Use the pen tool to add points along the stroke of the oval where you want to delete it.
  2. Use the white arrow to select just the part you want to remove, and delete.
  3. Tada!

You can also use the scissors on an object that has no fill. It's a scissor icon or shortcut 'c'. Just click two points on the path and the section of the stroke between those points will be a new object that you can drag away with the selection tool 'v' or just delete.

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