I have a shape thus:

enter image description here

In Illustrator, this design is composed of a load of paths with a heavy stroke applied, and no fill. How can I obtain the path describing the white area?

Note: I drew this in Illustrator but coloured it in Photoshop for clarity


Use Object > Expand to turn the paths into fills, then use Pathfinder operations as required to produce a single shape for the white area.

| improve this answer | |
  • Could you expand a little on which pathfinder ops to use? – fredley Apr 13 '12 at 14:17
  • Ok, I did this without pathfinder ops, I just ungrouped everything from the output of Expand and manually deleted and rejoined paths from the different components and got exactly what I wanted. – fredley Apr 13 '12 at 14:22
  • @fredley After Expand, ungroup and use Pathfinder -> Subtract – Farray Apr 14 '12 at 0:54

Honestly, I would cheat.

1) You already have it in Photoshop, right? Use the Magic Wand tool to select the white area. Under Paths, click on Work Path and save it as Path 1. Export that back to Illustrator.

Open your original and lock it. Open the new exported path and copy that to the locked original (to use as a trace). Then tweak the curves on your new path until they match the original.

2) Or alternatively, it's a very simple shape... lock the original and redraw it with the Pen tool. Should take you all of five minutes.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.