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I have a rectangle with a grid pattern as fill:

Image

Now I want the white part to be transparent so I can add a background image to it. I didn't find a way to do it. I know if you are in Photoshop you can use the quick selection tool but I am in Illustrator. So how do you do it in Illustrator? Thanks

  • You would probably have to edit the pattern fill itself to have no background – Alex May 6 '16 at 4:10
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Ok, try this.

  1. Select your rectangle.
  2. Go Object > Expand Appearance.
  3. Now select one background 'tile' from the rectangle's background and go Select > Same > Fill & Stroke to select all of the background tiles.
  4. Hit Delete.

Alternatively, use one of Illustrator's built-in grid pattern swatches, which have no background colour. In the Swatches panel, click the drop-down and go Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics and you'll find a whole heap of grids. Or, create your own pattern tile and convert that into a pattern swatch (simply make something, group it and drag it into the Swatches panel).

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  1. Drag your pattern out of the swatch panel
  2. Make white invisible (for some patterns this means you may need to make a new bounding box.)
  3. Drag the pattern back to the swatch panel.
    • Either alt drag and overwrite the old pattern.
    • Or make a new pattern and reapply.

enter image description here

Image 1: Timelapse of the process

Some closing thoughts. I wouldn't use a pattern for a grid there are several reasons for this but simply put it's not very efficient. In any case it should take no time to recreate the pattern form scratch.

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Please do the following Step:

  1. Select the rectangle
  2. Go to Object > Rasterize
  3. Set Background to Transparent (see below) enter image description here
  4. Keep the rectangle selected and go Image Trace > Line Art enter image description here
  5. You are done :)
  • 1
    This is a extremely bad workflow. This is also a bad advice because it kind of works, albeit badly, making somebody a actually use it. – joojaa May 6 '16 at 5:47
  • Then why you are not give the solution? prove it. – Shakil Jamal May 6 '16 at 6:31
  • Dear god, drag the pattern form you swatch panel to your document. make the white parts invisible and drag it back to the swatch panel. Done, and you have saved a ton of time and effort, and memory and hard disk and your pattern is now clean. – joojaa May 6 '16 at 6:37
  • not working it for me – Shakil Jamal May 6 '16 at 6:41

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