I'm not an experienced Illustrator user, but whenever I use pathfinder to combine a few shapes together, Illustrator would create a whole bunch of what appears to look like outlines of every shape and thin thin hairlines that doesn't show up on my art board when I turn on the visibility. I can only see them when I look at the layers on the side. It doesn't seem to make a difference to my art when I delete all of those shapes. Can someone tell me what these shapes are and if it is alright to just delete them?

  • 1
    Layers or objects? Layers panel is misnamed most of what you see in it are not layers.
    – joojaa
    May 31, 2016 at 5:18
  • You can also see those invisible strokes more easily by toggling between Outline and Preview (ctrl/cmd+Y)
    – rgtgd
    Apr 28, 2021 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


The paths are useless, delete them.

A relatively quick fix:

  1. Use Pathfinder (or Image Trace, or whatever function that is creating useless extra paths).

  2. Optionally, double-click to enter isolation mode (If there is nothing else in your document don't bother, otherwise this prevents you accidentally deleting something unrelated).

  3. Select one of the invisible paths.

  4. Select → Same → Fill & Stroke (or use the Select Similar Objects button in the options bar)

  5. Delete.

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