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So I made a football in Illustrator. What would be the best and I guess "proper" way to get rid of the unwanted circles that hang over the edge of the football? I know making a "clipping mask" is the easiest and using the "divide" in the pathfinder is the more time consuming approach. But is there a a better and proper way to get rid of it? What would you do?

Thanks for your time!

  • What is wrong with using a clipping mask?
    – AndrewH
    Dec 13, 2016 at 16:47
  • Well I just wasn't sure if that was the "proper" way to do it, and by that I mean what a professional graphic designer would do when presented with this situation.
    – Bekah
    Dec 13, 2016 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


It could be argued that the 'proper' way to do this would be a clipping mask because you maintain more edibility, but if you want something a bit tidier then you can do the following...

  1. Select all of the brown circles. You can use Select > Same > Fill Colour to do this quickly.
  2. Make them into a compound path. Object > Compound Path > Make or Command-8.
  3. Make a duplicate of your outer 'clipping' shape.
  4. Select both the duplicate clipping shape and your compound path.
  5. Use the INTERSECT function in the PATHFINDER palette to create a shape that this is just the overlapping parts of the two shapes - this will trim off all the overhanging parts.

Repeat for each colour in your design. It's nowhere near as time consuming as using divide and then deleting the unwanted bits and gives you a nice tidy result, which I think is what you are looking for.

Whether this is the best or correct approach is a matter of personal preference. I like tidy.

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