I have tried this on a few different shapes, but there has to be an easy way. I bet it's simple. I've attached an image of part of a car that I'm designing as a logo.

I am trying to separate that middle part between the wheels - I've tried this a few different ways - the knife tool (it's hard to cut around the curved wheel), drew a curved path and then 'Divide Objects Below' or 'Divide' in Pathfinder.

Can someone please show me how to do this?

enter image description here

  • 1
    If you draw a shape on the top of an existing shape, select the new shape and choose Object/Path/Divide objects below, the old shape will be divided. This works if the old shape is really a vector shape. This method does not divide bitmap pictures or rasterized shapes. The shape to be divided can be a combination created by using Pathfinder panel.
    – user82991
    Dec 30, 2016 at 19:19

6 Answers 6


You can separate the middle part by clicking on the four points where the cross bar meets the circles with the Scissor tool (press the letter C to access tool).

enter image description here

Delete the two lines. And use pen tool to close circles if desired.

enter image description here


The most easiest solution is to cut the the object with a knife tool.

  1. knife tool is not visible in the tool box, so you need to find it. Click and hold the "eraser" to see and select the knife tool.
  2. Now, drag the knife tool over the object in the art-board and to cut the object into any shape, click and drag the pointer over the object.
  3. but if you want to cut the object into a straight line then hold down Alt button (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) as you click the art-board with the Knife tool, and then drag.

First copy the shape.

Select the art, zoom all the way in and use the eraser tool, then clean the break with pen tool if needed.


Use the circle tool to draw the exact ellipse wheel shapes (not as hard as it sounds) with the elipse positioned exacly on the wheel select both and hit divide from the pathfinder dialogue.

Or use that elipse to make a clipping path, select wheel and elipse and right click make clipping path.

Paste in place the wheels and follow procedure with othrr wheel.


Zoom all the way where the bar meets the wheel, use the pen tool to draw the arc through the bar at same curvature as wheel, slect the line you drew and the wheels and hit pathfinder divide. Paste shape in place and repeat procedure with back wheel.


I've been using Illustrator for over 3 years. My favorite tool to cut any vector is the Pen tool.

Using the Pen tool, you can draw shape however you like.

Just Draw shape on top of the vector area you want to cut.

Now Select both shapes. Go to: Window → Pathfinder (It's a very useful tool, I highly recommend).

Now Click on second option (Minus Front).

and Boom.. You got your shape.


There are many ways to do this. In this particular example that you've given, I'd just use the direct (white) selection tool and click on the paths that extend between the wheels and then delete them. After they are deleted, use the pen tool to bridge the gap created on each wheel and clean up a little.


See adobe referene page here: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/cutting-dividing-objects.html

Also, the eraser tool can be helpful in some situations

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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