In figure 1, the black shape represents the result of intersecting the yellow circle and the gray shape. If I zoom it to 64k%, as shown in figure 2, I see a sliver of yellow between the gray and black shapes which means that the intersect tool is leaving a 'residue' which it ideally should not and therefore the result is not accurate. I've tried this on both Mac and Windows systems running 2017.0.2 release of Illustrator CC but the result is the same.

Figure 1: Paths and intersection

Figure 2: Zoom at 64000%

I have no stroke and the outline view of the result shows that the resultant path is not aligned with the circle.

2 Answers 2


Setting the precision to 0.001 pt in the pathfinder panel options worked for me. By default, the value is set to 0.028 pt which I figured isn't optimal.

Thanks to Tom Frederiks for the answer.



My first guess is that, while zoomed in, you have the shape selected, which outlines it with the color of the layer that it's in. Your default layer color may coincidentally match the color of the solid you're intersecting. (See images below.) Changing the shapes' colors can help you easily discover if this is the case. You can also change a layer's color by double clicking on it in the layers panel.

Selected red circle (center) is outlined with layer color (see layers panel on the right). Even when the red circle is behind the black rectangle, the circle's outline appears atop the rectangle while selected.

The intersect function of the pathfinder tool is only supposed to leave one shape after two are intersected. Could you show us the actual result of the intersection of your two shapes as well as the example you put together?

If it's not the first case, I would try ungrouping and releasing any compound paths with the result of the intersection selected, then look in the layers panel for any shapes that may have been unintentionally created. Also look in the styles panel to see if the result has a stroke on it. Sometimes using the pathfinder tool can cause the resulting shape(s) to inherit styles from one of the shapes used to create it.

  • No the shape wasn't selected as you pointed out might be the case. Moreover, I tried the same process with more than 3 color combinations before posting the question. I had the gray and yellow shape in the figure just to help visualize the parent shapes and since I wanted the resultant interaction on top of the yellow circle and NOT as a separate entity, I was able to make out the anomaly. There are no compound paths or groupings either. Just two simple closed paths therefore, I'm pretty sure this isn't the case of styles being inherited.
    – Archit Jha
    Apr 28, 2017 at 18:25

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