I'd like to create a clipping mask using two groups. My structure is as follows:

    <several Compound Paths>

My assumption is that I should be able to select both groups, and go Object > Clipping mask > Create.

When I create the mask, however, the clip group is created, but no image displays on the artboard or in the layer thumbnail. Does this have anything to do with using groups, or the contents of those groups?

(I have no issues creating masks in other scenarios)


1 Answer 1


In terms of clipping masks... Groups don't mask.... paths mask.
(Note Opacity Masks are different)

What happens when you use a <Group> as the top object when creating a clipping mask is that each path within the group is defined as a clipping path and then they are combined essentially into a compound path and the group becomes a clipping region of sorts. Path interactions are similar to selecting everything in the Group and using Object > Compound Path > Make. This is often not the appearance one wants for the mask path.

Since you already have a group of compound paths, I'd guess that this conversion by the clipping mask feature is altering how those several compound paths interact with one another and that may be causing an undesirable mask.

It's best to create clipping masks with only paths or a single compound path. Using a <Group> often results in unexpected masking.

The easiest solution is to change the several compound paths into a single compound path. Then you will be able to use that compound path to create the clipping mask for the group below it.

  • Hi! How can I make sereval compound paths into a single compound path? Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 3:36
  • @LucasBustamante you can't. You need to release existing compounds, and then create a single compound shape/path.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 4:06

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