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This is a good start, but works better if you disable all except Flood and Composite. Composite->Filter General Settings will adjust the location and size of the box in relation to the text. Composite->Effect Parameters set to Destination Over will ensure your text color isn't messed with by the background color you choose. This is great and all, but ...


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If you really don't want to create a second object for the background, you can use some Appearance Panel trickery to add one.... Group the lines Add a new fill in the Appearance Panel Move the fill below the Contents in the panel With the Fill highlighted choose Effect > Convert to Shape > Rectangle Set the Options for Extra Width and Extra Height to ...


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The way you have done it with a rectangle behind the group is the way to "fill" behind a "group"- this is done often- you could also group the rectangle with the lines so they could easily be moved around together. Alternately, you could combine the rectangle and the group of lines into a compound path (Object>compound path>make) so it is all one "object"- ...


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You're doing it right. For a background to exist there, you need a separate white object in the exact same shape and size as your group.


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