03 August 2012

Pathfinder Tools : Exclude

Wrapping your head around the Pathfinder Tools in Illustrator:

Okay. A lot of newbies out there may not know or fully understand all the capabilities of the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator. So if you are an experienced designer you may find this post dull and boring and blah blah blah. But! Please read on regardless and feel free to elaborate and expand upon this little "how-to" in the comments. 

If you'd like to work along go ahead and open a new project in Illustrator in whatever size you want, this is just an exercise/tutorial. I will be using my logo as examples.

Make sure your Pathfinder Tools window is in full view by bringing it forward: easy way is to navigate to Window option up top, find Pathfinder, click!

This is what your Pathfinder window looks like:

I will go over each one in different posts because I have not had the chance to use all of them and some options I just don't understand.

Today I will be addressing the Exclude tool:

If you would like to play along go ahead and make two shapes: circles, squares, one circle, one square, whatever. Just make two shapes that are different colors so you can more readily see results of our actions.

Here is my original logo (one of many actually, but this is my most recent logo I chose to use) and although I like it, it was too tall and skinny to be implemented in all these web applications.

So I wanted to re-adjust some elements

oh where oh where should that exclamation mark go...

After playing around I wanted the exclamation mark to overlap in some way.

Ta-da! Hmm. Still looks awkward.

I want the parts of the exclamation point that are overlapping to be (hmm how best to put this?) "transparent" so we can see the H passing through the point.

At this point in your own exercise, take one shape and put it on top of the other. Not directly on top, but just so one of the edges are overlapping.

For your simple exercise it doesn't matter which shape is on top when we use the exclude tool, however in my logo I want the exclamation point to be in front of the H so the parts of the exclamation point will be taken away and not the H. I want to see the curves of the H. The shortcut on a Mac is "command+shift+]" or just go to Object - Arrange - Bring to Front (I don't work on a PC, sorry folks)

With both shapes selected go ahead and click on that exclude button!

I only selected my H and exclamation point.

Voila! To better see what happened on your end- make another shape a different color and send it to the back ("command+shift+[" or Object - Arrange - Send to Back) and move it behind your other shapes and you should see that the exclude tool took away the shapes that were overlapping:


But wait. In my logo I have a leftover piece hanging around that I don't want:

Lets get rid of it. Easy enough since the points are overlapping making it a separate shape.

I chose the Direct Select tool (the white arrow tool) and selected that little shape. Then I hit DELETE! Easy. Peasey.

Wouldn't want to be ya!

And there my friends we have a finished logo:

©Amanda Haskin. Word!

Questions? Comments? Let's hear it!

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