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How to use Clipping Mask in Adobe Illustrator?

Clipping Mask in Adobe Illustrator

Clipping means to cut off a small piece from something. If you want to cut out a piece from an image or from an artwork you can do it with the help of Clipping Mask.

Clipping Mask is the best tool for image editing. You can easily cut out anything from the image and change its background or you can fill the image in particular shape.

Clipping Mask will help you while designing your flyers or posters to give them a new effect.

Now let’s see how Clipping Mask works-

Step 1

We will first place an image in the document. For that, click on File in the Menu Bar and then click on Place. Now browse the image which you want to edit.


When you will select the image which you want to place in the document you will see a check-mark on Link. If there is no check-mark then please put it on to make the image a link file. The benefit of making the image a link file is that whatever changes you will make to the linked file image will not affect the original image.


After selecting the image, put check mark on Link and click on Place. Now click on the artboard and your image will be placed.

Step 2

You can edit, crop and change the size of the image placed/inserted.

After setting up the size of the image accordingly, draw a shape with help of the drawing tools. You can draw a single shape or multiple shapes.

I will explain clipping mask both single shape and multiple shapes with example.

First take a look at Clipping Mask with Single Shape.

Place the image on the artboard and draw a shape. Select the shape and drag it over that part of image which you want to clip. Remember, only the area of the image which is under the shape will be clipped. So place the shape properly over the image.


In the above image you can see that I have put the shape over the face because I want to clip that part of the image. In the same way you also put the shape over that part of the image which you want to clip.

After placing the shape over the image, select the shape and the image. Click on Object in the Menu Bar and place cursor on Clipping Mask. A small option window will open when you will place cursor on Clipping Mask. From those option select Make and the image will get clipped. (See below images)



Now you can fill color in the background or draw anything in the background.

It’s time to learn Clipping Mask with Multiple Shapes.

Follow the same steps as that of clipping mask with single shape till placing image. Now draw multiple shapes. Place the shapes over the image and then select the shapes randomly. After selecting multiple shapes randomly click on Option in Menu Bar and place your cursor on Compound Path. From the small option window click on Make to make a compound path of the selected shapes.


Now press Shift key and selected the image. Click on Option in the Menu Bar, move the cursor on Clipping Mask and click on Make. The image will be clipped in the selected shapes.


Now practice Clipping Mask by drawing other shapes to give a new effect to the images and share this tutorial with others.



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