Clipping Mask (updated for CS4)


clipping mask tutorial

clipping mask tutorial

1. Clipping masks is a feature in Illustrator that enables you to mask out an image that you placed within the Illustrator document. With this example, I am going to use the type layer as my masking layer. First off, I want to place an image on my Illustrator document. To place a document efficiently in Illustrator, go to FILE > PLACE. Look for the image you want to place on your computer. (not cut and paste from photoshop or other photo programs).

clipping mask tutorial

clipping mask tutorial

2. Make sure you don’t outline the font cause it’s really not necessary to do so. Now let’s apply the mask. Make sure you have both the letters and the background imagery selected at once.

clipping mask tutorial

3. Now go to OBJECT > CLIPPING MASK > MAKE. That’s it!

clipping mask tutorial

4. The result so far. You can see the photo in the back through your letters.

clipping mask tutorial

clipping mask tutorial

5. Now remember I told you not to outline your fonts? Well here’s the reason why. You can STILL edit your text after you applied the mask as you can see here. The same goes for shapes and patterns. You can still go back and change them after the mask has been applied. And also another thing you can do is get the white arrow tool and move the letter around while the background stays in a static position! So you can move it around to see where you want to make the clipping mask first. This is great with shapes such as circle and squares (and not text like this tutorial).

clipping mask tutorial

6. Now what happens if you did OUTLINE the font? Well you can also play around with the anchor points of the text and manipulate the font while the background image still follows the clipping mask.

46 Responses to “Clipping Mask (updated for CS4)”

  1. michael said:
    May 25th, 2011 at 5:39 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Hi thank you for the tutorial. Could you tell what fonts you are using on your website. They look really nice!

  2. Chris said:
    May 25th, 2011 at 12:41 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    @michael: My main studio signature font is called “Avenir”. :)

  3. leev said:
    December 30th, 2011 at 8:26 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Thank you~! I like the way you explain everything :)

  4. Chris Takakura said:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 6:45 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    @leev: Thanks for your comment! I do my best to make my tutorials easy to follow! :)

  5. Anonymous said:
    April 13th, 2012 at 9:39 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    I have AI 10. I know nothing of Illustrator. Is there a way to take a picture and cut the background and replace it with a white background? I have a picture of a cat I took, and I want to erase the background around the cat. I have a vague idea of how it is done in Photoshop (which I don’t have), but haven’t a clue how it’s done in Illustrator – or even if it can be done. Help!

  6. Chopol said:
    October 13th, 2012 at 2:32 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Very Nice

  7. Stacey Sutherland said:
    January 28th, 2013 at 9:22 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Great tutorial glad to find it! How can i use the type for a logo or cut and paste the transparent type to another document? I hope this makes sense.

  8. Dan said:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 9:22 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    How do I do the opposite of this and cut the text out of the image (leaving a text shaped hole in the image)

  9. lovessleep said:
    March 4th, 2014 at 9:07 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    @Dan: Isn’t it just easier to place white letters on an image?

  10. Kaypublique said:
    April 14th, 2014 at 7:03 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    I got these instructions to work in Illustrator CC but it took a little fiddling. Sometimes it appeared that the mask would be applied to the wrong layer. In case of problems, I recommend starting with “clean” layers to clear any misapplied mask.

  11. Tahsinur Rahman said:
    August 28th, 2014 at 12:45 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Nice one.Really like it.

  12. jasa logo said:
    December 15th, 2014 at 11:15 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Illustrator is still difficult for me. Thanks for the tutorial

  13. Billy said:
    May 3rd, 2015 at 7:30 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    hi I have Adobe illustrator CC and question is how I do I use the clipping mask with a logo? Or if it’s possible? I understand how to use it with regular text but I have a logo with pre existing text and every time I try to use the clipping mask with it all I get is a white background

  14. Daniel Polite said:
    June 15th, 2015 at 10:59 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Great tutorial, Thanks for writing the article.

  15. Enamul Hoq said:
    June 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    This tutorial is very helpful for me but i think it will be very helpful for all categories beginner

  16. Hameed said:
    August 26th, 2015 at 11:32 pm | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Great tutorial, we are like it

  17. Michael Cooper said:
    September 8th, 2015 at 11:35 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Wow nice and helpful Article, Thanks for shear it

  18. Jahid Hasan said:
    October 18th, 2015 at 9:50 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    Wow its really helpful tutorials.I’ve read your post carefully cuz i am a new.It is very informative.If you need any unique image design,logo design,remove background and any kinds of clipping you may contact with clipping path service.Our service will be glad to help you. – See more at: http://clippingpathking.com/blog/2015/07/16/how-to-remove-white-background-from-an-image-using-clipping-path-process/

  19. Jahid Hasan said:
    October 19th, 2015 at 8:43 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    I am a beginner and this tutorial help me very much.
    Thanks.

  20. Anonymous said:
    December 3rd, 2015 at 3:54 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    md shojib uddin
    http://daily-bdnews.com
    taj

  21. taj uddin said:
    December 3rd, 2015 at 3:55 am | reply to this postReply to this comment |

    md asaduzzaman khan rasel

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