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Masking shapes or text using shapes.
When to use
Masks in Illustrator can be used to reveal or hide certain parts of a shape or an object. You could use a mask if you wanted to create a shape that is only visible inside of some text or another shape.
- Begin by opening the Masking Basics - Exercise.ai file
- Grab your Rectangle Tool (M) and draw out a rectangle that covers the top half of the word 'Mask' in the Illustrator document.
- Use your Selection Tool (V) to select both the rectangle and the text simultaneously.
- With both objects selected, go to the Object Menu and select Clipping Mask>Make from the list.
- You will now see that your text is only visible inside of the area of the rectangle that we had just created.
- Release the mask by returning to the Object Menu and choosing Clipping Mask>Release.
- Upon releasing a Clipping Mask, the original shape will now by invisible, although you can still select it with either of your selection tools to apply a fill or a stroke so that it can be seen.
- Grab your text again, and now place it on top of the geometric square pattern below in the exercise file.
- Use your Selection Tool (V) to select both the text and the square group below.
- Return to the Object Menu and choose Clipping Mask>Make from the list.
- You will now see that your text has been used as a mask for the shapes below.
- The keyboard shortcut for applying a Clipping Mask is Command/Ctrl+7 on the keyboard.
- You can use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to modify a part of the mask or the whole mask to reveal either more or less of the text.
- You can also use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move or edit the contents inside of the Clipping Mask.
- If you want to group several shapes together to use them as a mask you can do so by selecting them and then pressing Command/Ctrl+G or by going to the Object Menu and choosing the 'Group' option.
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