How to Cut out Pieces in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Updated April 17, 2017

Adobe Illustrator makes it possible for anyone to create attractive and precise graphic art. The program offers a variety of tools for creating shapes and drawing, as well as an excellent interface for combining objects. The "Pathfinder" tools in Illustrator allow users to easily cut pieces out of the shapes and objects to create entirely new ones, with just a single click.

Open Illustrator and open a new document by clicking on one of the options from the "Create New" column at the welcome screen.

Select the "Rectangle Tool" from the Tools Panel to the left of the canvass. Click and drag diagonally on your artboard to create a rectangle that will serve as the shape you will cut a piece out of. Hold the "Shift" key while dragging to keep the proportions restricted to a square.

Click and drag a second rectangle inside of the first one. This second rectangle will be placed on top of the first one by default.

Select the "Selection Tool" from the Tools Panel and click on the second rectangle. Hold the "Shift" key and click on the second rectangle as well. Both rectangles are now selected.

Select "Window > Pathfinder" from the application menu at the top of the screen. This opens the "Pathfinder" palette, which allows you to work with multiple shapes. Select the "Minus Front" option under "Shape Modes." The icon is a white square in front of a grey one. This will cut the shape of the second rectangle you created out of the first rectangle.


This process works with all of Illustrator's shape and drawing tools. You can cut any shape you like out of any other shape. Try the Pen Tool or Pencil tool for creating irregular shapes.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Adobe Illustrator software
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About the Author

Paul Kemp is a writer and former political junkie. He has written copy for university publications and professional organizations. He is currently working on a book and screenplay about his time on the campaign trail during the 2008 election and teaches test prep classes.