Illustrator Pathfinder Tool: 'Minus Front' without bringing whole object to the front?

Jri

Member
Hi all,

Is there a way in Adobe Illustrator of using the 'Minus Front' tool from the Pathfinder palette in a way that leaves the object you are cutting into in position (instead of jumping it to the front of your layer)?

For example, I have a series of complicated vectors that overlap each other in a specific way. I want to use the minus front tool to take a chunk out of one of them, but when I do - it forces the vector that I am subtracting a shape from to jump to the front in the layer ordering.

I could use Minus Front and then manually shuffle the object back to it's desired layer position, but this is massively time consuming in this case as there are hundreds of vector objects in play and I have to repeat this process in several areas of the document.

Is there a way/process/preference that simply stops this happening?

Thanks,
Jri
 

Jri

Member
Nevermind, I've sussed it out.

===

The problem is that if the object/layer stacking order is this:

(furthest forward) Shape A - Shape that you are wanting to remove from Shape C
(in the middle) Shape B - Random shape
(furthest back) Shape C - Shape that you are wanting to alter/remove Shape A from

Then the pathfinder tool will cause 'Shape C - (the shape being cut into)' to jump forward to wherever in the layer order 'Shape A - (the shape doing the cutting)' was. This results in this:

(furthest forward) Shape C - (furthest forward) - Shape that you have created by removing shape A*
(furthest back) Shape B - Random shape

*A is no longer in present as the Minus Front tool causes the shape you are cutting out with to disappear.

===

The workaround is this:

Paste shape A directly in front of shape C in the layer order (Copy Shape A, select Shape C, select past in front /CMD+F) - then perform the transform. The pathfinder tool will still mess with the shape stacking order, but this way it will be irrelevant because the two shapes being shuffled around are both ultimately in the part of the stacking order that the pathfinder result will occupy.

Jeez. I hope this benefits someone.

Thanks,
Jri
 
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