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Illustrator Cutting Tool Won't Cut

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#1
winemapper

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Hello;

I am trying to use Illustrator to edit files exported from Arcmap. However, I can't get the cutting tools, including Pathfinder, to do the job.

However, the tools do work to cut any polygons I create in the same file. It appears there is something different about those polygons that originated in Arcmap. :blink:

Thanks;

Alan

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I am trying to use Illustrator to edit files exported from Arcmap. However, I can't get the cutting tools, including Pathfinder, to do the job.

However, the tools do work to cut any polygons I create in the same file. It appears there is something different about those polygons that originated in Arcmap. :blink:


Wild guess, but have you tried releasing clipping masks? (Object -> Clipping Masks -> Release)
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#3
BEAVER

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Same problem with Manifold files. Anytime I bring some polygons from Manifold to AI, I can't do any cutting with them, but if I draw anything in AL, it cuts OK.

#4
winemapper

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Hi Hans;

Thanks for the suggestion, but I tried the Object/clipping mask/release, but the "release" is grayed out and not an option (the"make" is available).

#5
ELeFevre

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You need to select the clipping path before you can release it. If your unsure which object is your clipping path, look in your layers pallete. Whereever a clipping mask is applied within a layer, all of the objects within that layer will be grouped beneath the clipping path. The first item in the group, the top item, will always be the clipping path. Illustrator underlines all clipping paths so they are easy to identify within the group. If you imported your file from Arcmap or Manifold there may be multiple clipping paths along with other stray objects that will will need to be dealt with.



#6
Martin Gamache

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Using outline or preview mode is the best way to see all of the frame and clipping masks that need to be deleted. If you are new to the steps involved it helps to turn every layer on and off one at a time with no page borders or other illustrator layout junk This is so that you understand what objects are coming in with the Arcmap or Manifold export as they are both very different. Manifold tends to have one junk frame layer for every "real data" layer, each with its own frame, whereas Arcmap has one frame object in each data layer and the export tends to be a little 'cleaner'.

The sequence to select all of these objects, ungroup all of them and release them without deleting any of the real artwork is crucial to getting Manifold or Arcmap export in correctly. Sometimes it is useful to zoom in to these cliiping polygons to select them.

Once you have done this correctly as indicated by Erin, the artwork should behave like any other AI objects.

mg

#7
ELeFevre

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Using outline or preview mode is the best way to see all of the frame and clipping masks that need to be deleted.



...great tip and an easy way to see everything at once. It's worth mentioning that masks in general (clipping paths, layer masks and opacity masks) are extremely useful/powerful tools in Illustrator. Don't let these imported "bad seeds" ruin your opinion of them!



#8
winemapper

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Thanks for the tips, but something still isn't working. I have turned off all layers except the one containing the polygons I need to cut (it is called MH Blocks, as in vineyard blocks of grapes). I have viewed in both Outline and Preview modes, but I don't see anything different i.e.what does a "clipping mask" look like in those views?

By the way, nothing is underlined in the layer palette.

I have selected all of the polygons and then went to Object/clipping mask/release. I then select a polygon (using the Selection tool). At this point, all of the vertexes in the polygon and a bounding box are visible. Then, when I select the knife tool, the bounding box disappears, but the vertexes remain; then, when I click the knife tool pointer and drag it across the polygon, the polygon is deselected and nothing has happened.

Note that if I create a polygon, and follow those exact steps, everything works ok??

I appreciate your continued help! Would it be of any use for me to attach or send you the file?

Alan

#9
Martin Gamache

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Clipping mask will likely look like a big box around all the outwork just inside the frame boundary. It has no stroke and no color. Unless you are in preview mode it is invisible. In previee mode it will have a black stroke.

My guess at this point is that it may not be a polygon. Perhaps it is a bunch of individual line segments grouped together. Did you try to ungroup or release compound path. If it is not a polygon the knife tool will not work, in which case the scissors tool cobine with join should work.

#10
winemapper

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Hi Martin;

Yes; it appears that the polygons are coming in as a bunch of line segments; the scissor tool did the job. Is there some way to convert them to polygons? I tried Group but it didn't work.

BTY, I see you refer to PG, BC. Is that Prince George, BC? I grew up there.

Thanks;

Alan

#11
Martin Gamache

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BTY, I see you refer to PG, BC. Is that Prince George, BC? I grew up there.


Yes, and I do feel sorry for you. However, I've escaped stinky PG to NYC this week.

You can join segments with the join tool or the concatenate plugin. However, running a polyline to Polygon transform in the GIS before exporting would be the best way .

mg

#12
winemapper

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That's part of the problem; they are polygons in Arcmap. But any way the join command worked.

Thanks for your help!

#13
Martin Gamache

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That's part of the problem; they are polygons in Arcmap. But any way the join command worked.


Are you sure about that?

I've never seen that happen before. You may want to try giving them a fill in Arc before exporting to see if that helps.

#14
winemapper

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Are you sure about that?

I've never seen that happen before. You may want to try giving them a fill in Arc before exporting to see if that helps.


They definitely are polygons. However, I just tried exporting the same file with some polygons filled, the others outlined. The cutting tool worked correctly (once the clipping mask was released) on the filled polys, but not the unfilled. Again, once I applied a fill to them the tool worked ok.

Edited by winemapper, 21 February 2007 - 11:34 AM.





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