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#1
ecogeocarta

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Hi All,

Long-time GISer here, new to AI (CS3). I've exported a bunch of GIS layers to AI and have set colors, transparencies, etc. Now I want to clip the whole thing to my neatline. I've managed somehow to do it, by keeping my neatline layer as the top layer, selecting all layers, and Object > Clipping mask > Make. But, then a crucial transparency gets set back to 100%.

Any ideas on how to clip to the neatline while retaining the set transparency would be greatly appreciated!

#2
frax

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I know what is happening - it will merge all your layers if you try to to do that. You shouldn't use clipping masks for this - it is for different usage - I think you want to use a crop area for this - look up usage for the crop area too and page limits!
Hugo Ahlenius
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#3
ELeFevre

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You can do this with a clipping mask. I use it all the time to crop my data to the boundary of a neat-line.

1. Create one layer called "Master" (or whatever) and place all of your other layers - the layers to be clipped- beneath the master as sub-layers. The layers to be clipped have to be sub-layers for this work correctly.
2. Place your neat-line layer at the top of the sub-layers
3. Here's the key: activate the "Master" layer by just clicking on the name of the layer. Don't select anything!
4. With the "Master" layer activated, hit the Make/Release Clipping mask icon at the bottom left of the layers palette or you can go through the Object menu, it doesn't matter

All of your sub-layers should be cropped at the neat-line. You should also see that Illustrator has renamed the neat-line to "Clipping Path". To remove the mask, just activate the "Master" without selecting anything and hit the button again. To adjust the mask without releasing the clip, just select the "Clipping Path" in the layers and adjust it like you would any other polygon.

Hope this helps.


-Erin



#4
frax

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Erin, why would you want to do this with a clipping mask and not a crop area? With a crop area, you don't have to restructure your layers etc... (and you can also have multiple alternative crop areas)
Hugo Ahlenius
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#5
Tim Baigent

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Erin, why would you want to do this with a clipping mask and not a crop area?

I can think of one reason. If you export a PDF or EPS using a crop area, you get the whole artboard, with the "cropped" artwork masked out. If you use a clipping mask, then the export is truly cropped, not just masked.

This arcane difference is much less important in Illustrator CS4, where multiple artboards mean you can effectively use a secondary artboard to crop for output (and the artwork is truly cropped).

BTW I think Erin's explanation of how to use a clipping mask is ideal.




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