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Illustrator CS4 Help Needed

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by njteaser, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. njteaser

    njteaser Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    Hi All,
    I am a new user to these forums and am very happy to be a member here. There is a ton of useful information here that I am sure is helping out the design and print industry.

    With that being said, I have been unsuccessfully trying to figure out this stroke to outer path issue for 2 weeks now so I need some direction on this .

    Ok so here’s the issue, I am using Illustrator CS4 to design vector artwork and printing to a Roland SP300 via Versa Works. My main problem here (which I’m going to try and explain correctly) is that I have 2 separate vector art designs that are placed on top of each other, which I can do with no problem (see attached image) but... now I need to create a special stroke, a "contourcut" stroke around the whole graphic (just the outer paths) so that I can have the Versa Works program cut it out via the SP300 after I print and laminate it.

    FYI, in the attached image you will see yellow text, and a pink triangle behind it; those are 2 separate path structures on top of each other. Say I go click on the text path, the entire text outline path in selected, I just want to select the outer edges, if not, then obviously if I was to apply the “contourcut" it would then cutout everything inside and not just the outer line path which I need.

    The artwork already has some strokes applied to it so I know I have to add this new special "contourcut" stoke but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to just select the outer lines/paths so that I can apply the "contourcut" stroke for the cutout process. I am only able to select the entire path structure not just the outer portion, and now I am especially confused because I have 2 overlapping artwork paths. I would imagine that the same resolution to this issue would apply to just about any illustrator design, how to just select the "outer" line/path structure to apply a “contourcut” stroke.

    If someone could please get me on the right track and show me what I’m doing wrong or what I’m not doing to allow this to happen, I would seriously appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2009
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

    Feb 11, 2007


    I meant:
  3. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    i duplicate everything you see there and then use pathfinder to weld it all together into one piece then make my cut from that duplicate
  4. njteaser

    njteaser Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    I just tried what you said, but I keep getting an error:

    "the filter produced no results, please select 2 overlapping paths"

    I made a duplicate of everything, selected everything but got that error?
  5. Idea Design

    Idea Design Very Active Member

    Jul 12, 2005
    I do the same thing. In illustrator, when you move an object a non-specific distance, that distance stays in the move and copy box. Why that's important is coming right up.

    As luggnut has said here, I would select everything, copy it above, below, to the right or left, it really doesn't matter, make everything have the same fill color and no stroke, then using the pathfinder tool, weld or "merge" everything together. Then you can make your "CutContour" color and apply it to your newly formed graphic of the outline of everything.

    Select your new object and 'ctrl-shift-m' and the move and copy box will come up with the exact distance you moved everything before. Simply change direction (positive if you moved negative) and move everything back to where it was.

    Wah Lah.
  6. Mason

    Mason Very Active Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Make a duplicate copy of your artwork, select the text on the copy, convert to outlines, select all of the copied artwork and go to pathfinder/add to shape area/expand, make sure nothing is grouped or you will get the error message you describe, you will now have the perimeter outline which you can then apply your CutContour to and send on to VersaWorks.

    Hope that helps you.
  7. The Vector Doctor

    The Vector Doctor Very Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    It is also possible that your fonts here are still live and you need to convert to paths.
  8. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    you do not need the exact move portion.....

    all you have to do it group the items and use your vertical and horizontal align
    buttons after you pathfinder the copy for the outline...

    pc of cake....
  9. njteaser

    njteaser Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    Almost there!!!

    I did get it to work, using all the information you guys have posted but I am just unsure about 2 things.

    1.) What tool in the pathfinder section do I use; there is a "Unite" under shape mode and a "Merge" under pathfinders, which one does what, or better, which one am I supposed to use. Do I have to use 2 different tools under there if I have text along with other shapes?

    2.) I only got the "Expand" button to show up once, all the other times I was selecting and converting stuff to outlines it was grayed out?

    Thanks very much!!!!
  10. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    first make sure your text is outlined...

    you can see from the blue outline in 5 I exaggerated the stroke to show you the combined paths of the wording and the logo element.

    Attached Files: