How to Create a Clipping Mask in Illustrator


Have you ever heard of Clipping Mask? Clipping Mask is a feature that can be used to show only parts of object or to hide unwanted parts. It’s good to remember because we use it so often in Illustrator.

How to use

First, we need to prepare an image to cut out. In this case, I’m going to use this cat’s image.

Image of a cat

Create a cutout shape object and place it on top of the image.

Image of a rectangular object on top of a picture of a cat

Then, with both the object and the image selected, select the Menu bar > Object > Make Clipping Mask (the shortcut key is command+7 for Mac / ctrl+7 for Windows).

Menu bar image

The image has been cropped in the shape of the object.

Image cropped into a rectangle

You can also use the Pen tool to crop the object. To do this, activate the Pen tool and put anchor points on the shape you want to crop.

An image of a cat's face surrounded by a pen tool

Now all you have to do is create the clipping mask in the same way as before.

Menu bar image

Image of a cat face

That’s all for this time.

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