Can't figure out why the GF sees this file as an engrave when I have separate operations defined for score and engrave

I am doing something very wrong when I am combining type and vector paths in the same file.
I have defined 2 operations in this file and no matclock face & (2.8 MB)
ter what I try the GF sees it all as engrave.
I have created outlines from my fonts and defined score (green) engrave black.
There are no strokes assigned to the type characters (I think).
I have tried svg and pdf versions of the same file and always get engrave with no option to change in the GF interface.

I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. I do agree you’d have trouble with this file though.

There is a bitmap hidden somewhere but I can’t find it. I’d just set that to ignore. And the other paths can be converted between engrave, cut and score, although you have a lot of things sitting on top of each other so you’ll have trouble with lots of passes in the same spot.

I’d suggest watching this video to set-up your workspace:

And this video to see @chris1 go through his entire workflow:

Those two videos helped get me up to speed quickly.

If you setup your AI session as noted above you don’t have to convert text in your AI original files, that will be handled when you save as (or export). Good luck.


I don’t have a version of AI newer than 15 years. I opened it in Inkscape and saved it out. When importing into the GF user interface I got two warnings that they can’t process clippaths and a separate warning that they can’t process masks. Though the document did import and I was able to both cut and engrave the different portions.

I don’t know if this will help you, but I cleaned up your file a bit and exported an SVG that should work for what you want. As you see below, I added some more color to help you differentiate the layers.


And the AI file (latest CC version): clock face & type (2.7 MB)

Have fun!


Thank you both very much.
It is a part of a larger acrylic engrave / score project.
I have the other components working which have both score and engrave elements that are recognized by GF but something was up the composite file.
By process of elimination I whittled it down to these elements - I rebuilt them from scratch and still GF sees it as engrave only.
Thanks again for the information and the guidance. I’ll head home and try to put the project back together!

Take care

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Can you tell me what you had to do to clean up the file? This is the part of the process that i fail at - to recognize and avoid the potential problems when I’m creating the file.

For the large numbers you had 3 copies of each, along with the cutouts that weren’t cut out :slight_smile:

I deleted 2 of those copies and then subtracted the cutouts. I did the same for the other letters and numbers (a, e, o, 4, etc.) that needed it.

There were two stray paths at the bottom of the file, those I deleted.

Other than that, I just grouped he clock hands, the text at the bottom, and the small circles to make it easy to apply different colors.

I think that was about it. The file wasn’t that bad, but I could see where it would give you trouble.


Not sure why there were multiple copies of some numbers.
One question then i will leave you alone; :
when a number like an 8 or 9 or 0 or a letter for that matter are converted to outlines, i am prompted to release path. GF doesn’t like clipping paths but when i do that the centres of the numbers (or letters) fill in. The when i subtract them to punch them out again it prompts me to release path again and it becomes a vicious circle. What am i doing wrong?

Take care

So you’re getting a Compound Path when you create the outlines? If so there is no need to release the path. If you do release the compound path just hit the subtract front button and you’ll get your compound path back. Everything is fine and the GFUI won’t argue.

If you’re getting some other reply back and we’ll try to figure it out (or get one of the AI pros that are hanging about to help out, too).

At a guess I"d say you got the multiple copies trying to use the Shape Builder tool or something like that.

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Wow! the file is working now as intended!
Thank you for taking the time and sharing what you found and how you resolved the issues i created!

Thank you!
Take care

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Thanks @rpegg and @hansepe!

I’m going to close this thread - if you have any other questions, go ahead and post a new topic.