Dividing images in illustrator

Hey guys I’ve been trying to figure out how to divide images in illustrator for a while now and can’t seem to come up with a good solution. I know how to divide paths with other paths and that’s great but I can’t seem to divide up and image without doing it manually. There are some tutorials online that show you how to do something similar but with a clipping mask. But I need each divided part to become its own separate image for uploading into the glowforge UI. Any suggestions?
Thanks guys!!

Raster image or vector image? I’m not really the expert either way, but it will save some time when someone comes along who actually knows something. :wink:

If it’s a raster image, you’d probably want to use something like Photoshop as opposed to Illustrator to split it…although with the right settings, you don’t really need to split large images anymore. The Draft or (maybe) SD setting should be able to process a full bed engrave.


As Jules said, if you really need to do it PS is probably easier. But if you don’t have access to it, you should be able to do it in AI by using the “slice” process. AI Slices and Image Maps. Since it’s really aimed at making web pages, it’s likely to be a bit convoluted for what you’re trying to do.

You make multiple copies of the image, and a clipping path for each section you need to create, then use each path to clip a copy of the image.

Once all the piece are clipped, rasterize each piece one at a time. The resulting images will be embedded in your AI file. (Be sure to set the embed images option when you save your SVG.)

Pretty sure I made a brief tutorial on splitting/ tiling images in illustrator. @jules? Lol

It’s more for tiling images across multiple SVG’s (like a passthrough project) but it could be adapted to whatever.

@jules is slacking :joy: I’ll do it myself! :wink:

Something like this?


I’m assuming you’re asking about vectors. I seem to remember you being a photographer also so you should know the PS ways of doing things (and got lots of advice above if I’m wrong).

If it is vectors and you have AI CC

  1. Duplicate your layers, hide the new ones.
  2. Draw a box on top of half of the image. The covered portion will be removed.
  3. Select all, then Effect -> Pathfinder -> Trim
  4. Open the resulting group and hide/delete the box you drew.
  5. You’ve got half (or whatever) of an image left.

Repeat for the opposite side (from the copy you made earlier.

Now you can copy your split image to new files or separate artboards and export/save them separately as SVGs.


Dang…try to grab a meal around here… :smile:


Thanks guys! I can definitely do it through photoshop/Lightroom etc but was hoping I could stay in AI to do this since I’ll be doing it a lot with the passthrough now (until the Glowforge team works it out in UI. hopefully!) Basically figuring out how I’ll be setting up long engraves. I have a huuuuggggeee project for the winter months that I’ve been saving for passthrough.
Thanks again guys! :heart:

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I would just setup 12x20 artboards (as many as needed by project. Set up guides really quickly. Bring the image in. You’ll need as many copies of it as artboard. Stack your image copies. And then just use the crop button to crop them to the guides.

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Just a tip…limit your sections to 10 inches, on raster images. I suspect that’s going to be the workable height limit for separate sections of engraving.

The simplest raster splitting technique is using pine tools.


Much more previously:

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