HELP! Trying to create a path that will both cut & score

First time posting - I need help!!
I’m trying to create a word, where the characters will stay attached to each other because the lower third of the characters will be scored and the upper 2/3rds of the characters will be cut out - so need to make the cut color part of the path different from the score color part of the path of each character so the GF “sees” the 2 operations - but I can’t figure out how to accomplish it in Illustrator CC.
Imagine having letters cut out of draft board and gluing them to a popsicle stick to hold them together - but without the glue and the stick
I have converted the font /characters to outlines and I’m trying to split the path of the characters so I can create a stroke Score color (lower 3rd) and a stroke Cut color (upper 2/3rds) on the same character path.
Not sure if / how this can be done.
I may have made this exercise more difficult than it needs to be and can’t see the obvious so hoping another set of eyes will see the light and set me straight.

Thanks in advance!
Take care

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Easiest way would be to drag a guideline down at the level that you want to break the letters up, then just use the scissors tool at the intersection - where it crosses each letter. If you still have Smart Guides in the newer versions it tells you when you get close enough to snap to the intersection, so placement of the cuts is perfect.

Then you would ungroup everything, make the bottom half of the letters one color, group them, then LOCK them or hide them.

Go to the top parts of the letters and start joining the letters at the base with a straight line between each letter in the same color as the top portions of the letters - to create the cutout portions of the letters. Carry the line out to the side on either end - then join those ends with the rest of a rectangle shape that runs underneath the word.

Unhide or unlock the bottom portions of the letters, and you should be good to go.

Let me know if you need pictures. :wink:


I was going to suggest a slightly different approach but @Jules’ solution should work at least as good.

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Or…you could also just place a rectangle behind the text at the correct level, group the word, make a copy of the word in the exact same position by grouping it and dragging it down to the duplication icon in the Layers palette. Then give it a different stroke color, no fill color, and hide the group.

With the original word and the rectangle, make sure they are both filled, select all, and then combine them using the pathfinder menu. Remove the fill color.

Then unhide the copy of the word that was on top. It will score first and then you’ll be cutting over the score lines, so it might burn a little too wide to suit you, so you might want to run a test to see if it is what you want. But it’s another option.

Chuckle! List yours, it might be easier. I just thought of another one too. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Not apples to apples but if I did it in inkscape:

Combine all letters into a single path.

Draw a line across the letters where you want the split

Select both, choose path-> cut

Line disappears and letter path is broken.

Select the letter path. Choose path-> break apart

Drag a rectangle across one half or the other to select one portion of your newly split letters. Select path-> combine (optional) and set your color.

Do the same with the other half. (Different color I assume.)


Thank you all very much!
I’ll follow your instructions and report back!!

Take care

My method is easier for me because I do it a few times a week. But, when I started typing it up, it was taking a lot more effort to write (and therefore probably to follow).

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I appreciate the time and the effort!

Believe me, when I sat down to transcribe the problem I was having, I had to rewrite it many times before it made sense even to me - hence the Popsicle Stick analogy.

Thanks again!!

I’ll tackle this later today because we finally have some decent sunny weather and the yard work is piling up.

Take care


Mark Stokl

BSI Broadcast Services International

5311 John Lucas Drive

Burlington, ON,


L7L 6A8

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