I'm a hopeless (but hopeful) newbie with an Adobe Illustrator Question

Hi All,

Wondering if there isn’t a kind soul here that wouldn’t mind helping point me in the right direction? As the title states, I’m new to this and I’ve a quick question (well hopefully quick) regarding Adobe Illustrator.

Now, I recently purchased an SVG file on Esty - a dog paw Christmas ornament design. And I’m looking to add a name in the middle of it. However, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to combine the name to the paw outline so it cuts all as one piece.

I’ve created outlines and was able to unite my text as one, but when I try to unite or merge the text with the paw, it either A: fills in the paw altogether with a solid color. or B: When I merge, the text disappears leaving just then the paw design.

Any ideas? Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


This may help you: Cut line and word help please


might be easier to help if I could see what you were working with, but here’s one method:
Make sure your text is on a layer above the pawprint.
Select everything
use the Pathfinder window to do a Trim operation

Screen Shot 2021-11-02 at 2.51.24 PM

This will group it all together, so either double click on it to enter the group in “isolation mode” or click once to select it and use the ungroup function in the Object menu (or the shortcut: shift-cmd-G on a mac)

Now select and delete the lettering.

one gotcha with this method is that Trim will create unpainted objects if you forget to set the preferences. So either make sure you set the prefs first or use the Clean Up function afterwards.

Artboard 1-100
Screen Shot 2021-11-02 at 2.59.45 PM
Screen Shot 2021-11-02 at 3.00.01 PM

unfortunately Illustrator does not remember this particular preference on shutdown, so it must be set each session.


I never knew about those options. Thanks!


In addition to the Pathfinder tools @jbv described Shapebuilder is great for this kind of thing. (there’s at least 10 ways to do anything in Adobe products)



You guys are awesome! I was able to figure it out using the shape builder tool. It took some tinkering around, but I finally got it. Your help has opened the door for me. I can’t thank you all enough :slight_smile:


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