Need Help: Placing Image Into Text

Hi y’all! I’m needing help with a graphic issue in Adobe Illustrator on this puzzle I’m making. I’m trying to fill the letters “MILA” with the animal prints. On my file, they’re filled and everything looks normal, but when I upload it, the box image appears and it’s not just the fill in the letter. I’ve tried uploading it as a pdf and svg.

I’m trying to CUT the outside of the letter and ENGRAVE the animal print in the letter. What I did is:
-typed the letter -placed the animal print image + sized it -Arranged the image to the back -Selected the letter and the image -Clicked Object, Clipping Mask, Mask

Any help is appreciated! I attached the file. THANK YOU!

Mila Safari (972.4 KB)

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Someone might beat me to the answer, but can’t use clips and masks. Need to do a boolean difference.

But since you are using bitmaps for the pattern, that makes it complicated. You can’t do a difference. You need all vectors for that. Someone might give you a good workflow for managing the cutouts using the patterned bitmaps, but I stick to all vectors. Make a vector pattern and then it will allow booleans.


In Inkscape, you would “create a bitmap copy” of the masked/clipped animal print object, which would create a new image with all the cuts applied. Delete everything except the letter shapes and that new bitmap.

Inkscape and AI are pretty much identical in functionality, so I’m sure there’s a way to apply the same workflow in AI.


Yep. There is… In AI you would create the Text, duplicate it in place, then Group the copy (CTRL+C, CTRL+F, CTRL+G).

Expand the Copy to turn it into a cutline. (Right Click>Convert to Outlines). Give it a stroke color and no Fill. Lock and Hide the copy of the group in the Layers palette.

Use the original text lines to create your clipping paths. After you have it looking the way you want, select it all and rasterize it. (Object >Convert to Raster. Use a high PPI and png file -transparency).

Then Unhide the Group of Cutlines and Unlock it. Save the SVG and it’s good to go. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for the help! I will try this out.

Okay, awesome! I will follow these instructions to a T and I’m sure I’ll get it down. Thanks so much for the detailed response.

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