Need vectors for a project?
Shutterstock has millions and is constantly adding more. Explore our plans today.
Explore Now

How To Cut an Image in Illustrator

Depending on what effect you’re going for when you’re trying to cut something from your image, Illustrator has several methods that can help you get the desired results. Even novice users can learn these different techniques and use them to crop, divide, cut or edit an image or object on the Illustrator canvas. It’s best to learn all of the different cutting techniques so you can experiment and see which one looks the best on your project. Here is a learning guide on how to cut an image in Illustrator.
 
Draw a Cut With the Knife Tool
 
The first method of cutting your image uses the knife tool. Here is how to cut an image in Illustrator using this tool. First, select the “Knife” tool from the main Illustrator toolbar. Depending on the version you have of Illustrator, it may be paired with the “Eraser” tool or the “Scissors” tool. Now, click and drag to draw a path along the object or image you are working with. This will dissect the object into two and create a cut. If you select the new divided parts of the object, you can move them around independently of each other.
 
Use the Scissors Tool
 
If you want to have a little more control over your cutting action, the scissors tool may be easier to work with. You’ll find the scissors tool as one of the options along with the knife tool. Select a shape or an image to work with, and then click on the scissors tool from the main toolbar. Next, you must click and position two different anchor points to be the starting and ending spots for the cut. Before the final cut is made, you’ll see a faded dotted line along the path of the cut as a preview.
 
Crop Your Object or Image
 
Some images look best when they are cropped instead of cut with a knife tool or the scissors tool. To do this, create two shapes or another shape along with your image. Then, open the “Pathfinder” menu from the main screen. Make sure your cutout shape is placed over the image and select the “Crop” tool. This will cut out the shape from the background image and give it an eye-catching look. An easy way to quickly cut out a portion of your image is to select the image and choose “Crop Image.” Use the grid shaping tool to remove a portion of your image.
 
Learning how to cut and crop images can help you get ready to create something special in Illustrator. Shutterstock is here to help you learn the beyond the basics of this powerful graphic design program.
  • Was this article helpful?

Can’t find what you’re looking for?