How to crop in Illustrator?

how to crop in illustrator?
Source: Rocky Mountain Training

Adobe Illustrator is one of the highly preferred photo editors and designer tools among professionals. But, if you are using it for the first time, you will come across challenges like how to crop in Illustrator? The reason being, Adobe illustrator, provides a wide variety of features and tools which allow you to create authentic graphics and photoshop results with zero disappointments. But, when there are innumerable series of tools on the illustrator home, it can be difficult catching up on “crop” tools easily. 

Today, we present a comprehensive guide on how to crop in Illustrator? To the reader’s surprise, Adobe Illustrator is the most advanced graphic design tool out there. Hence, it offers to crop multiple factors such as crop shape, vector, canvas, pdf files, image, etc. hence, without any further ado, let’s find out how you can crop photo elements using Illustrator CC. For downloading the app, it is recommendable to use Adobe Illustrator official website instead of non-verified third-party websites that claim to provide Adobe Illustrator premium software for free. It can damage your PC by transferring malware, ransomware, and viruses. 

For extra safety, use VPN or Virtual Private Network services. Let’s get started: 

How to crop in Illustrator? 

As mentioned before, Adobe Illustrator is quite an advanced choice if you are using it for the first time. Thus, we brought you a list of methods (easy to complex) that allow you to crop in Illustrator. You can go-for a solution that suits your requirement at best. 

Method 1: How to crop in Illustrator using Mask? 

To begin with, masks in Adobe illustrator are shapes created by the user in order to hide the unwanted areas of colour or image. Mask feature is highly acknowledged for its non-destructive nature. You can use it to get a preview of the cropped image without actually cropping it. So, here’s how to crop an image in Illustrator using a mask. 

Check out the following stepwise guide: 

Step 1: Add image in Illustrator
  • First of all, open Adobe Illustrator on your PC.
  • It is rather recommendable to use the premium version for amazing results. 
  • Go to the “file” option and tap on the “place” alternative.
  • Select the image you want to crop. 
  • The mage will appear on the screen with multiple features around to apply. 

Now, you will either find the image as linked or embedded. To begin with, the linked image in Illustrator means that it originally comes from your computer system in a format such as. JPEG. On the other hand, an image is called “embed” in Illustrator when it is an artwork that you have created using Illustrator before. Meaning it is in “illustrator’s document format.” 

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Hence, it is also crucial to note that “Linked Image” appears on the screen with a cross-annotation over it. Whereas, Embedded images do not contain the annotation. 

STEP 2: Mask the image

Now, masking an image can be confusing if you are doing it for the first time. Hence, do not forget to follow the steps given below: 

  • To create a vector mask over the image, whether embedded or linked, open the control panel.
  • Control panel = Windows > Control. 
  • If the control panel is not available. 
  • Select the properties panel by using Windows > Properties. 

Once the panel is open, you will be able to view multiple useful tools such as Mask Image, Crop Image (under the quick actions) section, image trace, edit original, etc. 

Note: In the event that your Adobe Illustrator App has not been upgraded, there are chances that it will not show a few newly upgraded features in the properties panel. 

STEP 3: Apply Mask or Mask the Image
  • Now, tap on the “mask” option under the quick actions section on the right side of the screen.
  • Once you tap on “mask,” go to the image. Can you see the edges around the image?
  • Use these edges to shorten the image. It is called vector size changing. 
  • You can persistently shorten or adjust the image using “handles” at the edges until you are satisfied. 
  • Since the Mask has been created now, it will automatically save over the image.
  • If any other actions or editing is due on the image, you can operate it without disturbing the Mask. 
STEP 4: Crop the Image
  • Under the quick actions, tap on the “crop image” option. 
  • Use the handles or edges to crop the image as per your choice and preference. 
  • You can also transpose the “opacity” of the image if you want.
  • At last, tap on the “Apply” button. 
  • Your image has been cropped successfully. 

Note: When you tap on the crop image option, a warning may appear on the screen. This warning means “if you are using a linked image (which was originally in your PC), once you crop it, the cropped version of the image will be embedded. Meaning it will save in Illustrator’s automatic document format. However, it will not affect the initial copy of the image that was present in your PC at the very beginning.”

Method 2: Crop the image in Illustrator by editing the Mask

In this method, the formula is quite similar until you mask the image. Once you mask the image, check out the following instructions to move forward: 

  • Go to the “Layers” panel.
  • Tap on the “clip group.”
  • In the properties panel, tap on the edit clipping path option. 
  • Doing this, the Mask will be selected and ready for edit. 
  • Now, crop the Mask as per your choice. 

Note: The clipping Path option is generally available when the content of the image is not in line. For example, let’s suppose you have drawn a bottle shape over a colour-filled rectangle. But, to make this image appear like a bottle filled with water, you will have to crop the image by using the clipping path option. 

Method 3: How to crop in illustrator CC?

Now, if you are not looking to trigger any type of creativity with an image but simply edit it to look best, here’s an easy guide to do it using Illustrator CC. 

  • First of all, open Adobe Illustrator on your PC.
  • It is rather recommendable to use the premium version for amazing results. 
  • Go to the “file” option and tap on the “place” alternative.
  • Select the image you want to crop. 
  • The mage will appear on the screen with multiple features around to apply. 
  • On the left side panel of features, tap on the eraser tool. 
  • Multiple new options will appear.
  • Tap on the “crop” image option.
  • Use handles to crop the image.
  • Press the enter button.
  • Go to the file option.
  • Tap on the “save as” button.
  • Rename your file. 
  • Your image has cropped and saved to your device. 
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How to cut PDF in Illustrator CC? 

Do you know what’s so amazing about Adobe Illustrator even after being so expensive? Well! It allows you to modify everything. Whether you are working on a rough artwork or want to send a beautifully cropped PDF to your clientele, Adobe Illustrator is an all-in-one solution for everything. S0, when it comes to how to crop in Illustrator? Or can you crop PDF in Illustrator? Our simple and straight solution works the best. Here’s how you can do it: 

STEP 1: Drag and drop or place the PDF in Illustrator
  • If you have a PDF opened in the background, you can simply drag and drop it on your Illustrator.
  • Otherwise, go to the File menu. And tap on the “place” option to add a PDF document to the Illustrator. 
STEP 2: Specify your cropping requirements by shape
  • The step to perfectly crop your PDF is by drawing a rectangle around it. 
  • By drawing a rectangle, you can specify how you want to crop the edges. 
STEP 3: Selection tool
  • Go to the “selection tool” option and tap on it.
  • Can you view a cursor over the screen?
  • Drag and drop the selection arrow to select both PDF and rectangle. 
  • Now, go to the “object” menu by clicking on Artboard. 
  • Tap on the “clipping mask” option.
  • Finally, click on the mask/make option. 

Note: In many cases, users use placed PDF to crop in Illustrator, which is a perfect choice. Yet, if you are using two separate PDFs and masking them together, you will need to go through multiple challenges. 

It is also significant to note that you can find multiple third-party websites and apps that offer to crop PDF within a few seconds for free. So, users ask why Adobe pay for PDF cropping? But, for your information, Adobe is a professional’s first choice because it prevents the privacy of the user. Apart from this, the quality of the document remains 100% preserved. 


How to crop in Illustrator? may have never seemed so easy before this guide. But, in case you are unwilling to purchase Adobe Illustrator for some reason, you can also try out third-party apps to crop images or PDF. Yet, it is crucial to note that they mess with the quality. For more alternatives and details, you can get in touch with us. We wish you good luck!

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