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Clipping Paths

A clipping path is a mathematically based PostScript path, much like other Bézier lines in QuarkXPress, Illustrator, or FreeHand. However, a clipping path acts like a pair of scissors, cutting out an image in any shape you want. Clipping an image is actually the same as cropping it, but because QuarkXPress makes a distinction, I will, too: the shape of a picture box crops the picture, but the Clipping feature clips it. You can use clipping and cropping together or alone. Let's see how.

Applying a Clipping Path

If you've used QuarkXPress for a while, you're sure to have heard someone say, “Never put a TIFF in a picture box that has a background of None.” The reason is simple: in version 3.x, if you set the background to None, XPress would assume that you wanted a silhouette of the picture and it would build a clipping path for you. The problem was that it built this clipping path with straight line segments based on the 72-dpi screen preview of your image, and it did it in a pretty brain-dead fashion. The result was a very jaggy edge around the image, which looked really ugly.


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