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Chapter 7. Modifying and Combining Paths > Splitting Paths into Pieces

Splitting Paths into Pieces

The opposite of joining is splitting, and Illustrator provides five basic ways to split paths apart. We touched on two methods in Chapter 6: You can select a segment or an interior point with the direct selection tool and press the Backspace key (Delete key on the Mac). Or you can use the erase tool to dissolve sections of a path.

But what if you want to break apart a path without creating a rift? Or what if you want to break a path in the middle of a segment? The answer to either question is to use the scissors tool, knife tool, or the Slice command. The scissors tool creates a break at a specific point; the knife tool creates a free-form slice; and the Slice command uses a selected path to slice through all other paths that it comes in contact with. The only things lacking are a nail file and a toothpick.


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