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Chapter 15. Collage > Clipping Paths

Clipping Paths

You can also assign a path to a document, as opposed to a single layer. A clipping path will limit which areas of an image will show up and print in a page layout program (Figures 15.118 and 15.119). To create one, use the Pen or a shape tool to create a path, and then choose Window > Paths to open the Paths palette. Next, double-click the name of the path and assign it a name. Then choose Clipping Path from the side menu of the Paths palette (Figure 15.120). When prompted, be sure to enter a Flatness setting. When the image is printed, it will be converted into a polygon made out of straight lines of identical length. The Flatness setting will determine the length of those lines. Low settings produce short lines, which require more memory and processing time to output. If you use too low of a setting, then your printer might run out of memory when attempting to output your image. The more complex your path is (lots of points and directional handles), the higher the Flatness setting needs to be to avoid printing problems. In general, I use a setting between 3 and 10, depending on the complexity of the path I'm using. After you've assigned a clipping path to an image, you'll need to save it in the TIFF or EPS file format in order for it to be understood by a page layout program.

Figure 15.118. Image imported into a page layout program without a clipping path. (©2005 www.PeterHoey.com)



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