Illustrator Trick #11: Transparency & Knockout Group

It often happens that, we have  couple or more shapes/objects overlapping each other with varying transparency & for some reasons we don’t want them to show through each other.

The solution for this is pretty simple. Just select the shapes, like in the above example both the rectangles & Group (Object>Group) them & from the Transparency palette click on the Knockout Group so that a checkmark is On & poof now the object don’t show through each other!

You can do this with the multiple objects as well.

It is worth noting that you either have to Group the objects or select the Layer for the Knockout group behavior to take effect.
Also, the Knockout Group has 3 states, as shown in the image below:

The on & off states are pretty explanatory, you may use the neutral state when you want to group objects without interfering with the knockout behavior determined by the enclosing group or layer.

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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  1. Gravtar for Nicole
    Nicole December 27th

    This is a great tip! I could have used that a few weeks ago! 🙂 Would have made life a lot easier! Thanks!

  2. Gravtar for Astrodesigner
    Astrodesigner December 30th

    Thanks for the Tip.

  3. Gravtar for Tatiana
    Tatiana June 24th

    This is Greaaaaaaat

  4. Gravtar for Raja
    Raja April 5th

    gr8 tip! Can i use transparency in logo design or putting vector illustration in stock agencies. reason of this question is when I design in adobe illustrator with using transparency and saving it in .eps format. After that I open it in corel draw there transparency is disturb an looking bad. so I never use this to selling any client so my question is can i use transparency to sell.