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Cropping imported images in Illustrator for elearning graphics

When designing cover pages for elearning courses, you often might only need part of an image for your design. If you are creating this design in Illustrator, you may have discovered you need to crop the image in Photoshop or another graphic editing program before importing it into Illustrator. However, this is where Clip Group comes in.

Here is a design that needs just a narrow strip of the photograph that was selected for this space. Editing this in a different program would be a hassle as you’d need to know the exact dimensions and where you’d like it cropped to before you could import it back into Illustrator.

Instead, what we can do is first create a rectangle that is the correct size and placement for where the graphic is going to be. The colour fill is irrelevant.

Then, select both the imported image and the rectangle, right click, and select Make Clipping Mask.

This will crop your image to the dimensions of the box, and the image will remain editable! You can select just the image (and not the grouped rectangle) either with the Direct Selection tool, or from the <Clip Group> item that appears in your Layers menu, and this allows you to reposition, resize, replace, or do other things to the embedded graphic. Selecting just the image will show you the actual borders of the image inside the clip box.

Here is the final graphic with the image cropped to my liking.

For more great tips on using Illustrator to create eye-catching elearning designs and layouts, check our our other articles or contact us at today to see what our graphic designers can create for you!


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