Illustrator CS5 (Mac) Pathfinder Tool Messing up Paths

So I’m trying to cut an image out of a solid background in Illustrator CS5 (Mac). I do this fairly often and my typical workflow is to:

  1. Place the image to be cut out on top of the background
  2. Group the image to be cut out if there are multiple pieces
  3. Select the top image and the background and use Minus Front on the Pathfinder

If the Minus Front doesn’t work, I will sometimes use Divide instead. This usually works just fine and I can then delete the section that belong to the upper image, leaving me with the solid background with a shape cut out of it.

However, today I’m having an issue with the Pathfinder options messing with my paths. As you can see below, my shapes are perfectly symmetrical when I place them on the background. (The pink shape is the one I want to be cut out of the background).

shape to be cut out
I then tried using the Minus Front tool from the Pathfinder, and these were my results:

messed up paths and corners! :(

As you can see, my shapes have been distorted and messed up after applying the Pathfinder option. I tried this with the Divide tool as well and got the exact same results. I’ve done this process with much more complex shapes in the past, so I know the Pathfinder can handle it, I’m just not sure what could be causing this.

I’ve also tried using “Expand Appearance” because that usually fixes my wonky problems with shapes in AI, but I had no luck there as well.

Does anyone have any idea why this shape might not be cooperating with the Pathfinder tool?


It’s because the document was created in web mode. Create a new document in print mode, paste your objects in that new print document, and then try to use the pathfinder tool again.

(Just wasted an hour on this problem! Solved thanks to Distorted shape after using pathfinder (illustrator cc))

Source : Link , Question Author : rhumbrecht , Answer Author : Community

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