How to Crop in Illustrator CS5.1 and Other AI Versions
Cropping is technically used in images to remove extra elements inside the frame. This is quite tricky because unlike Photoshop, there is actually no crop tool in Illustrator, yet there is a command in Illustrator CS5.1 or any other version which you can use to trim some excess part of your design or illustration. It is called clipping mask.
Adobe define clipping mask as an object whose shape masks other artwork so that only areas that lie within the shape are visible—in effect, clipping the artwork to the shape of the mask.
In Photoshop, parts of the objects that exceed the canvas or art board are automatically hidden and whenever you are going to save your project into other format like JPEG, the output is automatically cropped but in Illustrator, all elements that exceed the art board are still visible even if it is converted into other file format. Look at this illustration below.
Here is how to apply clipping mask in Illustrator CS5.1:
Step 1. Find the shape tool in the tool box and choose a shaped which you want to use as clipping mask. May it be rectangle circle, ellipse or irregular shape, it’s up to you.
In this tutorial, I use rectangle to remove excess parts of the illustration I picked from the templates. Make sure that the clipping mask is above all objects that you want to mask.
Step 2. Select all, Ctrl + A.
Step 3. Hit Ctr + 7.You’re done. You have now a clipping set, the clipping mask and the objects that are masked. Here is other way to apply clipping mask in other versions of Illustrator.