‘Clean Up’ your paths in Illustrator & upload easier

Remove hidden problems in an instant.

This short post will show you how to avoid one of the most common design file problems Ponoko creators encounter. The image above shows two halves of the same file, viewed in two ways.

In View > Preview mode it appears fine, with all of the visible elements formatted correctly. In View > Outline mode, however, suddenly we can see a number of hidden points – which appear as Xs.

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What they are

These Xs are leftover points, or ‘anchors’ from lines removed from the design. These points are created every time you add a new line or shape into your design – in each corner or line end. In Illustrator particularly, it is then possible to delete the line between points without deleting the points themselves.

This can become a real problem if the line you were working with was not formatted correctly yet – as these invisible points are still in your design, and will trigger an error when you try to upload your file to Ponoko.

How to remove them

All you need is a single easy command: Object > Path > Clean Up…

Which will provide you with this pop-up box: Click ‘OK’ and all of the stray points leftover in your design will be removed. As you’ll see from the pop-up box, this command will also remove any empty text fields, or any shapes with no fill or stroke color.

And the result? A nice clean file all ready for uploading and making with Ponoko. Here’s the one we started with in Outline mode, after the Clean Up command was used: So next time you’ve got a design ready to upload to Ponoko, take a moment to use the Clean Up command, and upload with confidence!

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