How To Remove X In Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator, an essential tool in the design field, is a robust program that enables you to produce impressive vector graphics and illustrations. Like any software, it has its idiosyncrasies, which can sometimes perplex users. One such instance is the appearance of an “X” on your artwork, which can be quite troublesome to eliminate. But fear not, this guide will assist you in removing the troublesome X in Adobe Illustrator.

What is the X in Adobe Illustrator?

The X symbol usually appears when you drag an image into Illustrator. This is called a ‘Clipping Mask’, and it’s used to display only a portion of the image. Sometimes, this can be helpful, but in other instances, it can get in the way of your work.

Removing the X: Step-by-Step Guide

Here are the detailed steps to remove the X in Adobe Illustrator:

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator and your specific file that has the X appearing on your artboard.
  2. Select the Selection Tool (the black arrow) from the Tool panel or press V on your keyboard as a shortcut.
  3. Click on the image with the X to select it.
  4. Go to the Object menu at the top of the application window, hover over “Clipping Mask” and then select “Release”.

If done correctly, your image should no longer be in a clipping mask, and the X will be removed.

//Sample code
//Select the image;
//Release the clipping mask

This is a standard way to ‘release’ the clipping mask and should work in most scenarios. However, sometimes this might not work if the X is linked to a specific layer or an object. In such cases, you’ll have to individually select the layers or objects and repeat the above steps.


Adobe Illustrator is a versatile and dynamic tool. Understanding its functionalities like the Clipping Mask can significantly enhance your designing capabilities. While the ‘X’ might seem like a hurdle, with the right knowledge, it is just a stepping stone towards creating more professional graphics. So, the next time you see that X appear, you know exactly what to do!