How to Use Draw Inside Mode in Adobe Illustrator

The Draw Inside Mode in Illustrator lets you create graphics inside graphics, such as stripes within text, or images within shapes. The biggest thing to remember when using Draw Inside is to switch back to the Draw Normal mode when you're finished.

  1. Using the Selection Tool, choose the object you wish to draw inside of, in this case, a text frame. Look at the Tool Bar, and towards the bottom, underneath the color controls, you'll see drawing mode buttons. Click Draw Inside. Dashed brackets will appear around the text frame.
    Tool Bar
  2. Select the drawing tool you wish to use, in this case the Line Segment Tool, and draw lines through the text.
  3. When you are finished drawing, go back to the Tool Bar and click Draw Normal
  4. To edit the object you have drawn inside of, double-click it. This will put you in Isolation Mode. Make any changes you wish to make. When finished, click the Back as many times as necessary to exit isolation.
  5. The Draw Inside Mode is a method of creating a clipping mask. In the next example, I have text that I want to place an an image in. The text frame is selected and I've clicked Draw Inside.
  6. Keeping the text frame selected, go to File > Place and select the image. The image is placed within the text.
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

About Webucator

Webucator provides instructor-led training to students throughout the US and Canada. We have trained over 90,000 students from over 16,000 organizations on technologies such as Microsoft ASP.NET, Microsoft Office, Azure, Windows, Java, Adobe, Python, SQL, JavaScript, Angular and much more. Check out our complete course catalog.