Need illustrator help! how to cut angles?

hi! i’m a self-taught go-as-needed illustrator user. I have labels and the printing company says the center panel has a cut right at a color change, which means the corners will require a 45º split bleed. how do i cut out the 45 degree angle from the already existing yellow rectangle? images attached


Add a point in the corner and drag the outside rectangle point away from the dieline using the shift key to keep it square. I usually just eyeball the 45 degrees. Doesn’t matter if it’s a little off, as long as the corner is accurate.

Picking up on what rgsjoel said, if you want to get a precise 45° angle, you can use the pen tool to create one by holding down the shift key and approximating that angle as you create the line. Illustrator will force that approximate angle to 45°. Then you can use that line as a guide when shift-dragging the point away from the dieline.

There are probably dozens of ways to accomplish this, but there’s no need to eyball it, ever. If I understand correctly, we’re making a 45° cut off one end of a pre-existing rectangle.

Choose the Rectangle tool, hold down Shift, and draw out a helper-square of similar height; a bit larger is better.
Hold down Shift (to constrain) and rotate 45°.
With Smart Guides on, drag the rotated square over the rectangle, aligning its horizontal center with the bottom of the rectangle, with corner points also intersecting:
Select All, and choose the Shape Builder tool.
Holding down Alt/Opt, click the unwanted piece of the original rectangle:
Delete the helper-square:

Or skip the rotation of the square and just delete the top-left corner point, which will create a 45° angle as the square collapses into a triangle. Like you said, dozens of ways to do this.

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Gotta tell you, when I have to pull corner bleeds for designers that don’t do them,

  1. I don’t care about the angle and just pull them by hand. I’m not impressing the rip with my angle prowess.
  2. It can often take an extreme amount of luck for any printing/cutting machinery to hit an exact corner. It all depends on the process and the end result. The larger something is, the more likely it will be off anywhere from 1/16" to 1/8", maybe more if the print process is especially unstable, like with fabric wraps.
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I say this way too often but for $20 you can get “Adobe Classroom in a Book for Illustrator”. It comes with lesson plans for each tool. I’ve been at this for decades and still keep updated copies for reference. The best bang for the buck I’ve ever found (and by Adobe even?).

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