Creating Knockouts for Labels

1.Open from the Tutorial Data folder.

Three MAP layers are visible: contours_labels, contours_line and Background. The contour labels are positioned above the contour lines. Use the Create Knockouts feature to mask the contour line below the label.

2.From the MAPublisher toolbar, click the Create Knockouts button.

3.Click the Specify layers hyperlink and click the check box for contours_line, then click OK.


The Create Knockouts feature bases the masks on the input of contours_line and contour_labels. Accept the default settings shown above to see how the knockouts will look.

4.In the Create Knockouts dialog box, click OK.


The knockouts are created. However, the labels are too close to the contour ends. Adjust the masks by adding a buffer and changing the transparency. There is no need to undo the previous step.

5.In the MAPublisher toolbar, click the Create Knockouts button.

6.Set the Mask opacity to 80%. In the Knockout boxes section, set both the Left and Right buffer to 5.00 pixels.


The Mask opacity adjusts the transparency of the contour lines so that they will be slightly visible (100% opacity means that it is completely invisible). The side buffer adds space to the left and right sides of the label so that it creates the effect that the contour lines are further away from the label. The reason there is no need to Undo the previous mask is because the Replace existing knockouts option is checked.

7.Click OK to close the Create Knockouts dialog box.


The knockouts are created with a 5 pixel buffer and 80% opacity. To further adjust the mask, change the settings in the Transparency panel.

8.In the Adobe Illustrator Layers panel, click the target to select all art on the contours_line layer. Go to the Window menu and click Transparency, then click the Release. In the Adobe Illustrator Layers panel, click the target to select all the art of <Opacity Mask>. In the Transparency panel, adjust the Opacity to see how it affects the contour lines.


9.Close the document without saving.

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Last updated: 12/11/2020