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  A Rainbow of Illustrator® 9 Gel Buttons
Part 1F

38. With "Object 3" still selected, bring up the Transparency palette. First select a Blending Mode of "Overlay" from the pull-down on the left (shown below left). Then adjust the opacity slider to 70% (below right).

39. It's coming along. Just a few more steps to go.

40. Finally, select "Object 4" at the top of the stack. Once again, click Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and enter a radius of 1.8 pixels. Click "OK" when done.

41. The button is almost complete. We want to clip the objects to give the button a clean edge.

42. We want to use a copy of the bottom object for the clipping path (clipping mask. The terms are interchangeable). To select the bottom object from the stack, position the mouse pointer over the button and Control+Click (Macintosh®) or Right-Click (Windows®). This brings up a context menu. Choose "Select" from the menu and select "Last Object Below".

43. With the bottom object selected, press Edit > Copy followed by Edit > Paste In Front. This will paste an exact duplicate of the bottom object directly in from of it. We want it at the top of the stack to make a clipping path. While this new copy is still selected, click Object > Arrange > Bring To Front. The appearance of your artboard should look like the example below.

44. Marquee-select the entire stack of objects.

45. Click Object > Clipping Mask > Make. The master button is now finished. At this point you can make an image of the button to use it in a web page. You also can copy it and change just 3 colors to create a completely new button. This is a lot easier than recreating it from scratch when using an image editor to make the button.

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