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Unable to select areas to fill with color

Unable to select areas to fill with color

Unable to select areas to fill with color

(OP)
I am a new user of Illustrator and have just installed the Mac version from CS5 Production Premium.

I have a logo of a red shield with an eagle, a book, and a horizontal stripe separating the top from the bottom on the face of the shield.  The eagle, the book and the stripe appear white, but, they are actually transparent and permitting  the color beneath them to pass through.  I want to fill the 3 transparent areas with solid white so that I can place this logo over other objects and colors.

I am unble to do this and do not know why.  I can easily select the whole object including the intricate outlines of the eagle and words on the book, but when I choose to inverse the selection, nothing happens and I can not directly selct the eagle or the book.  If I attempt to fill the entire selection, I am still left with the transparent areas.

I have been able to do this in Photoshop, but I can not repeat this in Illustrator.  Filling the logo in Photoshop and opening it in Illustrator has not resolved my problem and has only created other types of challenges.

Your help is appreciated.

RE: Unable to select areas to fill with color

You could use Live Paint to solve part of the problem.  Select the object, Object>Live Paint>Make, then use the Live Paint Bucket tool to fill the eagle and the book.  But for the stripe, you may have to create another object on the same layer which is the precise shape of the stripe.  Then you could fill that normally.

RE: Unable to select areas to fill with color

(OP)
Lyell - Thank you for introducing me to the Live Paint tool, you have solved my problem!  

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