How to create a circle like this?

I am very new to Illustrator and using CS3. How could I create a circle that looks like this one? Note the 4 cuts in it.

Thank you.
illustrator-circle.jpg
greddinAsked:
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MstrLanceCommented:
Quickest way:

1. Create black-stroked, no-fill circle using the ellipse tool (L) while constraining proportions by holding down Shift key. Your sample image is a 2 x 2" circle with a 3pt stroke.

2. Create white-stroked horizontal line that is longer than the circle is wide, using the Line segment Tool (/) while constraining angle by holding down Shift key. Your sample image would require a three-point white stroke.

3. Create white-stroked vertical line that is longer than the circle is tall, again constraining the angle by holding down Shift key.

4. Center-align the three objects using the horizontal and vertical align buttons on the main toolbar.

If you need this object to to be a single compound element, as opposed to a complete circle with white lines hiding part of the stroke, you can convert the strokes of all three components to outlines by selecting" Expand..." from the Object menu. Then you can use the Pathfinder panel to punch the straight-line strokes out of the circle stroke. This will result in a single compound object in the shape as the black lines in your sample image, with a black fill and no stroke.
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greddinAuthor Commented:
Thank MstrLance:

You have helped me a lot. Yes, I would like to convert this whole shape to a compound element. My ultimate requirement is that I don't know for sure what the background will be like that this will set on. I want any color background to show through the "cut" sections. If I use a compound element this will work right?

I just have a question about the Pathfinder. I have never used it. See my screenshot below. Which icon should I select to punch out the straight-line stokes as you suggest?

Thanks!

illustrator-pathfinder.jpg
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MstrLanceCommented:
A compound element will do as you require, leaving the white space in your sample as a clear, unobstructed view of your image background.

To use the pathfinder to punch the straight lines from the circle, be sure to use that "Object" menu > "Expand" on the the stroked objects first, to turn them from single stroked lines into closed paths that describe an outline of the original stroke. Be sure you have no white fill on the circle, or you will have a leftover fill object after the "Expand" operation. Then select both of the straight lines (which are now actually long, narrow rectangular paths; the outline of the original straight line's stroke) and click the first pathfinder button, the one called "Unite." This will result in the two straight-line objects merging together into a "+" shaped object. Then, with both the expanded circle (itself now a compound object comprised of two paths: the inner and outer edges of the original stroke), and the "+" object selected, click the second Pathfinder icon in the top row, the one called "minus front." This should result in the compound shape you're after, with no occluding white components.
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greddinAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I was able to get it now. Thanks for the insight.
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SaigonJeffCommented:
I would simply draw a circle with a stroke of whatever thickness is required and no fill.

Then, I use the scissors tool and click on each the four anchor points to seperate the four quarters of the circle.

Then select the top left section and nudge it 10 pixels left and 10 pixels up repeat with the other sections and nudge them up, down. left or right according to their position.

Finally you can group them and place them on any background you wish.
broken-circle.png
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MstrLanceCommented:
I agree this is a faster solution, provided you aren't overly concerned about the object no longer being precisely circular in shape.
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