Joining shapes together to create more complex shapes is an essential part of any graphic design project. The resulting shapes can differ depending on the method you use to join their parts. In this walkthrough, I've shared 2 widely-used methods of how to combine objects in Illustrator: making Compound Path and using the Pathfinder Tool.
First, launch Illustrator. Create a new document. You can either enter your own values or use preset details you see in the screenshot below.
The next step in this Illustrator combine shapes tutorial is selecting the objects and positioning them in a way that makes them overlap. Then, select all of the objects you want to include in a compound path.
Next, go up to the “Object” menu at the top of the screen and navigate to “Compound Path.” Select the “Make” command from the flyout menu that appears. The best part about this method is that it’s completely non-destructive. Your artwork will stay completely editable.
You’re done! Everything has been joined in one shape, and the tutorial on how to combine objects in Illustrator is successfully completed. If you want to ensure that your designs are easily scalable, learn how to vectorize an image in Illustrator.
Pathfinder Tool is the second method in my how to combine objects in Illustrator tutorial. It’s the perfect tool to help you merge shapes in a creative and precise way. It’s also super simple to use and will considerably speed up your workflow.
Start with opening Illustrator. Then, create a new document. Create and select the shapes you want to combine.
The panel can be accessed by opening the “Window” tab and clicking “Pathfinder”. If you prefer using keyboard shortcuts, simply try the Shift+Ctrl+F9/Shift+Cmd+F9 key combination.
Once you have done that, you’ll see 4 shape modes in the panel that allow you to combine objects in different ways.
Unite Shape Mode helps join the outer edges of selected objects into a single shape.
Minus Front Shape Mode means that the front shape is subtracted from the back shape.
Intersect Shape Mode leaves only the part of the object where the two shapes intersect. All the rest is deleted. The color is defined by the front shape.
Exclude Shape Mode forms a new shape, by deleting the part where two objects intersect. It is the complete opposite of the previous mode. The object in the example is colored yellow since the color is defined by the front shape.
Below, you can observe the result that different shape modes produce in one picture. Now, you are ready for any Adobe Illustrator tutorials.
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