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IllustratorHelp|Combiningobjects

IllustratorHelp/Combiningobjects
Methodsofcombiningobjects
Pathfinder
Compoundshapes
Compoundpaths

Methodsofcombiningobjects

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YoucancombinevectorobjectstocreateshapesinavarietyofwaysinIllustrator.The
resultingpathsorshapesdifferdependingonthemethodyouusetocombinethepaths.
Pathfindereffects
Pathfindereffectsletyoucombinemultipleobjectsusingoneofteninteractionmodes.Unlike
compoundshapes,youcantedittheinteractionsbetweenobjectswhenyouusea
Pathfindereffect.
Compoundshapes
Compoundshapesletyoucombinemultipleobjectsandspecifyhowyouwanteachobjectto
interactwiththeotherobjects.Compoundshapesaremoreversatilethancompoundpaths
becausetheyprovidefourkindsofinteractions:add,subtract,intersect,andexclude.In
addition,theunderlyingobjectsarenotchanged,soyoucanselecteachobjectwithina
compoundshapetoedititorchangeitsinteractionmode.
Compoundpaths
Compoundpathsletyouuseanobjecttocutaholeinanotherobject.Forexample,youcan
createadoughnutshapefromtwonestedcircles.Onceyoucreateacompoundpath,the
pathsactasgroupedobjects.Youcanselectandmanipulatetheobjectsseparatelyusing
theDirectSelectiontoolorGroupSelectiontooloryoucanselectandeditthecombined
path.
Note: YoucanalsoaddtoanobjectbyusingtheBlobBrushtool.Whenyouusethisbrush,
pathsyoupaintareaddedtoadjacentpathsthatuseidenticalfillattributes.(SeeDrawand
mergepathswiththeBlobBrushtoolandBuildingnewshapesusingtheShapeBuildertool.)

Pathfinder

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Pathfinderpaneloverview
YouusethePathfinderpanel(Window>Pathfinder)tocombineobjectsintonewshapes.

Pathfinderpanel
Thetoprowofbuttonsinthepanel,makepathsorcompoundpathsbydefault,and
compoundshapesonlywhenyoupresstheAltorOptionkey.Youcanchoosefromthe
followingshapemodes:
AddToShapeArea Addstheareaofthecomponenttotheunderlyinggeometry.
SubtractfromShapeArea Cutsouttheareaofthecomponentfromtheunderlying
geometry.
IntersectShapeAreas Usestheareaofthecomponenttocliptheunderlyinggeometryas
amaskwould.
ExcludeOverlappingShapeAreas Usestheareaofthecomponenttoinvertthe
underlyinggeometry,turningfilledregionsintoholesandviceversa.
Thebottomrowofbuttonsinthepanel,calledPathfindereffects,letyoucreatefinalshape
combinationsonthefirstclick.(SeeApplyPathfindereffects.)
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Shapemodes
A.AllcomponentsinAddmodeB.SubtractmodeappliedtosquaresC.Intersectmodeappliedto
squaresD.Excludemodeappliedtosquares

Pathfinderoptions
YoucansetPathfinderOptionsfromthePathfinderpanelmenuorbydoubleclickinga
PathfindereffectintheAppearancepanel.
Precision AffectshowpreciselythePathfindereffectscalculateanobjectspath.Themore
precisethecalculation,themoreaccuratethedrawingandthemoretimeisrequiredto
generatetheresultingpath.
RemoveRedundantPoints RemovesunnecessarypointsasyouclickaPathfinderbutton.
DivideAndOutlineWillRemoveUnpaintedArtwork Deletesanyunfilledobjectsinthe
selectedartworkasyouclicktheDivideorOutlinebutton.

ApplyPathfindereffects
Pathfindereffectsletyoucreatenewshapesoutofoverlappingobjects.Youcanapply
PathfindereffectsbyusingtheEffectsmenuorthePathfinderpanel.
PathfindereffectsintheEffectsmenucanonlybeappliedtogroups,layers,andtext
objects.Afteryouapplytheeffect,youcanstillselectandedittheoriginalobjects.You
canalsousetheAppearancepaneltomodifyorremovetheeffect.
PathfindereffectsinthePathfinderpanelcanbeappliedtoanycombinationofobjects,
groups,andlayers.Thefinalshapecombinationiscreatedwhenyouclickapathfinder
buttonafterthat,youcannotedittheoriginalobjects.Iftheeffectresultsinmultiple
objects,theyareautomaticallygroupedtogether.
ForavideoonusingPathfindereffectsandclippingmasksandhowtoimportclippingmasks
intoFlash,seewww.adobe.com/go/vid0057.

Seealso
Grouporungroupobjects
Moveanobjecttoadifferentlayer
Targetingitemsforappearanceattributes
BuildingnewshapesusingtheShapeBuildertool

ApplyaPathfindereffectusingtheEffectsmenu
1. Dooneofthefollowing:
Grouptogethertheobjectsyouwanttouse,andselectthegroup.
Movetheobjectsyouwanttouseintoaseparatelayer,andtargetthelayer.
2. ChooseEffect>PathfinderandchooseaPathfindereffect.
ToquicklyapplythesamePathfindereffectagain,chooseEffect>Apply[effect].
ApplyaPathfindereffectusingthePathfinderpanel
1. Selecttheobjectstowhichyouwanttoapplytheeffect.
ToapplyaPathfindereffecttoagrouporlayer,targetthegrouporlayer.
2. InthePathfinderpanel,clickapathfinderbutton(inthebottomrow),orAltclick
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2. InthePathfinderpanel,clickapathfinderbutton(inthebottomrow),orAltclick
(Windows)orOptionclick(MacOS)aShapeModebutton(inthetoprow).

SummaryofPathfindereffects
Add Tracestheoutlineofallobjectsasiftheywereasingle,mergedobject.Theresulting
shapetakesonthepaintattributesofthetopobject.
Intersect Tracestheoutlineoftheregionoverlappedbyalltheobjects.
Exclude Tracesallnonoverlappingareasoftheobjects,andmakesoverlappingareas
transparent.Whereanevennumberofobjectsoverlap,theoverlapbecomestransparent.
Whereanoddnumberofobjectsoverlap,theoverlapbecomesfilled.
Subtract Subtractsthefrontmostobjectsfromthebackmostobject.Youcanusethis
commandtodeleteareasofanillustrationbyadjustingthestackingorder.
MinusBack Subtractstheobjectsinbackfromthefrontmostobject.Youcanusethis
commandtodeleteareasofanillustrationbyadjustingthestackingorder.
Divide Separatesapieceofartworkintoitscomponentfilledfaces(afaceisanarea
undividedbyalinesegment).
note:WhenyouusetheDividebuttoninthePathfinderpanel,youcanusetheDirect
SelectionorGroupSelectiontooltomanipulatetheresultingfacesindependentlyofeach
other.YoucanalsochoosetodeleteorpreserveunfilledobjectswhenapplyingtheDivide
command.
Trim Removesthepartofafilledobjectthatishidden.Itremovesanystrokesanddoesnot
mergeobjectsofthesamecolor.
Merge Removesthepartofafilledobjectthatishidden.Itremovesanystrokesandmerges
anyadjoiningoroverlappingobjectsfilledwiththesamecolor.
Crop Dividesartworkintoitscomponentfilledfaces,andthendeletesallthepartsofthe
artworkthatfalloutsidetheboundaryofthetopmostobject.Italsoremovesanystrokes.
Outline Dividesanobjectintoitscomponentlinesegments,oredges.Thiscommandis
usefulforpreparingartworkthatneedsatrapforoverprintingobjects.(SeeCreateatrap.)
note:WhenyouusetheOutlinebuttoninthePathfinderpanel,youcanusetheDirect
SelectionorGroupSelectiontooltomanipulateeachedgeindependently.Youcanalso
choosetodeleteorpreserveunfilledobjectswhenapplyingtheOutlinecommand.
HardMix Combinescolorsbychoosingthehighestvalueofeachofthecolorcomponents.
Forexample,ifColor1is20%cyan,66%magenta,40%yellow,and0%blackandColor2is
40%cyan,20%magenta,30%yellow,and10%black,theresultinghardcoloris40%cyan,
66%magenta,40%yellow,and10%black.
SoftMix Makestheunderlyingcolorsvisiblethroughtheoverlappingartwork,andthen
dividestheimageintoitscomponentfaces.Youspecifythepercentageofvisibilityyouwant
intheoverlappingcolors.
Trap Compensatesforpotentialgapsbetweencolorsinartworkbycreatingasmallareaof
overlap(calledatrap)betweentwoadjoiningcolors.

Compoundshapes

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Aboutcompoundshapes
Acompoundshapeiseditableartconsistingoftwoormoreobjects,eachassignedashape
mode.Compoundshapesmakeiteasytocreatecomplexshapesbecauseyoucanprecisely
manipulatetheshapemode,stackingorder,shape,location,andappearanceofeachpath
included.
Compoundshapesactasgroupedobjectsandappearas<CompoundShape>itemsinthe
Layerspanel.YoucanusetheLayerspaneltoshow,select,andmanipulatethecontentsof
acompoundshapeforexample,tochangethestackingorderofitscomponents.Youcan
alsousetheDirectSelectiontoolortheGroupSelectiontooltoselectcomponentsofa
compoundshape.
Whenyoucreateacompoundshape,ittakesonthepaintandtransparencyattributesofthe
topmostcomponentinAdd,Intersect,orExcludemode.Subsequently,youcanchangethe
paint,style,ortransparencyattributesofthecompoundshape.Illustratorfacilitatesthis
processbyautomaticallytargetingthewholecompoundshapewhenyouselectanypartofit,
unlessyouexplicitlytargetacomponentintheLayerspanel.
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Workingwithcompoundshapes
A.OriginalobjectsB.CompoundshapecreatedC.IndividualshapemodesappliedtoeachcomponentD.
Styleappliedtoentirecompoundshape

Workwithcompoundshapes
Creatingacompoundshapeisatwopartprocess.First,youestablishacompoundshapein
whichallcomponentshavethesameshapemode.Then,youassignshapemodestothe
componentsuntilyouobtainthedesiredcombinationofshapeareas.
Createacompoundshape
1. Selectalltheobjectsyouwanttobepartofthecompoundshape.
Youcanincludepaths,compoundpaths,groups,othercompoundshapes,blends,text,
envelopes,andwarpsinacompoundshape.Anyopenpathsyouselectare
automaticallyclosed.
2. Dooneofthefollowing:
InthePathfinderpanel,Altclick(Windows)orOptionclick(MacOS)aShapeModes
button.Eachcomponentofthecompoundshapeisassignedtheshapemodeyou
select.
SelectMakeCompoundShapefromthePathfinderpanelmenu.Eachcomponentof
thecompoundshapeisassignedtheAddmodebydefault.
3. ChangetheshapemodeofanycomponentbyselectingitwiththeDirectSelectiontool
orLayerspanelandclickingaShapeModebutton.
Notethatyouneverneedtochangethemodeofthebackmostcomponent,becauseits
modeisnotrelevanttothecompoundshape.
Tosustainmaximumperformance,createcomplexcompoundshapesbynesting
othercompoundshapes(containinguptoabout10componentseach)insteadof
usingmanyindividualcomponents.
Modifyacompoundshape
1. UsetheDirectSelectiontoolorLayerspaneltoselectanindividualcomponentofthe
compoundshape.
2. LookforthehighlightedShapeModebuttoninthePathfinderpaneltoidentifywhich
modeiscurrentlyappliedtoaselectedcomponent.
Note: Ifyouveselectedtwoormorecomponentsthatusedifferentmodes,question
marksappearontheShapeModebuttons.
3. InthePathfinderpanel,clickadifferentShapeModebutton.
Releaseandexpandacompoundshape
Releasingacompoundshapeseparatesitbackintoseparateobjects.Expandinga
compoundshapemaintainstheshapeofthecompoundobject,butyoucannolongerselect
theindividualcomponents.
1. SelectthecompoundshapeusingtheSelectiontoolorLayerspanel.
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2. Dooneofthefollowing:
ClickExpandinthePathfinderpanel.
ChooseExpandCompoundShapefromthePathfinderpanelmenu.
Thecompoundshapeisconvertedtoa<Path>or<CompoundPath>iteminthe
Layerspanel,dependingontheshapemodeitused.
ChooseReleaseCompoundShapefromthePathfinderpanelmenu.
MovecompoundshapesbetweenIllustratorandPhotoshop
Theshapelayersandlayerclippingpaths(vectormasks)inAdobePhotoshoparetypesof
compoundshapes.YoucanimportshapelayersandlayerclippingpathsintoIllustratoras
compoundshapesandcontinuetomanipulatethem.Inaddition,youcanexportcompound
shapestoPhotoshop.Keepthefollowinginmindwhenusingcompoundshapeswith
Photoshop:
Onlycompoundshapesthatresideatthetoplevelofthelayerhierarchyareexportedto
Photoshopasshapelayers.
Acompoundshapepaintedwithastrokeusingajoinotherthanround,orwithaweight
inpointsthatisnotaninteger,israsterizedwhenexportedtothePSDfileformat.

Compoundpaths

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Aboutcompoundpaths
Acompoundpathcontainstwoormorepathsthatarepaintedsothatholesappearwhere
pathsoverlap.Whenyoudefineobjectsasacompoundpath,allobjectsinthecompound
pathtakeonthepaintandstyleattributesofthebackmostobjectinthestackingorder.
Compoundpathsactasgroupedobjectsandappearas<CompoundPath>itemsinthe
Layerspanel.UsetheDirectSelectiontoolortheGroupSelectiontooltoselectpartofa
compoundpath.Youcanmanipulatetheshapeofindividualcomponentsofacompound
path,butyoucannotchangeappearanceattributes,graphicstyles,oreffectsforindividual
components,andyoucannotmanipulatecomponentsindividuallyintheLayerspanel.
Ifyouwantmoreflexibilityinthecompoundpathcreation,youcancreateacompound
shapeandthenexpandit.

Cutaholeinanobjectusingacompoundpath
1. Selecttheobjecttouseasahole,andpositionitsothatitoverlapstheobjecttocut.
Repeatforanyadditionalobjectsyouwanttouseasholes.
2. Selectalltheobjectsyouwanttoincludeinthecompoundpath.
3. ChooseObject>CompoundPath>Make.

Applyfillrulestocompoundpaths
Youcanspecifywhetheracompoundpathisanonzerowindingpathoranevenoddpath.
Nonzerowindingfillrule Usesmathematicalequationstodetermineifapointisoutsideor
insideashape.Illustratorusesthenonzerowindingruleasthedefaultrule.
Evenoddfillrule Usesmathematicalequationstodetermineifapointisoutsideorinsidea
shape.Thisruleisthemorepredictablerulebecauseeveryotherregionwithinanevenodd
compoundpathisahole,regardlessofpathdirection.Someapplications,suchasAdobe
Photoshop,usetheevenoddrulebydefault,socompoundpathsimportedfromthese
applicationswillusetheevenoddrule.
Selfintersectingpathsarepathsthatintersectthemselves.Youcanchoosetomakethese
pathseithernonzerowindingorevenodd,dependingonhowyouwantthemtolook.

SelfintersectingpathwithUseNonZeroWindingFillRule(left)comparedwithUseEvenOddFillRule
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SelfintersectingpathwithUseNonZeroWindingFillRule(left)comparedwithUseEvenOddFillRule
(right)

Whenyoucreateanonzerowindingcompoundpath,youcanspecifywhetheroverlapping
pathsappearwithholesorarefilledbyclickingaReversePathDirectionbuttoninthe
Attributespanel.

Fillrules
A.FourcircularpathsB.Circularpathsselected,convertedintocompoundpathC.ReversePathDirection
appliedtoinnermostpath
Changethefillruleforacompoundpath
1. SelectthecompoundpathusingtheSelectiontoolorLayerspanel.
2. IntheAttributespanel,clicktheUseNonZeroWindingFillRulebutton ortheUse
EvenOddFillRulebutton .
Changeaholeinacompoundpathtoafilledarea
1. Makesurethatthecompoundpathusesthenonzerowindingfillrule.
2. WiththeDirectSelectiontool,selectthepartofthecompoundpathtoreverse.Donot
selecttheentirecompoundpath.
3. IntheAttributespanel,clicktheReversePathDirectionOffbutton ortheReverse
PathDirectionOnbutton .

Returnacompoundpathtoitsoriginalcomponents
1. SelectthecompoundpathusingtheSelectiontoolorLayerspanel.
2. ChooseObject>CompoundPath>Release.

Adobealsorecommends
Mixoverlappingcolors
Trapping

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