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Easily joining multiple paths

From: Illustrator CS5 New Features

Video: Easily joining multiple paths

When working in Illustrator, we're often doing a lot of path editing, for example, combining paths, working with anchor points, and also combining anchor points together to create an overall single path. For example, I have some artwork on my screen here. Let me zoom in just a little bit closer here and when I go ahead and I select it - the middle area is actually locked right now, I'm just dealing with the outer area - say I wanted to fill this background shape with a color, for example, maybe yellow. If I go ahead now and I choose yellow for my Fill color, I'll find that I'm not getting the results that I'm really looking for. The reason why is because these shapes are not connected to each other.

Easily joining multiple paths

When working in Illustrator, we're often doing a lot of path editing, for example, combining paths, working with anchor points, and also combining anchor points together to create an overall single path. For example, I have some artwork on my screen here. Let me zoom in just a little bit closer here and when I go ahead and I select it - the middle area is actually locked right now, I'm just dealing with the outer area - say I wanted to fill this background shape with a color, for example, maybe yellow. If I go ahead now and I choose yellow for my Fill color, I'll find that I'm not getting the results that I'm really looking for. The reason why is because these shapes are not connected to each other.

All these shapes are actually separated. This can happen for a variety of reasons. First of all, you may have drawn them that way. For example, you may have had separate shapes that you now just positioned so they look like they're attached, but they're not really connected to each other. I am going to press Undo to move these together. Another way that this happens is many times you get artworks that's imported from other sources, for example, CAD applications. Many times, those paths are drawn as if they look like they're connected, but they're all separate paths. It's then up to you to do a tedious work to connect those paths.

What has always make that process difficult is that in Illustrator, there has been limitation that you are only able to connect two anchor points at a time. That would mean you need to use your Direct Selection tool, marquee select two anchor points right here and then join those two together, then do the same thing for these anchor points, and for these anchor points, so on and so forth, until you complete your shape. However, now in Illustrator CS5, we finally have the ability to combine multiple paths all at the same time. All you need to do now is simply use your Regular Selection tool, select all of your paths, even though they aren't connected to each other, and from the Object menu, choose Path, and then choose Join. The keyboard shortcut is Command+J.

With one simple command, all of your elements are now fused together into one new shape that you can now work with.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 New Features
Illustrator CS5 New Features

30 video lessons · 19620 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 9m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Comparing Illustrator CS4 and Illustrator CS5
      7m 39s
  2. 27m 2s
    1. Defining perspective grids
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Mapping flat artwork to perspective grids
      10m 28s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 26s
    2. Using variable-width profiles
      4m 26s
    3. Creating perfect dashed lines
      3m 30s
    4. Easily adding arrowheads to strokes
      3m 14s
  4. 16m 8s
    1. Simulating real brush strokes with the Bristle brush
      11m 46s
    2. Using enhanced art and pattern brushes
      2m 55s
    3. Applying variable-width settings to brushstrokes
      1m 27s
  5. 12m 10s
    1. Drawing Behind and Draw Inside Drawing modes
      4m 17s
    2. Creating complex art easily with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 5s
    3. Easily joining multiple paths
      1m 48s
  6. 11m 25s
    1. Working with symbols more easily
      6m 56s
    2. Using 9-slice scaling options with symbols
      4m 29s
  7. 7m 55s
    1. Using the new Artboards panel
      4m 13s
    2. Setting individual artboard rulers
      2m 35s
    3. Printing artboards more easily
      1m 7s
  8. 11m 47s
    1. Creating pixel-perfect web graphics
      3m 43s
    2. Creating crisp readable text for the web
      1m 58s
    3. Quickly exporting individual slices
      1m 50s
    4. Integrating with Adobe Flash Catalyst
      4m 16s
  9. 10m 11s
    1. Select artwork through other objects
      2m 36s
    2. Using new paste commands
      1m 57s
    3. Applying resolution-independent raster effects
      2m 55s
    4. Specifying transparency within gradient mesh
      1m 8s
    5. Creating editable trim marks
      1m 35s
  10. 17s
    1. Goodbye
      17s

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