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Exploring additional Pathfinder options

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Drawing without the Pen Tool

Video: Exploring additional Pathfinder options

So we've learned a lot about Pathfinder inside of this chapter and before we move on to the next chapter, I just want to go over a few additional options that are available when using the Pathfinder commands. If you take a look at the Pathfinder panel itself, and you go to the fly-out menu of the Pathfinder panel, you'll see an option here called Pathfinder Options. If you choose that, a dialog box opens up offering you some additional settings for how the Pathfinder functions will behave. The first setting here is something called Precision.

Exploring additional Pathfinder options

So we've learned a lot about Pathfinder inside of this chapter and before we move on to the next chapter, I just want to go over a few additional options that are available when using the Pathfinder commands. If you take a look at the Pathfinder panel itself, and you go to the fly-out menu of the Pathfinder panel, you'll see an option here called Pathfinder Options. If you choose that, a dialog box opens up offering you some additional settings for how the Pathfinder functions will behave. The first setting here is something called Precision.

Now, this is something that's important if you are dealing with work that you want to make sure that everything kind of stays exactly the same. Let me explain a little bit what I mean by that. Sometimes because Illustrator needs to perform math and it's combining multiple objects into newer objects, sometimes parts of those paths or curves may adjust just a little bit, and you may find that when you apply a Pathfinder command, your nice path actually shifts over just a little bit, and if you want to avoid that from happening, you might want to come here, and adjust Precision value to make it a lower value.

Obviously, the lower value you have here inside of the Precision setting, will make Illustrator work a little bit harder and it may result also in additional anchor points being created to kind of keep your path the same. So what happens to be that for most of the artwork that you are going to be creating, the default setting of 0. 028 is probably going to be just fine. But if you find yourself in a situation where your path is adjusting in a way that you don't like, you might want to come here and kind of mess with the Precision. Going in the complete reverse direction, if you have really, really complex artwork and performing Pathfinder functions on them takes just a really, really long time, you may come here and increase the value of Precision just a little bit to speed things up especially if you don't mind the path moving just a little bit.

Now, there is another option here called Remove Redundant Points. Let me explain what that does. I am going to click on the Cancel button here. I am just going to leave that option unchecked for now. I am going to take my Rectangle tool and click-and-drag to draw a rectangle, and once again I am going to click-and- drag again to draw another rectangle. But these two rectangles touch each other. In fact, if I select both of these, I can see that there are anchor points here and anchor points here. They both kind of overlap each other here. So if I were to now just simply do a regular unite, I will still see that even though my rectangle really only needs corner anchor points in just the four corners of the new shape, I still have anchor points here because those existed in those two overlapping areas.

If I really wanted to be careful about my anchor points, and I wanted to make sure I didn't have anything extra, what I could do is let me press Undo, so I still have my two individual rectangles here. Let me go to the Pathfinder panel fly- out menu, choose Pathfinder Options, and check this box called Remove Redundant Points and then click OK. Now, if I choose Unite, you will notice that I no longer have anchor points here in the middle of the artwork because those are redundant. There were two overlapping points and wherever the points are overlapping, Illustrator will go ahead now and remove it and almost it's kind of like a Simplify, together with the Pathfinder to give you a better result.

But again, that's an option that you can choose by going to that little fly-out menu. Now, there is another option here as well called Divide and Outline Will Remove Unpainted Artwork and again, this is just adjusting the behavior of the Divide Pathfinder which you find over here and also the Outline one. So this checkbox will actually go ahead, and remove physically from your artwork any area that has no fill or no stroke applied to it. The only downside by the way to leaving Remove Redundant Points on all the time is that if you're working with curved paths a lot of times, you may find that by removing the redundant points, it may cause your paths to adjust or remove just a little bit after you apply the Pathfinder functions and that's the reason why it's turned off by default.

So those are a few additional options that you might find useful when working with Pathfinder inside of Illustrator.

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This video is part of

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  1. 7m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. The evolution of vector drawing
      3m 46s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      27s
  2. 39m 2s
    1. Plotting points vs. drawing paths
      5m 36s
    2. Drawing artwork vs. building artwork
      7m 59s
    3. The keyboard shortcuts you HAVE to know
      8m 52s
    4. Groups and layers really do matter
      3m 11s
    5. Taming Smart Guides and the Bounding Box
      10m 53s
    6. Do you need a drawing tablet?
      2m 31s
  3. 47m 51s
    1. To sketch or not to sketch?
      2m 32s
    2. Setting up a template layer for your sketch
      3m 37s
    3. Optimizing default settings for drawing
      5m 27s
    4. Using the primitive shapes tools
      5m 7s
    5. Mastering the modifier keys
      2m 8s
    6. Mastering the transform tools
      6m 37s
    7. Creating curves with the Reshape tool
      6m 44s
    8. Using the Smooth tool
      3m 35s
    9. Using Simplify to create smooth paths
      3m 2s
    10. Recording an action for the Simplify command
      5m 2s
    11. Mirroring art for speed and accuracy
      4m 0s
  4. 50m 18s
    1. Deconstructing the Pathfinder panel
      1m 56s
    2. Using the Shape Modes functions
      12m 4s
    3. Using the Pathfinder functions
      13m 4s
    4. Understanding how compound shapes work
      11m 45s
    5. Understanding why compound shapes exist
      7m 32s
    6. Exploring additional Pathfinder options
      3m 57s
  5. 52m 51s
    1. Why Live Paint was created
      10m 45s
    2. Creating a Live Paint group
      4m 21s
    3. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      7m 8s
    4. Using Live Paint with open paths
      5m 6s
    5. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      3m 42s
    6. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      5m 34s
    7. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      6m 28s
    8. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 59s
    9. Understanding how Live Paint works
      6m 48s
  6. 27m 37s
    1. Why the Shape Builder tool was created
      4m 18s
    2. Focusing on the big three: Add, Subtract, and Divide
      2m 27s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool to add and subtract artwork
      9m 50s
    4. Using the Shape Builder to divide artwork
      3m 48s
    5. Building and coloring artwork at the same time
      3m 50s
    6. Using Gap Detection with the Shape Builder tool
      3m 24s
  7. 23m 2s
    1. Understanding how variable widths work
      8m 25s
    2. Modifying width points along a path
      7m 9s
    3. Saving time with width profiles
      5m 14s
    4. Turning variable width strokes into filled paths
      2m 14s
  8. 28m 21s
    1. Understanding how the Pen and Pencil tools differ
      4m 41s
    2. Adjusting the behavior of the Pencil tool
      7m 5s
    3. Using the Path Eraser tool
      1m 17s
    4. Drawing with the Calligraphic Brush tool
      5m 43s
    5. Drawing with the Blob Brush tool
      5m 53s
    6. Using the Eraser tool
      3m 42s
  9. 3m 44s
    1. Looking at the VectorScribe plug-in
      2m 16s
    2. Next steps
      1m 28s

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