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The 3 Best Ways to Merge Paths in Illustrator — Revealed

The 3  Best Ways to Merge Paths in Illustrator — Revealed

Illustrator is a great application for combining different shapes to make new ones or bigger compositions. But how do you merge the paths of two shapes to combine them?

In this guide, I will show you three ways to merge the paths of different objects in Illustrator.

 

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Join Command

Press “A” on your keyboard to equip the Sub-selection tool. Next, hold “Shift” and click on each anchor point. Finally, press “COMMAND+J” (MAC) or “Ctrl+J” (Windows) to connect them.

 

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Join Command – Step-by-step Guide

Step 1:

Open your Illustrator file. To start, open your document by double-clicking on its corresponding Illustrator file, or if Illustrator is already open, you can go to “File” on the top menu, and then “Open” and choose the file you want to open. To speed things up, you can also use the keyboard shortcut “COMMAND+O” (MAC) or “Ctrl+O” (Windows).

1. Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Join Command Step 1

Step 2:

Find and select the Sub-selection tool. Look for the Sub-selection tool, located on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “A” to quick-select the tool.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Join Command Step 2

Step 3:

Select your anchor points. Press and hold “Shift” and click on the anchor points at the ends of the paths you want to join. The selected anchor points should become highlighted while the rest stay white.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Join Command Step 3

Step 4:

Join your paths. Finally, press “COMMAND+J” (MAC) or “Ctrl+J” (Windows) to join your paths.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Join Command Step 4

 

How to Merge Paths In Illustrator Using The Pathfinder Panel

Press the “V” key on your keyboard to equip the Selection tool. Next, hold “Shift” and click on each object to select them. Go to “Window”, then click on “Pathfinder”. Finally, click on the Unite icon on the Pathfinder panel to merge your paths.

With this method, you can use the Pathfinder Panel to merge the paths of overlapping objects and turn them into a single object. 

 

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Pathfinder Panel – Step-by-step Guide

 

Step 1:

Find and select the Selection tool. Look for the Selection tool, located on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “V” to quick-select the tool.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Pathfinder Panel Step 1

Step 2:

Select your objects. Hold “Shift” and click on each of your objects to select them together. You can also click and drag your cursor over both objects to select them at once.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Pathfinder Panel Step 2

Step 3:

Open the Pathfinder panel. On the menu at the top of the screen, go to “Window” and click on “Pathfinder”. The Pathfinder panel should pop up on the right side of your screen.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Pathfinder Panel Step 3

Step 4:

Unite your paths. On the Pathfinder panel, click on the “Unite” icon to merge the paths of your shapes.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Pathfinder Panel Step 4

 

 

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Shape Builder Tool

Press the “V” key on your keyboard to equip the Selection tool. Next, hold “Shift” and click on each object to select them. Press “Shift+M” to equip the Shape Builder tool. Finally, click and drag your cursor over all the lines that overlap between your objects. 

The Shape Builder tool is also great for merging the paths of overlapping objects. 

 

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Shape Builder Tool – Quick guide

Step 1:

Find and select the Selection tool. Look for the Selection tool, located on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “V” to quick-select the tool.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Shape Builder Tool Step 1

Step 2:

Select your objects. Hold “Shift” and click on each of your objects to select them together. You can also click and drag your cursor over both objects to select them at once.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Shape Builder Tool Step 2

Step 3:

Find and select the Shape Builder tool. Look for the Shape Builder tool, located on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Shift+M” to quick-select the tool. 

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Shape Builder Tool Step 3

Step 4:

Merge your paths. With the Shape Builder tool equipped, click and drag your cursor over all the lines that overlap between your objects.

Merging Paths In Illustrator Using The Shape Builder Tool Step 4