Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release (2016)

4. Editing and Combining Shapes and Paths

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

• Cut with the Scissors tool.

• Join paths.

• Work with the Knife tool.

• Work with the Eraser tool.

• Work with the Shape Builder tool.

• Work with Pathfinder commands to create shapes.

• Create a compound path.

• Edit strokes with the Width tool.

• Outline strokes.

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This lesson takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Download the project files for this lesson from the Lesson & Update Files tab on your Account page at www.peachpit.com and store them on your computer in a convenient location, as described in the “Getting Started” section of this book.

Your Account page is also where you’ll find any updates to the chapters or to the lesson files. Look on the Lesson & Update Files tab to access the most current content.

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Soon after you begin creating simple paths and shapes, you will most likely want to take them further in order to create more complex artwork. In this lesson, you’ll explore how to both edit and combine shapes and paths.

Getting started

In Lesson 3, “Using Shapes to Create Artwork for a Postcard,” you learned about creating and making edits to basic shapes. In this lesson, you’ll take basic shapes and paths and learn how to both edit and combine them to create new artwork.

1. To ensure that the tools and panels function exactly as described in this lesson, delete or deactivate (by renaming) the Adobe Illustrator CC preferences file. See “Restoring default preferences” in the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of the book.


Image Note

The artwork for this project was created by Dan Stiles (www.danstiles.com).


2. Start Adobe Illustrator CC.


Image Note

If you have not already downloaded the project files for this lesson to your computer from your Account page, make sure to do so now. See the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of the book.


3. Choose File > Open. Locate the file named L4_end.ai, which is in the Lessons > Lesson04 folder that you copied onto your hard disk. This file contains the finished artwork.

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4. Choose View > Fit All In Window and leave the file open for reference, or choose File > Close (I closed it).

5. Choose File > Open. If a panel appears, click Open in the panel. You could also choose File > Open again. In the Open dialog box, navigate to the Lessons > Lesson04 folder and select the L4_start.ai file on your hard disk. Click Open to open the file.

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6. Choose File > Save As. In the Save As dialog box, change the name to BirdInTheHand.ai (Mac OS) or BirdInTheHand (Windows), and choose the Lesson04 folder. Leave the Format option set to Adobe Illustrator (ai) (Mac OS) or the Save As Type option set to Adobe Illustrator (*.AI) (Windows), and click Save.


Image Tip

By default, the “.ai” extension shows on Mac OS, but you could add the extension on either platform in the Save As dialog box.


7. In the Illustrator Options dialog box, leave the Illustrator options at their default settings, and click OK.

8. Choose View > Fit All In Window.

Editing paths and shapes

In Illustrator, you can edit and combine paths and shapes in a variety of ways to achieve the artwork you want. Sometimes, to get the artwork you desire, you start simpler and utilize different methods for achieving more complex paths. This includes working with the Scissors tool (Image), the Knife tool (Image), the Width tool (Image), the Shape Builder tool (Image), Pathfinder effects, the Eraser tool (Image), outlining strokes, joining paths, and more.


Image Note

You’ll also explore other methods for transforming artwork in Lesson 5, “Transforming Artwork.”


Cutting with the Scissors tool

There are several tools that allow you to cut and divide shapes. You’ll start with the Scissors tool (Image), which splits a path at an anchor point or on a line segment and makes an open path. Next, you’ll cut a shape with the Scissors tool to reshape it.

1. Choose View > Smart Guides to ensure that they are on.

2. Choose “2 Bird 1” from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

3. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

4. Select the Zoom tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click twice on the red shape in the upper-right corner of the artboard to zoom in.

5. Select the Selection tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click the red shape to select it.

6. With the shape selected, in the Tools panel, click and hold down the Eraser tool (Image), and select the Scissors tool (Image). Position the pointer over the blue anchor point on the path on the left side (see the figure), and when you see the word “anchor,” click to cut the path at that point.

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If you don’t click directly on a point or path, you will see a warning dialog box. You can simply click OK and try again. Cuts made with the Scissors tool must be on a line or a curve rather than on an end point of an open path. When you click with the Scissors tool, a new anchor point is created and is selected.


Image Note

If you click the stroke of a closed shape (a circle, for example) with the Scissors tool, it simply cuts the path so that it becomes open (a path with two end points).


7. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them off.

8. Select the Direct Selection tool (Image), and drag the anchor point you just clicked to the left.

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9. Drag the other anchor point, from where you originally cut the path with the scissors, up and to the left (see the figure).

Notice how the stroke (the black border) doesn’t go all the way around the red shape. That’s because cutting with the Scissors tool makes an open path. A circle or rectangle are examples of closed paths, and a line or “S” shape are examples of open paths (the end points are not connected). If you only want to fill the shape with a color, it is not necessary to join the path to make a closed path. An open path can have a color fill. It is, however, necessary to join a path if you want a stroke to appear around the entire fill area.

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Joining paths

Suppose you draw a “U” shape and later decide you want to close the shape, essentially joining the ends of the “U” with a straight path. If you select the path, you can use the Join command to create a line segment between the end points, closing the path. When more than one open path is selected, you can join them together to create a closed path. You can also join the end points of two separate paths.

Next, you will join the ends of the red path to create a single closed shape.

1. Select the Selection tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Click away from the red path to deselect it, and then click in the red fill to reselect it.

This step is important because only one anchor point was left selected from the previous section. If you were to choose the join command, an error message would appear. By selecting the whole path, when you apply the join command, Illustrator simply finds the two ends of the path and connects them with a straight line.


Image Tip

If you wanted to join specific anchor points from separate paths, select the anchor points and choose Object > Join > Path or press Command+J (Mac OS) or Ctrl+J (Windows).


2. Choose Object > Path > Join.

Notice that the two anchor points on the left side of the paths are now joined with a straight path and the stroke (black border) goes all the way around now.

3. Choose Select > Deselect to see the closed path.

When you apply the Join command to two or more open paths, Illustrator first looks for and joins the paths that have end points stationed closest to each other. This process is repeated every time you apply the Join command until all paths are joined.

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Image Tip

In Lesson 6, “Creating an Illustration with the Drawing Tools,” you’ll learn about the Join tool (Image), which allows you to join two paths at a corner, keeping the original curve intact.


4. Click the red path to select it again.

5. Select the Eyedropper tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click the blue circle in the center of the artboard.

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Image Tip

You’ll learn more about the Eyedropper tool in Lesson 7, “Using Color to Enhance Signage.”


The Eyedropper tool samples the appearance attributes like stroke and fill from what you click and applies those same appearance attributes to the selected artwork, if it can.

6. Select the Selection tool, and drag the formerly red shape into position like you see in the figure.

7. Choose Select > Deselect.

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Cutting with the Knife tool

Another way to cut a shape is by using the Knife tool (Image). To cut with the Knife tool, you drag across a shape, and the result is two closed paths.

1. Choose “3 Bird 2” from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Click and hold down the mouse on the Scissors tool (Image), and select the Knife tool (Image).

3. Position the Knife pointer (Image) above the green shape toward the top of the artboard. Starting above the shape (see the red X in the figure), drag down all the way across the shape to cut the shape into two.

Dragging across a shape with the Knife tool makes a very free-form cut that is not straight at all.

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Image Tip

Pressing the Caps Lock key will turn the Knife tool pointer into a more precise cursor (Image). This can make it easier to see where the cut will happen.


4. Position the pointer above the green shape, to the right of where you just cut. Press and hold Option+Shift (Mac OS) or Alt+Shift (Windows) and drag down all the way across the shape to cut it into two, in a completely straight line. Release the mouse button and then the keys.

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Pressing the Option key (Mac OS) or Alt key (Windows) allows you to cut in a straight line. Pressing the Shift key as well constrains the cut to 45 degrees.

5. While pressing the keys in the previous step, try making two more cuts to the right of the cut you just made.

Don’t worry about making the resulting shapes exactly the same width. See the figure for roughly where to cut.

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6. Choose Select > Deselect.

7. Select the Selection tool (Image), and click the first green shape from the left to select it. Choose the CMYK Cyan color from the Fill color in the Control panel.

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When you hover the pointer over a color in the panel that appears, you can see a yellow tooltip with the color name appear.

8. Click the green shape farthest to the right to select it. Choose a red color from the Fill color in the Control panel. I chose a color with the name “C=15 M=100 Y=90 K=10.” See the following figure.

9. With three green shapes left, click the middle green shape to select it. Choose an orange color with the name “C=0 M=80 Y=95 K=0” from the Fill color in the Control panel.

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10. Drag across all of the shapes you cut to select them. Change the Stroke weight to 0 in the Control panel.

11. Choose Select > All On Active Artboard, and then choose Object > Group.

12. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.

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Using the Eraser tool

The Eraser tool (Image) lets you erase any area of your vector artwork, regardless of the structure. You can use the Eraser tool on paths, compound paths, paths inside Live Paint groups, and clipping content.


Image Note

You cannot erase raster images, text, symbols, graphs, or gradient mesh objects.


Next, you’ll use the Eraser tool to modify several shapes.

1. Choose 2 Bird 1 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. With the Selection tool (Image), select the smaller white circle toward the upper-left corner of the artboard.

By selecting the white shape, you’ll erase only that shape and nothing else. If you leave all objects deselected, you can erase any object that the tool touches, across all layers.

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3. Click and hold down the mouse on the Knife tool (Image), and select the Eraser tool (Image) in the Tools panel.

4. Double-click the Eraser tool (Image) to edit the tool properties. In the Eraser Tool Options dialog box, change the Size to 20 pt. Click OK.

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5. Position the pointer off the upper-left corner of the white circle (where you see the red X in the figure). Click and drag across the circle in a “U” shape to erase the top half of the circle.

When you release the mouse button, the top half of the circle is erased, and the circle is still a closed path.

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6. Change the Stroke weight to 0 in the Control panel, and choose a blue from the Fill color. I chose a blue with the color name of “C=85 M=50 Y=0 K=0” that appears in the yellow tooltip when you hover over each color swatch.

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You can also erase in a straight line, which is what you’ll do next.

7. Select the Selection tool, and click the white circle in the lower-right corner of the artboard.

8. Select the Eraser tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Press the Shift key and starting off the left side of the white circle, drag across the top half of the circle. Release the mouse button and then the Shift key.

The white circle is now two separate shapes, both closed paths.

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9. Drag across the remaining shape at the top to erase it completely. You may need to drag across is a few times to erase it all.


Image Tip

If you need to erase a large part of a shape, you can always adjust the eraser size by using the Eraser Tool Options dialog box or by pressing either of the bracket keys ([ or ]).


It may look like you erase part of the blue shape, but since it isn’t selected, it isn’t erased.

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10. With the last part of the circle still selected, select the Eyedropper tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click the small blue circle you erased part of earlier (in the upper-left corner of the artboard).

This copies the appearance attributes like fill and stroke from the small shape to the larger shape.

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11. With the larger blue shape selected, choose Object > Transform > Rotate. In the Rotate dialog box, change the Angle to -20, and select Preview to see the change. Click OK.

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12. Select the Selection tool in the Tools panel. Drag each shape from its center onto the large blue circle in the center to create a bird (see the figure for guidance).

13. Choose Select > All On Active Artboard, and then choose Object > Group.

14. Choose File > Save.

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Combining shapes

In Illustrator, you can combine vector objects in a variety of ways. A lot of the time, creating more complex shapes from simpler shapes can be easier than trying to create them with drawing tools like the Pen tool. The resulting paths or shapes differ depending on the method you use to combine the paths. In this section, you’ll explore a few of the more widely used methods for combining shapes.

Working with the Shape Builder tool

The first method you will learn for combining shapes involves working with the Shape Builder tool (Image). This tool allows you to visually and intuitively merge, delete, fill, and edit overlapping shapes and paths directly in the artwork. Using the Shape Builder tool, you’ll start out by creating a more complex bird shape from a series of simpler shapes like circles and squares.

1. Choose 4 Butterfly from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window to ensure it fits in the Document window.

3. Select the Zoom tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click a few times on the red and green shape on the left side of the artboard to zoom in.

4. Select the Selection tool (Image), and drag a marquee selection across the red/orange rectangle, white circles, and green rectangle to select the shapes on the artboard.

In order to edit shapes with the Shape Builder tool (Image), they need to be selected. Using the Shape Builder tool, you will now combine, delete, and paint these simple shapes to create the rest of a butterfly’s wings.

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5. Select the Shape Builder tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Position the pointer off the upper-left corner of the shapes, and drag from the red X in the figure down and to the right into the red/orange rectangle. Release the mouse button to combine the shapes.

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Image Tip

You can also press the Shift key and drag a marquee across a series of shapes to combine them. Pressing Shift+Option (Mac OS) or Shift+Alt (Windows) and dragging a marquee across selected shapes with the Shape Builder tool (Image) selected allows you to delete a series of shapes within the marquee.


When you select the Shape Builder tool, the overlapping shapes are divided into separate objects temporarily. As you drag from one part to another, a red outline appears, showing you what the final shape outline will look like when it merges the shapes together after releasing the mouse button. Notice that the new combined shape is now the same blue as the bird shape you created previously.

6. Position the pointer off the upper-right corner of the shapes, and drag from the red X in the figure down and to the left into the red/orange rectangle. Release the mouse button to combine the shapes.

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Image Note

Your final combined shapes may have a different stroke and/or fill and that’s okay. You’ll change them shortly.


Next, you’ll delete a few shapes.

7. With the shapes still selected, hold down the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key. Notice that, with the modifier key held down, the pointer shows a minus sign (Image). Click each red shape to delete them.

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Image Note

When you position the pointer over the shapes, make sure you see the mesh within those shapes, before clicking to delete.


8. Double-click the Shape Builder tool in the Tools panel. In the Shape Builder Tool Options dialog box, select Straight Line from the Selection options. Click OK to close the dialog box.

By default, the Shape Builder tool lets you drag across shapes in a freeform way.

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9. With the shapes still selected, hold down the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key and drag through the green shape in the center from top to bottom to remove it.

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Image Note

Pressing the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) modifier key enables what’s referred to as Erase mode for the Shape Builder tool.


10. Select the Selection tool. With the blue shapes still selected, change the Fill color to an orange/red color with the tooltip name that shows as “C=0 M=90 Y=85 K=0.”

11. Choose Object > Group to group the now orange shapes together.

12. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

13. Select the Selection tool and drag one of the orange shapes in the group to the right side of the artboard, above the yellow shapes. See the following figure for how to position them.

14. Drag the orange/yellow shape (an arrow is pointing to it in the figure) into the center of the wing shapes.

15. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.

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Working with the Pathfinder panel

The Pathfinder panel is another place to combine shapes in different ways. When a shape mode such as Unite is applied, the original objects selected are permanently transformed, but you can hold down a modifier key, and the original underlying objects are preserved.

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When a Pathfinder effect such as Merge is applied, the original objects selected are permanently transformed. If the effect results in more than one shape, they are grouped automatically.

1. Choose 5 Bird 3 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose Window > Pathfinder to open the Pathfinder panel group.

3. With the Selection tool (Image), hold down the Shift key, and click the red oval and blue rectangle beneath it to select both objects.

You need to create a shape that looks like a bird wing. You will use the Pathfinder panel and those shapes to create the final artwork.

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4. With the shapes selected, in the Pathfinder panel, click the Minus Front button (Image) in the Shape Modes section of the Pathfinder panel to permanently subtract the top shape from the bottom shape.


Image Note

The Unite button in the Pathfinder panel produces a similar result as the Shape Builder tool, by combining the shapes into one.


With the new shape selected, notice the word “Path” on the left side of the Control panel.

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5. Choose Edit > Undo Subtract to bring both shapes back. Leave them selected.

Shape modes in the Pathfinder panel

The buttons in the top row of the Pathfinder panel, called shape modes, create paths just like the Pathfinder effects, but they can also be used to create compound shapes. When several shapes are selected, clicking a shape mode while pressing the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key creates a compound shape rather than a path. The original underlying objects of compound shapes are preserved. As a result, you can still select each original object within a compound shape. Using a shape mode to create a compound shape can be useful if you think that you may want to retrieve the original shapes at a later time.

1. With the shapes still selected, hold down the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key, and click the Minus Front button (Image) in the Shape Modes section of the Pathfinder panel.

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This creates a compound shape that traces the outline of what’s left after the top red shape is subtracted from the bottom blue shape. You will still be able to edit both shapes separately.

2. Choose Select > Deselect to see the final shape.

3. With the Selection tool, double-click the blue shape to enter Isolation mode.


Image Tip

To edit the original shapes in a compound shape like this one, you can also select them individually with the Direct Selection tool (Image).


You could also double-click the (now) white oval, but that one is harder to see.

4. Choose View > Outline so that you can see the outlines of the two shapes, and click the edge of the oval shape or drag across the path to select it.

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5. Choose View > GPU Preview or View > Preview On CPU if not available.

6. Drag the white oval from the middle a little to the left.


Image Note

You can also press the Arrow keys to move the shape if you find it difficult to select.


7. Press the Escape key to exit Isolation mode.

You will now expand the wing shape. Expanding a compound shape maintains the shape of the compound object, but you can no longer select or edit the original objects. You will typically expand an object when you want to modify the appearance attributes and other properties of specific elements within it.

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8. Click away from the shape to deselect it, and then click to select it again.

9. Click the Expand button in the Pathfinder panel. Close the Pathfinder panel group.

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10. Drag the blue wing shape on top of the bird like you see in the figure.

11. Choose Select > All On Active Artboard, and then choose Object > Group.

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Creating a compound path

Compound paths let you use a vector object to cut a hole in another vector object. Whenever I think of a compound path, I think of a doughnut shape, which can be created from two circles. Holes appear where paths overlap. A compound path is treated like a group, and the individual objects in the compound path can still be edited or released (if you don’t want them to be a compound path anymore). Next, you’ll create a compound to create some art for the butterfly.

1. Choose 4 Butterfly from the Artboard menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

3. With the Selection tool (Image) selected, select the white circle with the black stroke. Drag it onto the larger orange circle above it, a little off-center.

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4. Drag across both shapes to select them.

5. Drag the shapes onto the larger orange wing of the butterfly. Notice that the white circle is on top and you can’t see through it.


Image Note

Choose Object > Arrange > Bring To Front if the shapes are not showing.


6. Choose Object > Compound Path > Make, and leave the artwork selected.

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Image Tip

You can still edit the original shapes in a compound path like this one. To edit them, select each shape individually with the Direct Selection tool (Image) or double-click the compound path with the Selection tool to enter Isolation mode and select the individual shapes.


You can now see that the white circle has seemingly disappeared, and you can now see through the shape to the reddish-orange color of the butterfly wing. The white circle was used to “punch” a hole in the orange shape. With the shape still selected, you should see “Compound Path” on the left end of the Control panel above the Document window.

7. Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the new compound path to the right side of the orange wing shape. Release the mouse button and then the key.

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8. Select all of the shapes for the butterfly by choosing Select > All On Active Artboard.

9. Choose Object > Group.

10. Choose Object > Transform > Rotate. In the Rotate dialog box, change Angle to -45, select Preview, and then click OK.

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11. Choose File > Save.


Combining paths using the Shaper tool

In Lesson 3, “Using Shapes to Create Artwork for a Postcard,” you learned about the Shaper tool. The Shaper tool can be used to not only create paths and shapes but also combine paths and shapes.

After combining artwork with the Shaper tool, the result is a “shaper group.” The original paths are still accessible and treated like a merged group, but appearance attributes are applied to the shaper group as a whole.

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To learn more about combining paths using the Shaper tool, search for “Shaper tool” in Illustrator Help (Help > Illustrator Help).


Using the Width tool

Not only can you adjust the weight of a stroke, like you did in Lesson 3, but you can also alter regular stroke widths either by using the Width tool (Image) or by applying width profiles to the stroke. This allows you to create a variable width along the stroke of a path. Next, you will use the Width tool to create a bird.

1. Choose 6 Bird 4 from the Artboard menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window, if necessary.

3. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them back on.

4. Select the Width tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Position the pointer over the middle of the vertical blue line, and notice that the pointer has a plus symbol next to it (Image), indicating that if you click and drag, you will edit the stroke. Click and drag away from the line, to the right. Notice that, as you drag, you are stretching the stroke to the left and right equally. Release the mouse when the measurement label shows Side 1 and Side 2 at approximately 0.5 in.

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The new point on the original path that’s filled with blue is called the width point. The lines extending from the width point are the handles.

5. Click in a blank area of the artboard to deselect the path. Position the pointer anywhere over the path, and the new width point you just created will appear (an arrow is pointing to it in the first part of the figure below). The width point you see inline with the pointer is where a new point would be created if you were to click. Position the pointer over the original width point, and when you see lines extending from it and the pointer changes (Image), click and drag it up a bit.

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Image Tip

If you select a width point by clicking it, you can press Delete to remove it. If there was only one width point on a stroke, removing that point would remove the width completely.



Image Note

You don’t have to position the pointer over the center of the line and drag to create another width point. You can drag from anywhere in the stroke area.


Aside from clicking and dragging to add a width point to a path, you can also double-click and enter values in a dialog box. That’s what you’ll do next.

6. Position the pointer over the top anchor point of the blue line, and notice that the pointer has a wavy line next to it (Image) and the word “anchor” appears (see the first part of the following figure). Double-click the point to create a new width point and to open the Width Point Edit dialog box.


Image Tip

You can double-click anywhere along the path to add a new width point.


7. In the Width Point Edit dialog box, click the Adjust Widths Proportionately button (Image) so both Side 1 and Side 2 change together. Change the Side 1 width to 0.18 in, and click OK.

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The Width Point Edit dialog box allows you to adjust the sides together or separately, with more precision. Also, if you select the Adjust Adjoining Width Points option, any changes you make to the selected width point affect neighboring width points as well.

You can also duplicate a width point if you like, which is what you’ll do next.

8. Position the pointer over the original anchor you created. Press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key, and drag down to duplicate the width point. Use the first part of the figure below to see roughly how far to drag. Release the mouse button, and then release the key.


Image Tip

You can drag one width point on top of another width point to create a discontinuous width point. If you double-click a discontinuous width point, the Width Point Edit dialog box allows you to edit both width points.


9. Position the pointer over the right end of the width point handle and drag to the left until you see a Side 1 and Side 2 of roughly 0.3 in. You may want to select the width point you just made to see the handles.

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10. Click in a blank area of the artboard to deselect the path.

I’m asking you to deselect only because it’s helpful to get some practice trying to select the width points. You won’t need to deselect in a real-world situation.

11. Position the Width tool pointer over the blue path. The width points will appear on the path. Position the pointer over the point you just duplicated, and click when you see the width point handles appear.

To select a width point, you can click the width point, the width point handles, or the handle end points.

12. Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the left width point handle (on the left edge of the blue path area) to the right until you see a value of approximately 0.23 in for Side 2 in the measurement label. Release the mouse button and then the key.

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Image Tip

After defining the stroke width, you can save the variable width as a “profile” that you can reuse later, from the Stroke panel or the Control panel. To learn more about variable width profiles, search for “Painting with fills and strokes” in Illustrator Help (Help > Illustrator Help).


Outlining strokes

Paths, like a line, can show a stroke color but not a fill color by default. If you create a line in Illustrator and want to apply both a stroke and a fill, you can outline the stroke, which converts the line into a closed shape (or compound path).

Next, you will outline the stroke of the blue line you edited with the Width tool.

1. With the Selection tool (Image), select the blue path you edited with the Width tool and choose Object > Path > Outline Stroke. This creates a filled shape that is a closed path.


Image Tip

After outlining the stroke, the shape you have may be composed of a lot of anchor points. You can choose Object > Path > Simplify to try and simplify the path, which usually means fewer anchor points.



Image Note

If you outline the stroke and it shows as “Group” in the Selection Indicator on the left end of the Control panel, then there was a fill set on the line. If the artwork is a group, choose Edit > Undo Outline Stroke, apply a fill of None to the path, and then try again.


2. With the shape selected, choose Object > Transform > Rotate. In the Rotate dialog box, change the Angle to 45, and click OK.

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3. Drag the shapes into position like you see in the following figure.

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4. Choose Select > All On Active Artboard, and then choose Object > Group.

Finishing up the illustration

To finish the illustration, you will drag the artwork you grouped on each artboard into the main illustration on the left.

1. Choose View > Fit All In Window.

2. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them off.

3. Drag each of the artwork groups into the main illustration like you see in the figure.

You may want to adjust the size of each group so they fit within the existing artwork better. With the Selection tool, you can hold down the Shift key and drag a corner point. When finished resizing, release the mouse button and then the Shift key.

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4. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them on for the next lesson.

5. Choose File > Save, and then choose File > Close.

Review questions

1. Name two ways you can combine several shapes into one.

2. What is the difference between the Scissors tool (Image) and the Knife tool (Image)?

3. How can you erase with the Eraser tool (Image) in a straight line?

4. What is the main difference between Shape Modes and Pathfinder Effects in the Pathfinder panel?

5. Why would you outline strokes?

Review answers

1. Using the Shape Builder tool (Image), you can visually and intuitively merge, delete, fill, and edit overlapping shapes and paths directly in the artwork. You can also use the Pathfinder effects, which can be found using the Effects menu or the Pathfinder panel, to create new shapes out of overlapping objects. As you saw in Lesson 3, “Using Shapes to Create Artwork for a Postcard,” shapes can also be combined using the Shaper tool.

2. The Scissors tool (Image) is meant to split a path, graphics frame, or empty text frame at an anchor point or along a segment. The Knife tool (Image) cuts objects along a path you draw with the tool, dividing objects. When you cut shapes with the Knife tool, they become closed paths.

3. In order to erase in a straight line with the Eraser tool (Image), you need to press and hold the Shift key before you begin dragging with the Eraser.

4. In the Pathfinder panel, when a Shape Mode (such as Unite) is applied, the original objects selected are permanently transformed, but you can hold down a modifier key, and the original underlying objects are preserved. When a Pathfinder effect (such as Merge) is applied, the original objects selected are permanently transformed.

5. Paths, like a line, can show a stroke color but not a fill color by default. If you create a line in Illustrator and want to apply both a stroke and a fill, you can outline the stroke, which converts the line into a closed shape (or compound path).