♥ Hands-on exercise. See Ortelius File > New From Template > Exercises & Demos > 4-Combining Shapes Exercise.
The Cookie Cutter is a valuable command for dividing shapes into separate objects. It provides easy access to intersect and cut shapes based on a top object that acts as the cookie cutter. All selected shapes that are intersected by the "cutter" (the top selected shape) are sectioned using both intersection and difference operations. The cutter is removed and the remaining pieces left in place.
Select the shape or shapes to be cut, including the top overlapping object to act as the cutter, and choose Graphic > Combine > Cookie Cutter from the main menu. Note that the new shapes will keep their original style or styles and any existing attribution information.
Alternatively, customize the toolbar by adding the Cookie Cutter icon to it for quick access.
Use Union to combine two or more shapes into a single shape object. Select the shapes to be combined and choose Graphic > Combine > Union from the main menu. Note that the new shape will adopt the style, and attribution information if any, of the top object in the selection.
Intersecting two shapes results in a new shape that is based on the overlapping area between them. Select two shapes to be intersected and choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu. Note that the new shape will adopt the style, and attribution information if any, of the top object in the selection.
Use Difference when the portion of one shape (the top shape) is to be subtracted from another (bottom) shape. Select the two overlapping shapes to be subtracted from each other and choose Graphic > Combine > Difference from the main menu. Note that the remaining shape maintains its original style and attribution information.
Combining like objects into single shapes can make your drawing more efficient. The Append command combines multiple shapes into a single shape object, with overlapping areas excluded from the new shape. Objects do not need to overlap to be appended together. For example, in mapping, separate shapes that are components of the same entity, for example the island state of Hawaii being part of the United States, may be appended together into a single object with the Append command.
Select two or more shapes to be appended, and choose Graphic > Combine > Append from the main menu. Note that the new shape will adopt the style and attribution information, if any, of the top object in the selection.
Objects that have been appended together can be broken apart into their separate components. Choose Graphic > Combine > Break Apart from the main menu.