Combining and Clipping Shapes

Ortelius User Guide No Comments

To clip a shape with part of another shape, combine shapes into a single object, and more.

To Intersect Two Shapes:

To_Intersect_Two_Shapes.png

The Intersect command clips the bottom shape to the intersecting area of the top shape, resulting in a new shape. The new shape adopts the style of the (lower) object being intersected.

  1. Select two shapes to be intersected.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu.
  • Click the Intersect icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-I keyboard shortcut.

HINT: Unexpected results may occasionally occur, particularly when the edges of objects are exactly aligned and the algorithm to combine them gets confused. Hold the Option-key while using any of the ‘Combine’ commands to apply an alternate algorithm and obtain the expected results.

To Combine Shapes with Union:

To_Combine_Shapes_with_Union.png

Union unites two or more shapes into a single shape object. The new shape adopts the style of the top object in the selection.

  1. Select the shapes to be combined.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Union from the main menu.
  • Click the Union icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-U keyboard shortcut.

To Subtract Shapes With Difference:

To_Subtract_Shapes_With_Difference.png

Use Difference to subtract a portion of one shape (the top shape) from another (bottom) shape. The remaining shape maintains its original style.

  1. Select the two overlapping shapes to be subtracted from each other.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Difference from the main menu.
  • Click the Difference icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-D keyboard shortcut.

To Append Shapes Together:

To_Append_Shapes_Together.png

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. Append is also appropriate for open paths, whereas the other ‘Combine’ operations work only with closed paths. Using Union, Intersection or Difference with an open path produces undefined results (though Undo works to correct any unexpected outcomes).

The new shape adopts the style of the top object in the selection.

  1. Select two or more shapes to be appended.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Append from the main menu.
  • Click the Append icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-M keyboard shortcut.

To Break Shapes Apart:

To_Break_Shapes_Apart.png

Objects that have been appended together may be broken apart into their separate components.

  1. Choose Graphic > Combine > Break Apart from the main menu.

To Use Cookie Cutter:

To_Use_Cookie_Cutter.png

The Cookie Cutter is a valuable command for dividing shapes into separate objects. 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. The new shapes keep their original style or styles and any existing attribution information.

  1. Select the shapes to be intersected by the top cutter shape.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Cookie Cutter from the main menu.
  • Alternatively, customize the toolbar by adding the Cookie Cutter icon to it for quick access.

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Combining and Clipping Shapes

Artboard User Guide No Comments

To clip a shape with part of another shape, combine shapes into a single object, and more.

To Intersect Two Shapes:

The Intersect command clips the bottom shape to the intersecting area of the top shape, resulting in a new shape.

  1. Select two shapes to be intersected.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu.
  • Click the Intersect icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-I keyboard shortcut.

Note that the new shape will adopt the style of the (lower) object being intersected.

To_Intersect_Two_Shapes.png

To Combine Shapes with Union:

Union unites two or more shapes into a single shape object.

  1. Select the shapes to be combined.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Union from the main menu.
  • Click the Union icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-U keyboard shortcut.

Note that the new shape will adopt the style of the top object in the selection.

To_Combine_Shapes_with_Union.png

To Subtract Shapes With Difference:

Use Difference to subtract a portion of one shape (the top shape) from another (bottom) shape.

  1. Select the two overlapping shapes to be subtracted from each other.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Difference from the main menu.
  • Click the Difference icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-D keyboard shortcut.

Note that the remaining shape maintains its original style.

To_Subtract_Shapes_With_Difference.png

To Append Shapes Together:

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. Append is also appropriate for open paths, whereas the others work only with closed paths. Using Union, Intersection or Difference with an open path produces undefined results (though Undo works to correct any unexpected outcomes).

  1. Select two or more shapes to be appended.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Combine > Append from the main menu.
  • Click the Append icon on the toolbar.
  • Use the Shift-Command-M keyboard shortcut.

Note that the new shape will adopt the style of the top object in the selection.

To_Append_Shapes_Together.png

To Break Shapes Apart:

Objects that have been appended together can be broken apart into their separate components.

  1. Choose Graphic > Combine > Break Apart from the main menu.
To_Break_Shapes_Apart.png

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How To Mask and Crop Images with Complex Objects

Artboard Tutorials 2 Comments

Artboard 1.6+ makes it easy to mask and crop your images with complex vector objects. Here’s how… Read more »

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Beautifully Preserved Boolean Vectors

Artboard, News No Comments

When you combine shapes with Union, Intersect, Difference, and Append, Artboard 1.6+ now preserves the editable paths and curves. This makes these Boolean operations 10-times more useful. Read more »

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