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Cutting from the compound shape changes the first compound shape?

Mar 30, 2013 3:56 AM

Tags: #path #compound #shape #finder

I am using Illustrator CS3 on a Mac 10.5.8.


I am trying to create a compound shape from a compound shape I have prepared.


The first part works okay. I can combine the hexagon-compound-shape I have created from multiple hexagon shapes.

I then want to cut away the edges on a part of the compound shape (using a box of 4 rectangles), which is supposed to give me a rectangle with only the lines from the compund-shape inside this rectangle (image 1).

But when I cut away the box around my hexagon-compound-shape (using the Pathfinder window), the hexagon-compound shape inside behaves strangely, with only some of the lines showing and other lines missing (image 2).




I would like the rectangles to simply just cut away the lines that the rectangles are covering, and leave behind the lines in my hexagon-compound-shape, as they appeared in image 1, and not having hexagon-compound-shape changing which lines  appear and disappear.


Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 4:45 AM   in reply to swknudsen

    All those left-over line segments suggest that you are simply not working accurately enough.

    They are the result of duplicate paths not aligning perfectly.


    I tried something similar without a glitch:

    Picture 1.png

    Fist I drew a simple hexagon, duplicated it 7 times and Pathfinder (panel) Unite to get a hexagon-thingummy like yours.

    Then copy-dragged to make 6 of those (left picture).

    Then Pathfinder Unite to combine them – See no unwanted segments.

    If you want to trim the result, draw a line (3rd picture) and Object > Path > Divide Objects Below then delete the bit you don’t want (4th picture).


    I think that if you work accurately, making use of Snap to Point and Smart Guides, you should have no difficulties.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 6:04 AM   in reply to swknudsen

    Some of your paths are disappearing because you are using Pathfinder Shape Modes, and some of the paths are open paths. From your screenshots, I see no reason to be using Pathfinder Shape Modes.


    Note that the Tooltips on the Shape Mode buttons state "Add to Shape Area", "Subtract From Shape Area", etc. An open straight path has no shape area. So it disappears.


    First, why do you want to make the hexagon shapes a Compound Shape? They don't seem to overlap, so what's your reason for that?


    Second, if you are not going to make the merely apparent interlocking hex shapes into closed paths, then you can trim them by:


    1. Draw just one rectangle around the portion that you want to keep
    2. Select everything
    3. Pathfinder Divide (lower left icon)
    4. Object>Path>Cleanup>Unpainted Objects (to remove the no-fill/no-stroke paths from the resulting Group).



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 10:56 AM   in reply to swknudsen

    Compound Shapes not required. In this example, Pathfinder palette not used at all:






    Example of the kind of simple Pathfinder operation I was talking about to perform the trimming when using only strokes (no fills) in the Pattern artwork, and thereby avoid having to draw the unpainted tile rectangle:







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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 11:11 AM   in reply to swknudsen

    If all you needed to do was to make a pattern, why didn’t you say so at the beginning?

    Here’s how:

    Picture 2.png

    Select Show Center (Attributes panel).

    Rotate units by 19.107° so that centres align horizontally and vertically.

    Drag a no-fill, no-stroke rectangle between centres and Send to Back.

    Select all and drag to Swatches panel.

    Now you can fill a shape with the pattern.

    Rotate pattern only by minus 19.107° to get it back to its original orientation.


    Edit: JET got there first but he’s thinking along the same lines as I am!

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 4:51 PM   in reply to swknudsen

    My (our) pleasure!


    I’ve been with Auntie Illie since Illie88 (back in the ’80s) and I think James has been with her (and Freehand) for about as long.

    So we know her quirks and ideosyncrasies :-)

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