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how to deal with non-continuous shapes and graphic styles

Jul 4, 2013 4:59 AM

I am not sure how to frame this question so I will try to describe the problem.


Imagine I have two shapes. One is a hollowed out circle (like a doughnut chart). The second is a smaller filled in circle. The smaller filled in circle is then poitioned inside the hoolowed out one, so you have like a target but with no "middle" band. What I would like to do is apply a graphic style to the COMBINED shape. The problem is that if I select both shapes and apply the style, each shape will have its own style, whereas what I want is for the style to be distributed over the two shapes as if they were one. And if I use the shape builder tool, when I join the two shapes, from the outer hollowed out circle to the inner filled in circle, I fill in the shape for the "middle band" whereas I want that middle band to be empty.


You can probably tell I don't know Illustrator and come from Photoshop. In PS, I would simply select my two shapes and apply a style. Since my selection forms a shape that ignores the middle band, the style applies evenly to the whole selection. Can I do something similar in Ilustrator? In reality my network of shapes is more complex that the example above and I do need to keep it a vector.


Thank you for your suggestions.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2013 5:06 AM   in reply to RoboChris



    What happens if you select the two shapes and Object>Compound Path>Make, then try again?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2013 9:46 AM   in reply to RoboChris

    What appearance attributes does the graphic style definition contain?


    Can you show a screenshot with some instructions?


    Also, which version of Illustrator are you using?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2013 11:41 AM   in reply to RoboChris

    There are really two types of Graphic Styles - Object level styles and Group level styles. There is no way to tell which style is which. So if you have an Object level Style and try to apply it to a group of objects or often a compound shape, you get each individual object having the style. If you have a Group level style and try to apply it to only an object, you often get nothing applied.


    It perhaps sounds like you have an Object level style and are trying to apply it to a group.


    There's no way to convert an Object level style to a Group level style or vice versa. The best (and pretty much only) way I've found to get around this is to apply the style to teh correct level then make a note of all the style settings, select the other level and recreate the style for that level.


    Whether or not a style applies correctly has a great deal to do with specific aspects of the style in addition to what level the style was generated from. This is a frustrating aspect of Graphic Styles.

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