I use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select both ends of the path. When both points are selected by having solid square, I then choose path/join, but it's not joining. By the way both points are on the exact X and Y location so there is no reason why I can't join them. I have done many times before but for some reason this time it does not work. Both of these paths are under one Group according to the Layer tab, and I make this selection and joining at the Group level, NOT the individual layer level.
While waiting for someone to answer my question, I did a little search and I found this tutorial:
I looked over the section called "Join two endpoints" and on step 2, which it says, "Click the Connect Selected End Points button in the Control panel.", the Connect Selected End Points button is inactive. I can't click on it. What might have caused this?
This thread is over 5.5 years old and it is STILL helpful. I love that aljCharlie ended up finding the solution for himself. So to repeat, (and this is particularly pertinent when dealing with figures created by outlining type fonts) Before joining points you must select each object with the direct selection tool and release compound paths. Once both objects have been released you can proceed with joining points.
The thread is still important because this has been and remains an interface nuisance since Adobe Illustrator 88 (yes, that's as in 1988).
It's crazily overdue to be cleaned up.
There are still situations when you want to select 2 endpoints and join them.
They're not in different groups; they're not in compound paths; and there are no errant loose points in play.
But the app still steadfastly refuses to join them and gives the age-old cryptic error message about groups and endpoints.
I'm sure there's a logical answer, but it's not self evident to users and results in many, many cases of confusion and frustration.
After 25 yrs of using Illustrator, this is still one of the most common problems I see people report.
I should add a bit of help here:
In some cases (for example when you convert type to paths), you'll get paths that are part of a compound path.
But, when you go to the menu:
Object > Compound Path,
the Release Compound Path option is grayed out.
However, if you try to Make a compound path with it, Illustrator will report that the path is already part of a compound path.
Regardless of the answer (I'm sure there is one), this is an unnecessarily confusing scenario and it would be good if Adobe would clean it up.
(I should also add that, most times this happens, it's actually something I've overlooked - here's my checklist for troubleshooting this issue:
1. Unlock all target paths.
2. Locate and remove stray points that are not part of the target path.
3. "Release compound paths" on target paths (Object > Compound Path > Release)
4. Ungroup target paths.
5. If Illustrator reports that the path is not compound, but you suspect it really is, make sure you're selecting all of the paths that might be part of the compound shape.
Hope this helps someone.)