Linking Illustrator Paths Together
April 3, 2005 2:55 PM   Subscribe

How can I draw two or more paths in Illustrator and link them together while preserving each paths' own fill and stroke? Example inside.

I'm new to Illustrator, so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I've gone through the Adobe documentation, several online tutorials, and the Illustrator CS Bible without finding an answer. Here's an example:

For that, I drew the top path, filled it with green, copied and flipped it, and filled the copy with blue. I manually laid them beside eachother so they appear to be the same object, but what I'd really like to do (and that's an extremely simplified example) is specify that they mathematically share a common edge.

Is there a way to link two paths together like this, or do I really just have to stick with hand-stacking them? I feel like I'm missing some crucial trick that would take me from drawing distinct simple paths to drawing paths that interact with and rely on eachother. What am I missing? Please, feel free to point out anything that might be embarassingly obvious – it's probably staring me right in the face.
posted by odinsdream to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
 
Oh, and if you have any other related-or-not-so-related Illustrator tips or tricks, I'd love to hear them! (like how to give an anchor point a single control handle without moving the associated curve to force it to happen)
posted by odinsdream at 2:58 PM on April 3, 2005


Group them?

(command-G)
posted by jpburns at 3:04 PM on April 3, 2005


Yeah, you can't do that. Fill can only be one color, even if there are a couple of clearly delineated sections. Best bet:

1. align the pieces how you want them with the align palette.

2. set the line to 1 px stroke, overlap them by one px, and group them as jpburns suggests.

3. This should keep them overlapped and appearing as one visible line no matter how you grow/shrink the group. But be sure to check them just in case.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:17 PM on April 3, 2005


edit:

3. This should keep them overlapped and the center strokes appearing as one visible line no matter how you grow/shrink the group. But be sure to check them just in case.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:19 PM on April 3, 2005


Try exploring the Pathfinder feature, if you haven't already. Here's a good tutorial on the subject.
posted by jeremias at 4:53 PM on April 3, 2005


I guess what I was hoping for was some way to "glue" anchors together, or stick them to segments of another path, temporarily. It seems like this isn't possible. Pathfinder is a nice way to do it, by drawing the one large shape and then splitting it down the middle, at least that way it automatically places the resulting pieces perfectly next to eachother.
posted by odinsdream at 4:58 PM on April 3, 2005


Yeah, you can't do that. Fill can only be one color, even if there are a couple of clearly delineated sections.

fill doesn't have to be one color. As long as you're dealing with a straight line or circular separation (linear or radial gradient) you can arbitrarily set the location of "nodes" for a gradient fill: including having them overlap each other so there is no actual gradient area, just 2 solid colors.
posted by juv3nal at 5:53 PM on April 3, 2005


Might not help you right away, but it looks like the new version of Illustrator will have this feature.
posted by shinynewnick at 11:01 AM on April 4, 2005


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