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Issues with paths

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James Houston
Issues with paths
on Apr 10, 2009 at 4:51:50 pm

Hello, I have a line drawing in illustrator that I'd like to import into a different program...

The only problem is that my workflow requires the drawing to be one huge path, instead of hundreds of smaller ones like it is just now.
Even if I select all, and create a compound path, the drawing is still coming in as multiple paths instead of one.

So, what I'm asking is, is there a way to 'flatten' the paths so that they become one solid continuous path?
Ideally, I'd like to be able to click on any part of the huge drawing with the direct selection tool, and it will ALL get selected, since it's one huge path. Also ideally Illustrator would create anchor points where two (previously separate) paths overlapped.
Any ideas?

Thanks,
James


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Thie Thomsen
Re: Issues with paths
on Apr 10, 2009 at 7:46:26 pm

There are two options you have, which may or may not work for you.

You won't like the first one:
Connect all of the loose ends one by one using the direct select tool (the white pointer [hotkey: a]). Just select two ends that should be connected and press command+j. If the two points are on top of each other, illustrator will ask if you want the joint to be smooth or a corner. If the two points are a bit apart, illustrator will just connect them by drawing a line from the first point to the second.

You will have to do this for the entire line. I't okay for a couple of points, but if your original line is composed of 50 or more loose ends, this is not a nice job.

The second one doesn't always work, but if it does, can save you a lot of time:
- Select the path, set the stroke to 2 pts/rounded corners/rounded ends
- in you menu go to object->path->outline stroke (i believe, the one above offset path)
- select the new path, and at the ends, cut the path with the scissor tool. Now throw away the outer if the two lines.
- now you should only have one line left, which is an 1pt offset of the original line. Go to Object->path->offset path and make a offset of 1 px.
- Cut the new shape again at the ends and remove the lines you do not need.

Voila, One nicely closed path!

---
I can see your spot colours...


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James Houston
Re: Issues with paths
on Apr 11, 2009 at 11:52:16 am

Thanks for your help Thie,
There are literally hundreds of lines, as it is quite a detailed image, and option 2 doesn't seem to work either. I think I'll give the file to a friend with freehand to see if they can combine it.
I thought it would be as simple as Object: Path: Flatten paths or something similar. Seems like basic functionality.
Anyway thankyou for your help, it's greatly appreciated.
James


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Thie Thomsen
Re: Issues with paths
on Apr 12, 2009 at 10:18:39 am

Hey James,

I agree that illustrator could have made these kind of things a bit easyer to do.

But, to get a sense of what exactly you are trying to accomplish, would you mind supplying me with a example file?

---
I can see your spot colours...


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