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Combining text to outline as one object

Combining text to outline as one object

Combining text to outline as one object

Need assistance in combining two letters so that I can outline them as one object.

Have converted text to outlines, expanded, released compound path and attempted to join but it will not allow me to do that.

I am new to AI so any guidance would be appreciated!!

RE: Combining text to outline as one object


If you have converter the type to Vector graphics you should be able to overlap them (I assume that's what you need to do otherwise you can just select both) then when you have them positioned the way you want use the Pathfinder tool to  combine them into one object.

It's the first icon in Pathfinder Shape Mods .

Once this is done you can just apply the outline and it will run around the outside of the letters and not the overlapping edges.

Like this...


RE: Combining text to outline as one object

Thanks Mike - your pictures is exactly what I want to do; however whenever I try to merge, add, intersect these letters I get a message stating that  "Pathfinders effects should be applied to groups, layers or type objects. This may not have any effect on the current selection."

In the pathfinder flyout I can add, merge, intersect but none of these work. I get the same message.

Any clues as to what I am doing wrong?

RE: Combining text to outline as one object


Start over so you have a clean start.

Type the 2 letters.

Select them with the standard (black) selection arrow.

Right click on them and select "Create Outlines".

Select "Ungroup" from the Object drop down.

Move the one of the letters to the position you want.

Now make sure that you select both letters either drag around them or use ctrl.

Open Pathfinder and select "Merge" or "Add Shape to Area" depends on what version of Illustrator you are using.

Now that the are merged select an outline color and chose a width from the stroke menu.


That is all you should have to do.


RE: Combining text to outline as one object

Ps. Work big I like to do this stuff with 200 pt type.
It gives you a lot more options when it comes to outline width.


RE: Combining text to outline as one object

Thanks Mike - I have done those exact same steps numerous times. The issue is with Pathfinder - when I select Merge (using CS4) I get the same message - "Pathfinders effects should be applied to groups, layers or type objects. This may not have any effect on the current selection."

Have even started in an entire new file.  Sounds like my software has a mind of it's own but I have no idea how to correct this.

Am I missing a step? Should I reinstall the software?

Thanks for all your assistance - This is SO frustrating!!

RE: Combining text to outline as one object

I don't have a clue I'm still using CS3 and everytime I try it, it works fine for me.

If both elements are on the same layer, and outlines are created for type, both are selected and touching, then if I click merge they merge.
Do any of the other commands work, Exclude Back, Exclude Overlap etc?

I don't know what else to tell you it sounds like you are doing the right things.  The only thing that I did notice when I was fooling around was that it doesn't work it the two items are grouped, only if they are both selected.

I'm not the biggest Illustrator guru, I don't use it very often myself, mostly I work with Photoshop and Indesign but I can usually get it to do what I need it to.

If you are working on something that has a deadline you could try putting the type together in Photoshop in at a very high resolution, (1200 ppi or more) so that it is very clean and then importing it into Illustrator.

Then you could use trace to create your logo in vector format, then add the outline etc.  This is only a work around but it would get the job done.

Have you tried just drawing a couple of shapes, a square and a circle and see if they will merge?  That should be a no brainer, if that doesn't work some thing is wrong.

You might try Adobe Forums.
Maybe you will find someone who has experienced this.


RE: Combining text to outline as one object

Hi Mike,

FINALLY!!! Spent nearly an hour on the phone with Adobe support to no avail then was disconnected.  But I figured it out.

There is a pathfinder window.  Once I went to window, clicked on pathfinder, and there is a "UNITE" button. It combined my letters and I proceeded to outline them accordingly!!

Can't believe something so simple has caused me headaches all day!!

Appreciate your assistance!! ~Tina

RE: Combining text to outline as one object


Glad you got it to work.

Where were you finding the Pathfinder options before?

In CS3 it's on the right side of the window, at least that's where all mine are. I'm not sure if it was there by default or I placed it there sometime in the past.

I don't know why they keep changing the name of the icon either.  It used to be "Merge" on mine it's called "Add Shape to area" and now apparently it's called "Unite".
Merge meant sense to me.

Anyway it sounds like the whole problem was finding the correct icon.

Good luck...


RE: Combining text to outline as one object

Hi Mike,

I found the Pathfinder option under the Effect tab on the top toolbar. Once you click  on it it has both Illustrator effects and Photoshop effects. When you clicl o the Pathfinder option it shows the add, merge, subtract, etc.  This is what I was originally using.

I went to the window tab at the top and scrolled down to the pathfinder window.  It opened separately and offered shape modes (Unite, Intersect, etc.) and Pathfinder choices.  

Really confusing now because there is a merge option and a unite option - the difference being????

I actually self-trained myself on Corel and still have it on an old desktop to revert to if I can't figure it out in Illustrator. How lame is that?? But it does work!! Have had CS4 for a year and am becoming more comfortable day by day!

Good luck to you and thanks again. ~T

RE: Combining text to outline as one object

...one tip for pathfinder in illustrator CS4 is using the "alt/option" key when pressing a pathfinder function, it will create a compound path of multiple elements that are used to build the composition (behaves like a single object but is in fact made up of more than one, see the layers palette)...

...this allows you to make edits later in a workflow to pathfinder constructed objects easily...

...you can then expand that object later to a single object if need be, using the pathfinder palette "expand button"...

...i believe CS3 had the opposite function to the above, whereby it would always not expand pathfinder objects unless you told it otherwise...



RE: Combining text to outline as one object


For what it is worth after reading tvlerebome's last post I opened Illustrator and clicked on the effects drop down.

Sure enough there is a pathfinder selection and when you click on it, it gives you the option to merge.

It doesn't work, just as tvlerebome discovered.

This option must serve some other purpose but I don't have any idea what it is for.
It does not do the same thing as the options in the Pathfinder Palette.

It sure made a simple action a lot more complicated in this case.

Does anyone know what these selections are used for?


RE: Combining text to outline as one object

...the pathfinder options are for use with layers, grouped objects or type...

...when applied to selected individual objects they won't work...

...when applied to layers, grouped objects or type in the layers palette, they are live effects, in that they can be modified later if need be. You will see them applied in the appearance palette...



RE: Combining text to outline as one object

Hi apepp

Thanks for the information.

It seems to me that it would have been a good idea to call it something else.

Having two Pathfinder applications the do different things in the same program doesn't add to the ease of understanding and leads to the kind of thing that tvlerebome ran into.

Apparently even Adobe support couldn't figure out what was going on. LOL


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