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How To Use Pathfinder Tool In Adobe Illustrator

How to combine, subtract, divide, intersect different shapes on adobe illustrator. Tips and tricks, Simple guide tutorial on pathfinder palette window

 How To Use Pathfinder Tool In Adobe Illustrator

How To Use Pathfinder Tool In Adobe Illustrator

I will be presenting detailed information on the Pathfinder tool in this post. Basically, Pathfinder is not meant to find paths. The main purpose is to combine, subtract, divide, intersect, etc among different shapes. 

Let us start the process of using the Pathfinder palette.

You can find the Pathfinder palette in Window. The palette will pop up with all the various options. The first 4 options are for shape modes and the rest 6 are for paths. The tools used are shown in the red circle.

1. I will start with the UNITE tool. Taking 2 different shapes, one on top of another, we will create a compound shape.

2. The next tool is MINUS FRONT. It subtracts the front object and the area covered by it from the underlying object.

3. The final result of the INTERSECT tool is the intersected area between the 2 shapes as shown.
4. The next tool in the palette is EXCLUDE. Just works the opposite of intersection, by subtracting the intersected area.

5. Our first pathfinder tool for path mode is DIVIDE. It breaks all the components individually. To show this clearly, I will ungroup the object and separate each component.

6. The next tool in our list is TRIM. It trims the filled object at the back depending on the area covered by the front object. Also, it doesn’t merge the objects of the same color.

7. MERGE is our next tool. It trims the filled object at the back depending on the area covered by the front object same as TRIM. But, at the same, time it also merges the objects of the same color.

8. Out next tool is CROP. It divides the components individually and deletes the rest, leaving the top component.

9. Next tool that I will be using is OUTLINE. It divides each component into outlines.

10. Our last tool in this palette is MINUS BACK. It removes the back object along with the area covered by it on the front object.

Pathfinder tools are widely used in illustrations.

I will be back with another new article on Adobe Illustrator for all of you. Do let me know if you have any suggestion or feedback in the comment section.

Ria Nandy
I am a well organized and qualified Graphic Designer, with extensive experience in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. I have a good working knowledge of Vector Graphics, Visual Identities and Marketing Materials. Dedicated to staying up-to-date on new techniques and procedures related to Graphic Design. I am a good communicator, and this allows me to integrate well with organizations/clients. I worked for different companies in the last 3 years and now, I work full-time as a Freelancer to give my clients a quality product with the quick response time. Facebook |

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