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Quick Tip: Shape builder tool, pathfinder directly on your toolbar on Illustrator

shapebuildertool00 When we’re working on Illustrator, many of our artworks are made out of different shapes that at the end we just select and reunite in a single group or combine using the pathfinder window. Both methods work fine, and have worked fine for many years, helping designers and artists to create awesome vectorial artworks. But since the release of Adobe CS5, the world have witnessed the arrival of the Shape Builder Tool, which is a simplified version of the pathfinder tool placed directly on your toolbar to assist you when you need to make quick changes and drawings, let’s see how this tool works and how can we take advantage of it.
It’s not like the shape builder tool will replace the pathfinder, because it does not have identical properties, it’s more like a simplified version of this tool to work in a more intuitive way with shapes. shapebuildertool01 To show you an example of how does this tool operate, let’s draw three different shapes filled with a solid color. shapebuildertool02 And now select the shape builder tool to see it in action, make sure you have the shapes selected. shapebuildertool01 You will see a + symbol on the cursor, this is similar to the blend tool. You can click over one part of any of the shapes and then over the next one, by doing this you can intersect or join them. shapebuildertool03 After doing that, we have divided the three shapes in different pieces, let’s clean a few to create a new design. shapebuildertool00 Great isn’t it?, this is definitely an useful tool to optimize your design times when you need to divide or mix different shapes, take a look at some other examples made with the shape builder tool. shapebuildertool04

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