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I am trying to join two shapes (figure - a) in Illustrator, And I want the effect should be like this (figure - b). I tried Unite option in Pathfinder, but that makes a big rectangle.

enter image description here

Please note: after joining I want one middle cut inside the rectangle.

Any idea?

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You can only create your Figure B with shapes via Pathfinder. Strokes won't work.

Simply overlap the two rectangles and choose Object > Expand. Then Pathfinder > Merge. This will give you Figure B. However, the black will not be a live stroke. You will end up with a black shape and two white shapes.

If you need live strokes, simply draw a rectangle and use the Line Tool to draw a line in the middle of it. Perhaps use the Align Panel to ensure the middle stroke is centered.

Pathfinder doesn't work with strokes - only shapes.

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