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I need to make (actually re-creating) a diagram for a repeating process consisting of 5 steps.

Here's how it might look with two arrows:

enter image description here

I need to do basically the same thing with 5 arrows, different colors, and the arrowheads not sticking out... essentially a donut shape.

The arrows also contain text, but that's not a big deal since I can flatten each arrow if the solution involves handling them as separate objects.

I've already tried making the arrows in a straight line and making an art brush, but AI gives me an error saying "The selected artwork contains an element that cannot be made into an art brush." ??? I removed the text just to make sure that wasn't it, but the error still happened.

I also tried making a donut from 2 circles, making compound path, and using the knife to divide into sections... made a nightmare mess out of that. It's nearly impossible to cut a straight line that isn't exactly horizontal, perpendicular, or the exact in between of those.

It looks so simple! Am I just being obtuse? :p

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2 Answers 2

The easiest method is to simply use strokes with arrowheads.

arrows

for 5 arrows, you simply divide a circle into 5 sections, apply your stroke and arrowheads, then expand and use the Shape Builder Tool.

5 arrows

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Here is how I would do it. I am using a very basic arrow shape. It can be adapted to a more refined design.

  • Step 1: Draw the doughnut with one of the arrows in place. (Here drawn with no fill so the next steps are easy to understand.)

enter image description here

  • Step 2: Select both shapes and make a symbol (drag to symbol panel)
  • Step 3: With the symbol selected in the canvas, select Object->Transform->Rotate
  • Step 4: Enter 72 degrees (= 360 degrees / 5 slices). For a different number of slices, enter 360 / number of slices enter image description here

    • Step 5: Click on the "Copy" button (as opposed to OK). A new symbol is created. enter image description here

    • Step 6: Repeat step 3, 4 and 5 to created the rest of the slices (3 more times in this case, 4 in total; 1 original slice + 4 slices = 5 slices

enter image description here

  • Step 7: Select the group of slices and expand them together. Object->Expand. The link to the symbol is broken and they are turned into basic shapes.

enter image description here

  • Step 8: With all the shapes selected, use the Pathfinder and click on Divide. This removes redundant overlapping areas.

  • Step 9: Double click on the group. Colour each individual shape a different colour.

enter image description here

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