I have the following objects that I need to combine them in one object

enter image description here

When I press Ctrl + +, which is union, all rectangulars become grey as follows:

enter image description here

If I press Ctrl + k, which is combine, all rectangulars become blue as follows:

enter image description here

How can I combine all rectangulars while keeping the original colors? Thanks!

Update: Each rectangular along with its text is one object. I combined them using Ctrl + -, which is difference. I don't know if this may help.

  • 1
    Make a group (CTRL+G)
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 4, 2017 at 15:04
  • Thanks! It worked. But what is the difference between combine and grouping then?. Also, please write your comment as an answer so I accept it and it may help others. Thanks again.
    – AhmedWas
    Nov 4, 2017 at 15:06
  • 1
    OK, I added an answer, and also answered your second question on the difference with combine.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 4, 2017 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


Use a group instead. The shortcut is CTRL+G

Combining objects actually joins the objects as one (combined) path, and one path can only have one fill. So that makes it practically useless if you want more than one fill.

  • Well this answer is so obvious that one hesitates. Thumbs up. @AhmedWas groups are useful for moving stuff in sync, but also rather limiting for other combined "treatments". You could share more context or "why" with your next question. Nov 4, 2017 at 18:20
  • Oops, this rotten small screen. I had upvoted this answer and then touched accidently and now they locked it... Nov 4, 2017 at 18:22
  • @MartinZaske Obvious yes, but only if you know! Anyway, I made an edit to the answer, so you should be able to vote again.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 4, 2017 at 19:56
  • 1
    good, one of 3 upvotes is mind, I like kindness towards beginner questions because I did and do need that still Nov 5, 2017 at 8:14

@AhmedWas We need to combine object to create any path operation because we can't perform path operations on grouped objects.

As you know grouped objects contains several objects/paths but can't perform any path operation on it like "Difference" operation, and we can ungroup if we want to move/change a specific object/path.

While "Combine" is combining all paths into one path and we can perform any path operation on it.

You can "Combine" them from menu Path >> Combine (Ctrl + K) and that's will make them one path, then do your desired path operations to that path, then perform "Break Apart" from menu Path >> Break Apart (Ctrl + Shift + K) and colorize the objects/rectangles you want, then group them.

I usually do this in retro T-shirt design. When I need to cut out text from a colored sunset, I do this:

  1. Convert text to Ptah by "Object to path" from menu Path >> Object to path (Ctrl + Shift + C).
  2. "Ungroup" the text (Ctrl + Shift + G) then "Combine" it (Ctrl + Shift + K) to make it one path.
  3. Make a "Duplicate" (Ctrl + D) of the sunset to work on because we need the original later in colorizing.
  4. "Ungroup" the pieces/paths of sunset (If grouped) then "Combine" them (Ctrl + Shift + K).
  5. Put the text (Which is a path now) over the sunset and hold "Shift" on keyboard with the text selected then select the sunset and choose menu Path >> Difference (Ctrl + -).
  6. Now "Break Apart" (Ctrl + Shift + K) and start colorize each piece/path with colors you want then group them.

Here is a a video explains it (I didn't combine all the sunset pieces/paths because I want to cut off the text from the two middle pieces only): https://youtu.be/MTDt5PXTPa8

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