so my probleme is quite simple. i have 2 circles away from each other and not intersecting, I want to connect those 2 cirlces with a rectangle in the middle. heres what I have enter image description here

and heres what i want

enter image description here

however as u can see its not perfect. I would like to know how. (Ai cc 2018)


5 Answers 5


One easy option is to merely draw a path with rounded end caps.

  • Switch to Outline Mode (View > Outline)
  • Turn on the Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides) if they aren't already on
  • Ensure the center marker is enabled in the Attributes Panel:

enter image description here

Using the Line Tool, merely draw a path from the center of one circle to the other. The Smart Guides will tell you when you are at the center with the cursor.

Then merely adjust the stroke weight to match the width of the circles and tick the Rounded End Caps option on the Stroke Panel

enter image description here


  • Many solutions offered, this would be my choice. +1
    – Welz
    Jan 24, 2019 at 13:02
  • This is what I would do in lieu of the Astute SubScribe plugin. I almost answered with this, then decided that I didn't think it's really answering the question of how do you connect the shapes perfectly. It simply replaces them. What if they were ovals or just blobs? This is a great solution, but for a very limited situation. Illustrator should just have built in tangent recognition. We've only been waiting 31 years.
    – 13ruce
    Jan 24, 2019 at 13:06
  • Well :) Ovals or blobs would be a different matter and I'd use a different approach, such as tangents, add anchors, delete sections, join anchors. Almost gave that answer.... :)
    – Scott
    Jan 24, 2019 at 13:09
  • I'm with you on that. I just got the impression that the root of his question was how to create geometrically perfect tangents in general. Illustrator is currently bad at that and requires guesswork and reverse engineering, while the plugin does it beautifully.
    – 13ruce
    Jan 24, 2019 at 14:53

There are various ways to get the effect of what you're asking in Illustrator, but they are slow and labor intensive. There is currently no way to do it by simply drawing tangents, unless you use a third party plugin. Fortunately, there is a cheap plugin made by Astute Graphics that allows you to very easily draw tangents between objects. As of today it's priced at $6.51, although there may be an exchange rate charge if you're ordering from a different currency that pounds, if I recall correctly. See video link:


I've been using Astute plugins for years and they are all extremely well made and I think every one has a video tutorial.


One possibility is to use a Blend.

  1. Select both your shapes and click Object > Blend > Make

  2. then Object > Blend > Blend options

  3. Under Spacing, choose "Specified steps", set it to something high like 500 steps

However, the above comes with disadvantages:- It creates 500 individual shapes, and even if you Expand then Unite them with the Pathfinder, you'll still have over 1000 anchors, and Simplifying doesn't really work either.

Another possibility is to do it the way you have already done, but to edit the position of the anchors of the rectangle manually using the Direct Selection Tool (A), so that they intersect with the outermost edge of each circle, to reduce the humps that you can see in your example.


I suggest you draw it. Having snap to point and smart guides on you can draw a line between the circle centers. Select the line and goto Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Then you have a rectangle.

enter image description here

You must select straight stroke ends in the strokes panel, if they are rounded.

If the circles are equal and the rectangle must be as wide as your circles are, then you simply draw only a rounded rectangle or a rounded line and no circles at all.


Ok guys, thank you so much for you help, but I found the solution on another post using a script, which worked wonderfully.


again thanks for you help.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.