After copying a contour plot from MATLAB into Illustrator, I am stuck with thousands of short unconnected paths (see image below). This makes for a very slow performance and very large file size.
Directly selecting everything and using the simplify tool does not work, since the paths need to be joined first somehow.
I could manually trace them with the lasso tool, join them into one path, and then use the simplify tool. This is however very cumbersome, given the number of contour lines and their shape.
I would like to know if someone knows a (semi-)automatic way of joining all these small paths into large continuous paths so I can use the simplify tool a posteriori.