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I'm having troubles trying to figure out how to make a complete object/image with NO pen tool paths or anchors etc...

I have a vector tree... theres lots of completed paths/shapes but still in path form.

How do I get all of them to be 1 solid item so that I can color and then emboss the entire thing? Every time I emboss due to tons of parts it wigs out.

I've been searching everywhere... Do I need to go through and select each little complete path... and outline it?

End goal: Still technically a vector object but 1 solid object able to be filled and then embossed. I can do it all in PS!

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"with NO pen tool paths or anchors etc..."

that is not possible.

Off-hand I'd say select everything and click the Unite button on the Pathfinder Panel (Window > Pathfinder)

  • An alternate approach would be to group the objects and add effects using the Appearance panel on the group. – George C Feb 23 '13 at 15:32
  • Agreed with GeorgeC. This has the additional upside that you can still edit parts of the shape later. – PieBie Apr 27 '15 at 11:25
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If I'm understanding your question right, this should actually be quite simple. Select all of the paths that you're interested in merging, then use the Object > Path > Outline Stroke control. Keep in mind that this isn't reversible; if you end up wanting to edit your paths later, you're out of luck.

As Scott said, you can use the Unite tool on the pathfinder panel to merge them at this point.

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Just had the same problem. Going to 'Object → Path → Outline Stroke' will turn all the different paths into shapes, then you can go 'Window → Pathfinder → Merge' which will make them all one shape for you to edit.

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