This is such a beginner question, but I want to ask how I can merge these two paths together and make them one object so I can fill color in.

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I've tried to use the shape builder, and it simply connects the outer shape and separates the other two paths. It also changes my width modification like in the pic.

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If it's not possible to merge, and if this were you, how would you do this shape? I run into this problem with almost every design, and it's so frustrating.

  • You probably need to keep the pieces separate so you can fill them individually. Merging will stop you from doing that because one object can only have one stroke and one fill. Look at this construction
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 21 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


Make more shapes, some of them as only strokes with no fill and some of them as filled, but without strokes.

Let the open shapes be as is with no fill if they have the right strokes for your art.

Augment the copies of the open shapes to closed ones with right edges, of course. You are the only one in the universum who knows them. Remove the strokes and insert the needed fills. If some strokeless filled areas must be combined, do it. Send them behind the stroke-only shapes.


You don't merge them together. Its not possible to have a path that bifurcates. What you do instead depends on what you want to achieve. In this case following 2 come to mind (there are others for other usecases)

In a lot of cases it is not possible to have the same stroke structure and same fill structure. So its entirely ok to build a filling shape and place it behind the structure of the strokes. So just copy the shapes, paste behind shapebuild, remove stroke and fill. This may seem wasteful but this is what the system internal does anyway.

Second option is to just fill both shapes. The only reason why this wouldn't work is if your fill has transparency. Then in addition to the above, you can just group the shapes and in transparency panel extra options check knockout group.

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