I've got two paths with really big strokes. I'd like to combine them in a way that the strokes line up, and I can avoid having to outline the strokes and end up with a lot of paths to manage. Specifically the top left area the strokes don't line up. Any ideas?enter image description here

EDIT/UPDATE: Thanks for answers everybody. Just for further clarification, I believe the following simplified figure demonstrates the problem. Wanting to "join" these two paths and have their strokes line up, without resorting to outline stroke, and having glitch free (when zoomed in) meeting of strokes.

enter image description here

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    The best adjusting you can achieve only by expanding shapes... you will agree with me later ;) – Ilan Apr 25 '14 at 8:44
  • Yes I think you are right. I updated my question with a simplified example, just for clarity. Thanks everyone! – crcain Apr 25 '14 at 18:07
  • All of us understand the alignment questions. Our purpose - to help you to solve the problem. – Ilan Apr 25 '14 at 18:10

Seems to me the solution is to use an inside stroke on the "triangle" piece and move the top side up align with the top point on the droplet shape:

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Basic construct of the figure:

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  • 3
    Why not just use inside stroke on both objects and avoid the manual adjustment? – horatio Apr 25 '14 at 14:17
  • heh yeah suppose that would work too. I was just focused on the triangle side since that's where the question was – Ryan Apr 25 '14 at 14:20
  • @horatio it is hard to add triangle to the drop shape without affecting its thickness, and if we want to add "angle shape" there is no such thing "inside" stroke on "open" path... – Ilan Apr 25 '14 at 16:45
  • @Ilan: the open path is part of your answer, not Ryan's. I agree though that the triangle shape will not follow the curve of the "drop" unless the drop is crafted to have a perfectly straight edge as far as needed to work around this issue – horatio Apr 25 '14 at 17:01
  • @horatio Actually, the inner stroke is very nice option , just in this case (as I see this) probably the triangle shape is difficult to incorporate to the drop shape... – Ilan Apr 25 '14 at 17:04

I think you don't need a triangle. I used pen tool creating 2-segments line:

enter image description here

Next, I expanded both shapes and United them via Pathfinder->Unite,

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Next, I delete anchors point I don't like (press "-" and click on the points):

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End point you wanted to match -

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(I did it 1 minute, take your time and you'll better then that)

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  • I did say no outlining. If I outline the strokes it becomes harder to adjust later. You said "Probably, here you wanted to stop, but to create perfect match you can use a Transform panel to match points..", I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I want a perfect match, no outlining. That is my question. – crcain Apr 25 '14 at 6:44
  • for the purpose of "later adjusting" you probably duplicate the objects all the time. Try to follow the steps in the answer, you probably will see that later changes are easier by the steps described. – Ilan Apr 25 '14 at 7:16

From a technology standpoint, traditional paths are not designed to "share points" in the way you are looking for. A path is a series of points in a specific sequence...informing the logic of the path stroking code (and there are things like "Winding Fill vs Odd-Even Fill" if you want to dig into deeper technical implications.)

What you are seeking is more in the spirit of a mathematical concept of a Graph than it is a Path. You would like to think of your object as a collection of points, where each point doesn't lead lockstep to another...rather, it specifies a reusable coordinate that may be used for multiple connections without having to lead that path (or another) back to specify the point again.

I feel your pain; it's definitely how I think. If you haven't seen demos of things like SolidWorks then take a look. It shows how much better a program like Illustrator could be, but isn't. :-/

I've seen the SDK for Illustrator...and given the foundations they're working on, I wouldn't expect such features anytime soon. One feature that might make some aspect of your life easier, at some point, is the the "Live Paint" feature. Let's take two rectangles with no fill and overlap them a bit:

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Select them both, and then go to Object -> Live Paint -> Make. After you've done that, pick the Live Paint selector tool (Shift-L):

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Armed with this, you can start selecting the lines and shapes created by the intersections...deleting edges and fills that aren't part of your "specification". For instance, you could select the encroaching portion of the smaller square here with one click and delete it all at once...

enter image description here

It helps you manage points of intersection cleanly, but unfortunately doesn't create coordinates shared between paths. It's a thin layer over the existing format. Might still come in useful, sometimes.

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  • Thank you very much for the thorough explanation. I believe you answered my underlying curiosity, which was whether it was possible to have a sort of "pure" solution to the problem. Two other impure solutions using "outline stroke" and "inner stroke" were presented, and I suppose all are valid. Thanks. – crcain Apr 25 '14 at 17:07

This logo is a combination of shapes. There is a circle and an arrow shape within the drop + another arrow shape added. I created it and the paths look like this:


It's simple. Just add 2 anchor points where the circle meets the arrow. Then delete the unwanted parts. Add the right arrow and it's done. Hope that helps.

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  • Thanks for the answer, but my question (perhaps ill phrased), was more about finding a technique which yielded a path(s) where everything automatically lines up, versus having to fiddle with strokes from one path lining up with anothers. – crcain Apr 25 '14 at 17:28
  • I came up with a technique to do that. So, you take your path and copy it in the same place (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F). Then you take the copy and apply Outline Stroke. Then grab the two and group them. Do the same for the other path. Now we have 2 objects and each of them contain the editable path and the outlined stroke as a shape. Now we can align them with the align tools, rather than just moving them in place. – Komental Apr 25 '14 at 18:29

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