Is there a way i can flatten a vector drawing so it becomes a 'flat' vector shape.

What i mean by this is instead of a logo being made up of solid shapes, and stoked paths ie, different line thinknesses, dotted lines, zig zag lines etc, is there a way when done editing the logo to flattern it into a vector object.

In a similar way you can create outlines from text.

4 Answers 4


Object > Expand Appearance Then Object > Expand

Converts all strokes to shapes. Makes all Appearance Panel settings expanded to objects.

Then you could use the Merge button on the Pathfinder Panel to basically remove any construction areas which are not visible.

You can also use Object > Flatten Transparency to expand and merge everything.

Vector artwork will always be editable to some degree, but doing the above makes editing more difficult.

  • As a follow up if you then use divide, followed by select same fill you can union the split paths quite successfully.
    – Molemann
    Jul 21, 2021 at 13:03

Object > Expand

Object > Compound Path > Make

Delete all interior shapes and leave the main shape.


Not really. This is because the way vector artwork programs work, everything is an object and these objects have fill and stroke attributes. If you merged all objects into one single object, the vector artwork program doesn't have a way of turning all the fills and strokes of the individual objects into a "combined" fill or stroke attribute for the final merged object.

That being said, many vector art programs have a way of "grouping" objects so that they can be moved or manipulated as one item. For instance Adobe Illustrator supports layers (more for Z-index manipulation and file organization), groups (where many objects can be grouped and manipulated together - the most useful in regards to your question), and Symbols (which creates an object that if you change the source symbol and all symbols made from that symbol will get updated with the changes).

So in regards to Illustrator's group ability, while the individual objects inside the group maintain their own separate appearance (their own strokes and fills), you can apply additional effects (like additional strokes and fills) on top of them by applying these strokes and fills to the "grouped" object.

Edit: See Scott's answer for other ways to create a single vector art object. There are drawbacks though and it can make future editing more difficult (as Scott notes).



I found another way to combine all stroked objects into one path.

  1. Object > Expand
  2. Once all strokes get outlined, select the object and select Shape Builder Tool and combine all the separated outlines into one object.

One way to do that is by:

  1. Object > Rasterise (Make sure to select "Background" as "Transparent" and not "White" and resolution as high as possible.)
  2. a. Then, Object > Expand.
  3. b. If "Expand" is disabled, try Image Trace on the dock and select the mode as required.

There! All your strokes and outlines have been converted to one path / shape.

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