ILLUSTRATOR: I Can't Divide Shapes The Way I Want

I'm trying get a mesh of two shapes, but no matter what Pathfinder I use, I can't get the desired effect.

What I've Tried:

    • Pathfinders (all of them)

    • Object > Path > Divide Objects Below

Example: Example

  • Sometimes I wish Illustrator worked more like a cad software. There are plugins that bring cad features to AI, but they are super expensive, so I've never tried them.
    – Joonas
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 8:49

1 Answer 1


Use the Shape Builder Tool. Select both shapes and just Option/Alt click the piece you want to remove. Then click-drag (no Option/Alt) across the pieces you want to join.


  • Thanks A TON! This is the first time I've used the Shape Builder Tool and it's opening up a ton of new possibilities for me! Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 9:50
  • Glad I could help. :) It's really just sort of Pathfinder unite and subtract in a brush. Very handy for those little joins and deletions that Pathfinder may struggle with.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:26

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