I have some overlapping circles to create a cloud shape. How do I erase the inner parts of the circles so I just have the outline like in the cloud in the top right?


  • I've tried different options in the pathfinder and using the erase tool.
    – Zack Rabie
    May 20, 2015 at 1:24
  • Try all options in pathfinder, come back if you still can't figure it out.
    – Ryan
    May 20, 2015 at 1:33
  • Tried everything. Still can't figure it out.
    – Zack Rabie
    May 20, 2015 at 3:09
  • 2
    Making shapes and using pathfinder may be easier to understand if you remove select all of those shapes, remove the strokes and add fills. You don't need fills to use pathfinder, but the concept of using is easier to grasp with fills. That single line you have, that won't work with pathfinder. It needs closed paths to work. Make that line into a rectangle instead. After you have the solid cloud, remove the fill and add stroke.
    – Joonas
    May 20, 2015 at 5:05
  • @ZackRabie if you'd "tried everything" you would of figured it out ;)
    – SaturnsEye
    May 20, 2015 at 10:09

2 Answers 2

  1. Instead of connecting the circles with a line at the bottom connect it with a rectangle:

enter image description here

  1. Use the unite tool:

enter image description here


Try the shape Builder tool, it lets you precisely combine many shapes into one in a more intuitive way.

To create a shape using the Shape Builder tool, do the following:

  1. Create the shapes on which you want to apply the Shape Builder tool.
  2. Using the Selection tool, select the paths that you need to merge to create the shape.
  3. Select the Shape Builder tool from the Tools panel or press Shift+M. By default, the tool is in merge mode, where you can combine different paths. The pointer in this mode appears as .
  4. Identify the region that you want to extract or merge.
  5. To merge paths, drag along the region and release the mouse, the two regions get merged to form a new shape.

Here's a tutorial from Adobe

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