Here is what I have done: I create three arrows by using the line command and then the stroke panel to add an arrowhead. I then make two duplicates of the arrow by pressing Alt + Shift + Left Arrow. Then, I use Effect -> 3D -> Rotate to rotate my 2D arrows into a right handed triad. The arrowheads lie in certain planes. When I go to unite the objects using the Pathfinder panel, it says: "The filter produced no results. Please select two overlapping paths."

I just want one object, essentially three right edges of a cube with arrowheads at the end, that I can use the 3D rotate command on to have an all-around orthogonal triad of vectors in my drawings.


  • Why does it have to be a single object? Even single objects have subcomponents, why would it matter if yiu had more levels (group)?
    – joojaa
    Jun 9, 2016 at 6:14
  • It would be easier to rotate. I would have one rotation instead of three.
    – Johnver
    Jun 9, 2016 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


If your goal is to use 3D rotate (or any other effect), there is no need for pathfinder.

You can use effects on groups, so select all your arrows and group (Object → Group or cmd+G) then apply your effect to the group.

If you do want your arrows to be one single object you can create a compound path. Select all of your arrows and select Object → Compound Path → Make or hit cmd + 8.

The reason for the pathfinder message is that pathfinder doesn't work well with open paths and strokes. You can outline your strokes (Object → Path → Outline Stroke) and pathfinder should work, but then you won't be able to edit your strokes or arrow heads.

  • When I rotate the three arrows as a group, they all rotate about their center points. I want them to rotate about their intersection so that I don't have to translate the vectors after the rotation. I just want three edges of a box that I can rotate, essentially.
    – Johnver
    Jun 9, 2016 at 19:28
  • 1
    Each object will rotate about its own center if you select multiple objects as it applies the effect separately to each object, if you apply the effect to a group it rotates about the common center as if it was one object. Make sure you have a group and only the group selected when you apply the effect.
    – Cai
    Jun 9, 2016 at 20:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.