Attached is an image of some icons I drew using the line tool on illustrator, some of these are overlapping on top of each other but I would like to connect all these strokes together so the icon will be one continuous drawing. How can I do this? enter image description here

So some of my strokes overlap as in the attached photo, is it possible for the lines to join together? I know I can expand the strokes and then merge them together, but then it will become a filled object which I do not want. I hope this makes sense

enter image description here

  • 1
    what to do with the overlapping lines, are they gonna be removed? and what about those windows in the middle of the house, are you planning to also connect those to the outside? Can you show us an image with the example of what you want to achieve?
    – Luciano
    Nov 25, 2016 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


Yes and no. You can not make it one strokable object, no. Instead you can group it which makes it one, a bit depending on how you view the world.

Note that Adobe has misnamed the layer panel, it should be called objects panel as only a very small subset of what you see is a layer, maybe one in a hundred or thousand on average.

There is really no such thing as one object in a vector drawing. Even the simplest of things have many subobjects. The simplest stroked path consists of 4 points, a transformation and color/fill info. So at minimum your one object has 2*4 + 6 + 2* 1-4 subelements. The system allows you to compose more complex objects by using many objects. Simply if you want to hide complexity you just group or symbolize the collection.

  • Well, depends on your workflow... my layer to object ratio is generally nowhere near that (generally 1:10s)
    – Cai
    Nov 25, 2016 at 18:48
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    And you could make it a compound path, which is (in Adobe's world) a single object :)
    – Cai
    Nov 25, 2016 at 18:49
  • @Cai its no more single object than a group.
    – joojaa
    Nov 25, 2016 at 18:51
  • Debatable. Groups expand in the layers panel for example, compound paths don't. Export to SVG too and your compound path is a single object whereas a group isn't.
    – Cai
    Nov 25, 2016 at 18:59
  • @Cai under the hood its no more single than having many objects. By same token a group is a single object EPS because it does not differ forma any of the other objects and if you place back to your scene it then it appears one. Which is the point. Whether one is one object is just a definition in your head. For example is a ceramic coffe cup one object? Its made out of 2 parts so clearly its 2 objects. Yet its one simultaneously. Being or not being one object is not a good mental model, rather the question should be if we promote one to one object what do we gain anything except peace of mind?
    – joojaa
    Nov 25, 2016 at 19:08

If you want to connect to two endpoints of lines, select the endpoints with direct selection arrow (white arrow) and click connect points icon in Control/ context tool bar. It looks like two points connected by a dotted quarter circle.

If you want all of the lines treated as one object you can use compound path / live paint group or layer group. Google these to find out their differences.

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