I have drawn this pattern, combining various elements together. It is a pattern that will be a papercut design. As you can see some elements overlap.

Before turning into an SVG file I want the whole thing to be one image (1 path) instead of being loads of little elements. Is there a way to do this?

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  • I assume you actually want some of the overlaps to merge and others to actually "cut out" (the overlapping stems should merge and the centers of the flowers should cut out for example)... right?
    – Cai
    Apr 7, 2017 at 10:33
  • Yes. i have never done anything like this before so not sure if i've messed it up from the beginning. Apr 7, 2017 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


It should be easy enough with a few Pathfinder commands...

  1. Select all the paths you want to merge (excluding any paths you want to "cut out". The centers of the flowers, for example).

  2. Hit "Unite" in the Pathfinder panel.

    enter image description here

  3. Create a compound path from the result, this essentially gives you a single "path" (either Object → Compound Path → Make or cmd+8). You should have something like this:

    enter image description here

  4. Invert the selection (Select → Inverse) to select the paths you want to cut out and repeat the process of uniting and creating a compound path. You should now have two compound paths:

enter image description here

  1. Make sure the path you want to cut out is on top, select both and hit "Minus Front" from the Pathfinder panel, then create a compound path again. You should be left with a single (compound) path:

enter image description here

  • Thank you! I am going to try this tonight. I will let you know how I get on! Apr 7, 2017 at 18:39
  • Hi I tried it on a couple of elements in the pattern and it came up saying - "the filter produced no results. Please select two overlapping paths" do you know what could be happening as my paths are certainly overlapping. Apr 7, 2017 at 19:22

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