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I've just started using Sketch and am aware that there are two ways to combine shapes:

  1. Layer > Combine > Union
  2. Layer > Covert to Outlines

I want to combine shapes to make one icon with one gradient across the shape. However, when I use either of these methods I can't achieve this.

When I use Layer > Combine > Union, the inner lines disappear.
enter image description here

When I use Layer > Covert to Outlines, the gradient is applied to each shape, not the shape as a whole (ex - fading smoothly from green to blue). This tells me that the shapes have not really merged into one shape.
enter image description here

Is there anyways I can combine the shapes to make one icon, and have a single gradient span across the icon?

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So, this IS an interesting question :) I was able to do what you want, although I wouldn't say this is a rule, rather -- a workaround. Adobe Illustrator can handle this way better and faster, and I would recommend creating the icons there and then recoloring/using them in Sketch. Anyhow, here's my solution:

enter image description here

Note:

  1. I am making sure no lines overlap (otherwise it will create holes in said locations).

  2. Convert to outlines DOES NOT combine shapes on its own. It does what it says - it converts a line with thickness of 5px to a shape(rectangle) that is 5px high. Or a font becomes a bunch of shapes.

  • Interesting solution. Coming from Illustrator, this issue would confuse the hell out of my brain. – Luciano May 15 '17 at 10:50

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