Does anybody knows if it is possible to join multiple vector objects together in illustrator, without expanding and merging them. For exemple a round shape with a gradient color plus a text line in black. Any way to make them one object without grouping, merging or rasterizing? And keep the vector properties? Thank you!

  • It sounds like what you are describing is a group, why have rejected grouping as an option?
    – Westside
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:23
  • What do you mean 'join together'? What properties this object should have?
    – emax
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:42
  • I'm actually wondering if this is even possible. My client is asking for the impossible I think. He wants one whole object all attached together like as an irreversible option.. But the object is composed of a gradient and has 2 colors. From my side I think that the only options are merge or group. But i'd like to know if anyone knows a magic way?
    – gabrielle
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:45
  • And the they want to keep the vector properties. Basically they want to turn a group logo that has colors and gradient into a whole object but keep vector properties and colors. And for some reasons they dont want to use the group option.
    – gabrielle
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:47
  • It sounds like the real question might be what file format they want, rather than how that file should be structured. It's also possible that they don't know what they want. Placing one AI file inside another (as you would with an image) might achieve what they want, but that's just a guess.
    – Westside
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:57

2 Answers 2


To make a long story short... Create a graphic Symbol

  • Tks! How do you do that?
    – gabrielle
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:13
  • 1
    Drag it into the Symbols panel.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:16
  • @vinny if you explain how then this answer is better...
    – joojaa
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:24
  • @gabrielle you should upvpte useful answers and accept when a answer solves your problem. But remeber the symbols poinst can still be edited they are just hidden away (they are still there). Aklso i do not often use this method since it makes authoring documents harder if you need to align or measure stuff
    – joojaa
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:25
  • Yes, agree with you. In this particular case, I had to find a way to make the client happy.. I would not usually proceed like that. Thank you for the awnsers!
    – gabrielle
    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:48

There are situation where peoples internal model of the world is causing the problems. This happens quite often, and quite often the question is about what an object is. There are a lot of questions in this category on this site.

Lets take a coffee cup as an example:

Is a coffee cup one object? Or is it in fact 2 objects joined together (the cup and handle)?

Now the real answer is quite surprising. As it happens both interpretations are true at the same time. Even more interpretations of the situation are possible. Many models are possible to exist simultaneously. Ad for the computer all of these are in fact just simplifications of the underlying model. A group is no less one object than one shape.

This means that the fighting over nomenclature is futile. What you really want to do is know what problem the client is trying to solve.

  • So if they just want to hide the complexity away just make the logo a symbol, or a linked file (symbol being easier).

  • You can lock the logo.

  • Also its possible that the logo could be made into one compound path. But seems to violate the property needed.

  • However if they are trying to copy protect the logo, then this is in fact not possible. (copy protection is in fact impossible to do with current tech, though they are working on encrypted computing that could be used to do this in some capacity)

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