School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


How To: Combine Objects

Combining and Grouping: What is the difference?

Grouped obejctObjects that are grouped can be manipulated as an entity, for example for selection, moving, copying or resizing. A group can also be ungrouped so that the properties of individual elements can be changed. The components of composite items such as flags, tools, cameras, etc, are often grouped.

Combined objectObjects that are combined become part of a single object. Segments of lines often need to be combined to make a closed object that can be filled with colour. The illustration to the right shows two circles that have been combined to make a circle with a hole in the middle. It illustrates the difference between combining and grouping.

Combining Line Segments

Two line objectsThe illustration to the right shows two objects: a smooth curve that has been selected and a curve consisting of three straight line segments. The user wishes to combine the objects so that the enclosed area can be filled with colour. The procedure is as follows:

Select the Pick Tool. Either click and drag to define a rectangle totally enclosing both objects or click on the first object to select it and then hold the Shift key down and click on the second object. With both objects selected use the Arrange|Combine menu. Typically the combined object cannot be filled with colour at this stage.

Two nodesJoin Two NodesSelect the Shape Tool. Click on the combined curve to select it. Click and drag to define a wee box that outlines the nodes at the meeting point of the lines of the two original objects. The symbol for two selected superimposed nodes looks different from the symbol for a single selected node and the Property bar indicates that the nodes can be combined. Click the Join button on the Property bar. Sometimes you need to select each node point in turn to find which is composed of two nodes that need to be joined.

Click on a colour from the colour palette. If the object does not fill it must be an open curve. Find and join any other pairs of superimposed nodes.