Shape Builder Tool
The Shape Builder is a potent tool for creating elaborate shapes fast and easily. You can merge or erase different parts of intersecting shapes with the Shape Builder Tool
Create elaborate shapes seamlessly with the Shape Builder Tool. You can merge or erase multiple shape parts and create an entirely new shape. This feature is handy for creating shapes for geometric logos, illustrations, and lettering. The Shape Builder Tool functions similar to Boolean Operations, where you merge two shapes into one.
Read more about Boolean Operations in the correlating Learning Hub section →
Activate the Shape Builder Tool
The Shape Builder Tool ~ic-shape-builder~~ic-shape-builder~ is located on the iPad below the Shape Tool in the Toolbar.
When you tap the Shape Builder Tool ~ic-shape-builder~~ic-shape-builder~, you have the two following modes available:
- The Merge Mode ~ic-merge-mode-sb~~ic-merge-mode-sb~
- The Erase Mode ~ic-erase-mode-sb~~ic-erase-mode-sb~
If you have a keyboard on your iPad, you can hold down the ~key~ ⌥ ~key~ while drawing to switch between the Merge Mode and the Erase Mode.
Another option is to hold one finger after you start the shape-building process, and then you can switch between both modes seamlessly.
In Vectornator, the Merge Mode is set by default. When you switch between tools, Vectornator remembers the mode you selected last. For example, if you set the Erase Mode, use another Tool, and switch back to the Shape Builder Tool, the Erase Mode will still be active.
As soon as you close and reopen a saved document, Vectornator automatically reverts to Merge Mode.
Below, let us explain the differences between the Merge Mode and the Erase Mode.
With the Merge Mode ~ic-merge-mode-sb~~ic-merge-mode-sb~, you can merge the intersecting parts of multiple selected overlapping shapes and convert them into a single elaborate shape. This technique is comparable to the Boolean Operation Unite. The Merge Mode is set in Vectornator as the default mode of the Shape Builder Tool.
First, select multiple shapes, and then you can draw (by tapping and holding) along the shapes to connect the overlapping parts. Release, and you’ll automatically get one united shape.
Before merging the intersecting shape parts with the Shape Builder Tool, you must select multiple shapes. The Multi Select Mode in Vectornator was explicitly designed to select multiple shapes.
The Merge Mode won’t influence unselected shapes.
The final shape will automatically display the colors set in your document’s Fill and Stroke section.
As soon as you activate the Shape Builder Tool, the outer lines of the selected shapes will be displayed with a blue stroke, regardless of their current set stroke color.
When the Merge Mode is activated, a thicker blue outline marks the overlapping shape parts you are currently merging.
How to Create New Shapes With the Merge Mode
- Use the Shape Tool to create the shapes you want to merge with the Shape Builder Tool.
- With the Multi Select Mode, you can select the multiple shapes you want to unify with the Shape Builder Tool.
- Tap the Shape Builder Tool in the Toolbar. By default, the Shape Builder Tool is set to Merge Mode.
Similar to the Boolean operation Subtract, you can subtract the overlapping parts of your selected shapes with the Erase Mode. If you want to erase a single overlapping element of your selected shapes, tap once, tap and drag across your selected shapes to erase multiple shape intersections.
When the Erase Mode is activated, a thick red outline marks the intersecting shape parts you are currently erasing.
The Erase Mode won’t affect unselected shapes.
Practice With the Shape Builder Tool
In Vectornator for iPad, you don’t need to draw complicated shapes on your canvas for hours; you can speed up your workflow by fusing the overlapping parts of basic shapes with the Shape Builder Tool and reconstructing them into elaborate artwork with only a few taps!
Masterfully combine the Merge Mode with the Erase Mode for your specific needs to create a visual arrangement or a logo. Use the Merge Mode to generate complex shapes and the Erase Mode to subtract intersecting parts that you wish to remove from the resulting shape.