Combining Path Components

You can combine existing subpaths to form a single path and thereby create new and interesting paths. You can also add, subtract, exclude, or overlap an existing path with new subpaths.

To combine two subpaths, select the Path Selection tool, marquee the subpaths or Shift-click them, and then select Combine from the options bar.

To add subtract, exclude, or overlap, select the subpaths and then select an option from the options bar, or select it before you draw the second subpath. To fill the combined subpaths, make sure that the path is active and then choose Layer ^ New^ Solid Color (Figure 10-8).

Figure 10-8: Two subpaths combined, filled with solid color and then a layer style added.

You can see simple path combinations straight away, but combinations that add, subtract, exclude, or overlap become apparent only when you fill a path. It can help to visualize how the components will interact when combined if you have the thumbnail options for the Paths palette set to medium or large; you can access Palette Options from the palette menu.

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