Create the shapes on which you want to apply the Shape Builder tool.
Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
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Learn how to merge different shapes with the Shape Builder tool.
Do you want to combine two or more shapes to create a new one? Follow these steps to merge shapes using the Shape Builder tool:
Use the Selection tool, to select the paths you need to merge.
Select the Shape Builder tool or press Shift+M.
To break or extract the region from the rest of the shape, move the pointer and select the region you want to merge. You can view additional anchor points where the shapes break up.
To merge paths, drag along the region and release the mouse. The selected regions merge to form a new shape.
The art style of the new shape depends on the following:
The art style of the object from where the mouse drag was initiated is applied to the merging shapes.
If no art style is available on mouse down, then the art style available on mouse release is applied to the merging shapes.
If no art style is available on mouse down or mouse release, then the art style of the topmost selected object in the Layers panel, is applied.
You can override these coloring rules. Select Color Swatches from the Pick Color From drop-down list in the Shape Builder Tool Options dialog. You can also set the Shape Builder tool options.
Select Shift+click+drag for a rectangular marquee, which allows you to easily merge multiple paths.
You can use the Erase mode of the Shape Builder tool, press the Alt (Windows) or the Option (macOS), and select the closed region you want to delete.
In the Erase mode, you can delete regions within selected shapes. If you delete a region shared by multiple objects, the shapes are broken so that the regions selected by the marquee are removed from the shapes.
You can also delete edges in erase mode. This option is useful when you want to clear the remaining portions after creating the required shape.