Clean up line work in an illustration by joining paths. Learn how to trim excess line segments from intersecting paths and close gaps between two open paths.

Analyze the artwork

Open the sample file and take a look at the artwork. The line work in this illustration is created using the Pencil tool, and has many paths that should be joined together. Some of these paths must be joined where they intersect, while others have gaps between them that should be closed to create clean looking artwork.

Taking a look at the artwork

Select the Join tool

In the Tools panel, click and hold on the Pencil tool to reveal other tools. Select the Join tool.

Selecting the Join tool

Join intersecting paths

Locate the area of the artwork shown at right, which has two paths crossing over each other. Click and drag in a scrubbing motion over the excess portions of the paths. When you release the mouse, the two paths will be joined at their intersection into a single, complete path, with the excess trimmed.

Joining two paths

Close a gap between two paths

Locate the area of the artwork shown, which has two paths with a small gap in between. Enlarge your view with the Zoom tool before you join the lines. Using the Join tool, draw a line to connect the two paths.

Connecting two paths


You may notice other areas in the artwork where paths need to be joined. Practice using the Join tool to clean up the illustration.

Use the Join tool to clean up the illustration
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