Combining objects

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In contrast to grouping functions, combinations create a new object; subsequent “un-combining” in the same manner as ungrouping is not possible. Select a collection of objects, then right-click and choose Combine from the pop-up menu. The result of this operation is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Combining objects.

At first glance, this can seem rather surprising. Once you have understood the rules governing combination in however, it will become clearer:

  • The attributes (for example, area fill) of the resulting object are those of the object furthest back. In this example, it is the circle.
  • Where the objects overlap, the overlapping zone is either filled or empty depending on the number of overlaps. When the number of overlaps is even, you get an empty space; when the number is odd, you get a filled area.
Figure 5: Odd numbered overlaps are filled, even numbered overlaps are empty.
Tip.png You can reorder objects so that they are further back in the background or further forward in the foreground: right-click on the object and select Arrangement from the pop-up menu. See also Aids for positioning objects.

An object which is a combination can be broken up into its constituent parts by selecting Modify > Break. This is not the equivalent of ungrouping as the objects were converted to Bézier curves when they were combined. The resulting object will be a set of base level objects (for example, a rectangle will be broken into 4 separate lines). The original formatting – line thickness, colors and area properties - will not be retained.

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