Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Shape Builder Tool

Illustrator in 60 Seconds: The Shape Builder Tool

This post is part of a series called 60 Second Video Tutorials.
Illustrator in 60 Seconds: What Are Compound Paths?
How to Install Brushes in Photoshop
How to Use the Shape Builder Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Welcome to our Illustrator in 60 Seconds series, in which you can learn an Illustrator skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!

Illustrator in 60 Seconds: Shape Builder Tool

Creating shapes in Illustrator can sometimes become a non-intuitive process, especially if you're doing it using Pathfinder's Shape Modes.

Luckily for us, Adobe has come up with the Shape Builder Tool, which lets us achieve a higher level of creativity using just a couple of clicks, as you'll see in the following video.

How to Use the Shape Builder Tool in Illustrator

Start by selecting the path that you want to adjust then switch over to the Shape Builder Tool by selecting it from the left tool bar or by using the Shift+N shortcut.

Accessing the Shape Builder Tool in Illustrator

The first mode is Merge, which allows us to combine two or multiple objects into a single shape by simply clicking and holding while dragging over them.

Using Merge for the Shape Builder Tool

The second mode is Extract, which allows us to click on any section of the overlapping objects to extract it from the larger shape.

Using Extract for the Shape Builder Tool

Finally we have Erase, which allows us to completely remove different sections of our shapes by holding down the Alt key and then dragging or clicking on the shape that you want to Delete.

Using Erase for the Shape Builder Tool

Want to see this in action? Check out the video above to see this lesson at work!

A Bit More Detail

Want to learn more about Adobe Illustrator's vast tools and settings? Check out these tutorials below:

60 Seconds?!

This is part of a series of quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+ in which we introduce a range of subjects, all in 60 seconds—just enough to whet your appetite. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you'd like to see explained in 60 seconds!

Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.