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Compound object is a pathfinder improved : You can move/rotate/scale one part of the compound object. You can do the same in AI when press Alt at same time you click on the pathfinder.


Question : Is it possible to make a mask with a compound object or I must convert to curve the compound object before ?


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You can use any object as a mask by using the Layers tab to drag it over the object you want to mask and dropping between that object's icon and its description. Unfortunately you can't then select components of the mask. It's still better than Convert to Curves because you can drag it off again to get back the original objects.

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It's not a good workflow for me.


My principal job is to draw dials for watches. It's very easy to do index in AI :

- draw inner and outer circles

- make them transparent (cmd 8)

- draw index bigger than circles

- make a mask (index are now between the 2 circles)

If I want to change the radius inner or/and outer, it's very easy by selecting circles.


I can do almost the same in AD :

- draw inner and outer circles

- pathfinder subtract

- draw index (not easy - you can't define a reference point for rotation but after doing once, just copy/paste)

- make a mask with sub layer


BUT I can't change the radius of ONLY ONE circle. If I select one circle and its points and change the radius with the white arrow, circle becomes a potatoe. Potatoes are good but in my plate...


A big limitation of AD is that you can't easily change a part of a shape. I often in AI select some points and rotate or scale them. It's impossible yet in AD.

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Are you subtracting the inner circle from the outer circle? If so, you could use a Donut shape instead. It's about half-way down the Shape flyout (which is below the Rounded Rectangle tool on the left). You can then use it as a mask by moving other elements inside it, without converting it to curves or using subtract.


If you are getting potatoes from the Node tool, it sounds like you didn't use Alt when you made the combined shape.


You can select points on a curve with the Node tool, and then move or scale them with the Transform tab. (It doesn't rotate yet.) Allowing rotation around an arbitrary point is something we have planned for the future.

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