Combine and Weld Objects with CorelDRAW 7

One of the requirements when exporting characters for a typeface in CorelDRAW is that each letter or symbol must be a single object -- not GROUPED (Control+G). One way to do this is to COMBINE (Control+L) all your objects. But the results of combining 2 or more objects might yield 'holes' or other anomalies that you don't want. Follow the examples below to see the differences and how to overcome the limitations of the COMBINE option.

Specific commands apply to CorelDRAW 7 but the techniques can apply to other similar drawing programs as well.

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COMBINE Command Can Leave Holes

Combine can leave holes
COMBINE command can leave holes where objects overlap.

Suppose you have two shapes that overlap -- an X -- that you want to combine into one object. We could start with the two shapes, select both, then COMBINE (Control+L or Arrange/Combine from the pull-down menu). Unfortunately, when you COMBINE two overlapping objects, you'll get a 'hole' where the objects overlap as seen in the illustration One object, yes, but it has a 'window' in it.

This may be what you want and it's useful for some types of graphics -- but if it's not what you intended, you'll need to take a different approach to turning your objects into a single object.

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COMBINE Non-Overlapping Objects

Combine Adjacent Objects
COMBINE works with non-overlapping objects.

While the COMBINE command can leave holes in overlapping objects, you can combine adjacent (non-overlapping) objects into a single object. The illustration shows how three objects can be combined to yield the shape we want without the hole in the middle using the COMBINE (Select objects then use Control+L or Arrange/Combine from the pull-down menu) command.

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Weld Overlapping Objects

WELD overlapping objects
WELD overlapping or adjacent objects.

Working with our two original overlapping shapes, we can get the desired results with the WELD roll-up (Arrange/Weld brings up the appropriate roll-up for Weld, Trim, and Intersect). Our illustration shows the result of using WELD to turn 2 (or more) objects into a single object. WELD works with both overlapping and adjacent (non-overlapping) objects.

See the next step for how to use the sometimes confusing WELD roll-up in CorelDRAW.

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Using the WELD roll-up in CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW WELD roll-up
The WELD roll-up in CorelDRAW.

At first, the WELD roll-up seems confusing but it works like this:

  1. Open the WELD roll-up (Arrange/Weld).
  2. Select one of the objects to weld (you could select all of them, it doesn't matter as long as you select at least one).
  3. Click 'Weld to...'; your mouse pointer changes to a large arrow.
  4. Point to your TARGET object, the one you want to 'weld to' your selected object, and click.

Those are the basics, but here are some more tips and tricks for using WELD.

  • TARGET and OTHER: The Target Object is the one you point to with the 'Weld to...' pointer. The Other Object(s) is the selected object(s).

    Leave Target / Leave Other: When you weld 2 or more objects, they become a single object. To create a new object AND leave a copy of the original objects put a checkmark beside the 'Leave Target Object' and/or the 'Leave Other Object(s)' options in the WELD roll-up. Remember, the TARGET object is the one you point to with the 'Weld to...' pointer. (Note: the original object may be hidden underneath your new welded object.)

    Color: When you WELD two objects of different colors they take on the color of the TARGET object. For example, if you have a red circle and a blue circle overlapping slightly. Select the red then point to the blue with your WELD pointer. The new object becomes BLUE. OR, Select the blue then point to the red with your WELD pointer. The new object becomes RED.

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