Skip to main content
Version: 7.9

Shape Geometry

Inductive University

Shape Geometry

Watch the video

Shape geometry allows you to apply functions such as a union (combine), difference (exclusion), and intersection (division) on multiple shapes to get the resulting shape that you want.

Creating and Editing Shapes Using Constructive Area Geometry

Editing paths directly can be a bit awkward. Using Constrictive Area Geometry is usually a much easier and more intuitive way to get the shape that you want. These functions are accessed from the Shape menu and operate when two (or more) shapes are selected.

creating and editing shapes using constructive area geometry

Selection Order Matters

The order that you select the shapes is important for many of these functions. Typically, the first shape you select is the shape you want to retain, and the second shape is the shape that you want to use as an "operator" on that first shape.


The Union function (union icon) combines two or more paths into one. The resulting shape will cover the area that any of the shapes covered initially. The example shows how the union of a circle, rectangle, and triangle can be unioned together to create a basic pump symbol. Creating the symbol using this method took a few seconds, whereas attempting to draw this shape by hand using paths would be quite frustrating.



The Difference function (difference icon) can be thought of as using one shape as a "hole-punch" to remove a section of another shape. The example shows how a zigzag shape drawn with the line tool can be used to punch a cutaway out of a basic tank shape. The level indicator is added behind the resulting shape to show how the area where the zigzag shape was is no longer part of the tank shape.



The result of an Intersection function (intersection icon) will be the area only where where two shapes overlap. The example shows how the "top" of the tank in the difference example was easily made using two ellipses.



The Exclusion function (exclusion icon), sometimes called X-OR, creates a shape that occupies the area covered by exactly one of the source shapes, but not both.



The Division function divides or cuts one shape up along the outline of another shape. This works the same as an intersection for the first shape selected, and a difference for the second.