Selecting and Arranging Objects
Group and Expand Objects
Group or Ungroup Objects
Grouping objects lets you combine them into a single piece of design. The created group can be moved, rotated and resized as you could do with a single object. Some other manipulations like adding Fill and Stroke or applying distortion are also possible. This may be useful if your whole design or its part is created out of several primitive objects, and you don't want it to fall apart when you move or rotate it. For example, you can create a keyboard as a number of keys and the body. Then you group them together to have the keyboard as a single unit.
The item in the Layers panel that represents a group is named Group by default. You can tap on the V-shaped icon near the group name to access the grouped objects.
A group can include another group and so on. In this case, we say that groups are nested.
To group objects, select them. Then choose Group in the main menu.
To ungroup, select the group and choose Ungroup in the main menu.
The Group and Ungroup commands can also be found in the Path panel.
The Expand button, located in the Path panel, turns an object into a number of typically more primitive objects. Those objects together look exactly like the original one. This kind of "disassembling" of an object lets you use tools that can work only with the entire object but cannot work with its parts.
The following image shows an arrow with stroke and gradient fill expanded into two objects: an arrow with gradient and the arrow outline. All created objects were manually moved apart for the illustration.
The result of expanding is either a group or compound group. After expanding in the example above, the outline and gradient are grouped. This is the most common case.
The Expand feature has many different use cases. They often rely on the fact that vector objects are expanded into paths that you could access independently. This enables object editing that is not possible in other ways. For example, the Rounded Rectangle creates a parametric object. The shapes of its corners are defined by respective settings. But these settings limit your capabilities to adjust the object's shape. Once you have reached that limit, you can expand a rounded rectangle and edit it as a path using the Selection or other tools.
Another case is text. Once it is expanded, you can make letters look differently from the original font. For instance, rotate individual letters, turn the "O" letters into smiley faces and so on.
There is no way to switch back and forth between the expanded object's state and the original one. That can be done using the Undo command by canceling all the editing you did after expanding. Before expanding, it is useful to create a duplicate of your original object or text just in case you need it later.
In certain cases, you have to apply Expand more than once to actually expand an object. This is linked with the corner rounding feature. After adjusting a corner radius, expanding at the first time will apply a new radius. At the second time, the object will be expanded.
When a new object should be created as a result of interaction between several objects, the program creates a compound group instead. The compound group consists of the original objects. This means that you are still capable of modifying these objects and therefore updating the result. For example, we created a hole in a shape using the Subtract operation. Now the original objects are inside the compound group, which can be operated mostly like a regular object. But, at the same time, you can reach the original shapes using the Isolation mode or the Layers panel, and change the location or size of the object's body or whole.