Complete guide to the boolean shapes operators in Gravit Designer

The boolean shapes operators are the quickest and most efficient way of manipulating paths and shapes in Gravit Designer. They provide you a set of clear actions to build a shape of any complexity and form. Mastering the tools on offer can make creating the most complex shapes almost instantaneous. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a good grasp of the basics, and be able to develop and incorporate these skills into your own workflow.

Compound shape

The end result of each shape operator is called a compound shape. Compound shapes in Gravit are unique in the different ways:

  1. They are dynamic (live) shapes. That means you can do the changes to any component of the compound shape
  2. You can release the components at any given moment. Just use split operator ( Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G )
  3. They have fill and stroke attributes inherited from the background shape

Boolean shapes operators in a nutshell

To make a long story short, boolean shapes operators in Gravit are the only way to create very complex shapes without need of drawing them. You can easily combine basic shapes, like rectangles, ellipses, triangles, polygons into compound shapes using four types of operators:

  1. Union (merge). Keyboard shortcut is Ctrl/Cmd+M
  2. Subtract
  3. Intersect
  4. Difference

Let’s take a closer a look on each of them.

Union

Union merges all shapes together.

union shape operator

Subtract

This command subtracts all of the forward shapes from the rear one.

Subtract in Gravit Designer

 

Intersect

Intersect operator keeps the only area, where shapes are intersected.

intersect shape operator

Difference

The difference is the exact opposite to the intersect. If you fire the difference operator, the only area where shapes do not intersect remains intact.

Difference

As may notice it leads to an odd result. The part of the window where two squares are intersected remains intact.

Difference dillema in Gravit

I called it “Difference dilemma” because it’s not how it is expected to work. The logic of this operator is pretty simple

  1. Intersection of two or any even number of shapes (2,4,6, etc.) should create an empty space (“window”)
  2. Intersection of an odd number of shapes should remain this area intact

An Illustrator’s exclude command ( alternative to difference ) leaves the window opened and generally works as I described previously.

exclude in Adobe Illustrator

How to run difference properly in Gravit Designer

In order to preserve the “window” in Gravit Designer, we should do an additional step. First, run difference, then convert the compound shape to the compound path using Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+P.

Convert to the path to solve the difference dillema

The main cons of this solution is that compound path isn’t a live shape, thus you wouldn’t be able to split or rearrange the components.

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