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Shape Builder Tool Slow Down

Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

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I am encountering a MAJOR slowdown issue when using the Shape Builder tool. I was just experimenting with a group of circles, and each time I subtracted or combined a shape, the process would progressively take more and more time. It has now reached a point where it is taking 3-4 minutes to do this, and am even experiencing major slowdown when simply attempting to change its color.

Has anyone else encountered this type of issue at all?

Thank you in advance for any help you could send my way.

iMac (27", Late 2012)

3.4 GHz Intel Core i7

32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2048 MB

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

12 paths shouldn't be a problem.

Can you check if there are cloned paths (that is two identical paths exactly on top of each other)?

That is something I have seen to slow down the shapebuilder dramatically.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

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A group of circles means how many precisely?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

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Began with 12 and ended up with this:

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.38.03 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

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12 paths shouldn't be a problem.

Can you check if there are cloned paths (that is two identical paths exactly on top of each other)?

That is something I have seen to slow down the shapebuilder dramatically.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

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So... I opened up the layer and did indeed find multiple duplicate paths that were stacked on top of one another. I basically started at the bottom of the stack, and deleted one sub-layer at a time until I was left with one compound path with had what I was looking for.

Why does Illustrator do this? Instead of "combining" shapes, it replicates them on top of one another, thus creating a cluster-f**k of paths and shapes on top of what you are attempting to build. I just don't understand the logic in this. If you combine a shape, it should become one compound path - not a separate path on top of what you just combined.

Sorry if I came across a bit frustrated, but this is unacceptable. The Shape Builder Tool should be just that; combine these shapes to become one shape.

I know this is not your fault, and I do appreciate the workaround, but it is just odd that the tool would act in this way.

Thank you, Monika, for the help.

Cheers.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 02, 2017 Oct 02, 2017

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The shape builder tool doesn't create duplicates. It combines its shapes by consuming the original paths. The original paths are gone afterwards.

The copying must have happened before you applied the shapebuilder tool.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 25, 2022 Mar 25, 2022

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@Monika Gause I know this thread is a bit old at this point, but I've noticed the exact same thing that @Pixel_Alchemyst was talking about... that the Shape Builder tool creates duplicate layers ontop of the old shape, which gets SUPER messy, super quickly.

 

I can't figure out why it's doing this either, and I don't know if it's something that can be toggled on or off. I have noticed it happening when I combine shapes as well as when I remove portions (holding Alt on my Mac).

 

Has anyone figured out a remedy to this in the past few years since this thread was created?  I just stumbled upon this as I was looking up why this was happening / how I could fix it, but I haven't seen much. I'm not sure if it's the tool or if I'm doing something wrong. The thing is, I'm doing things exactly how they'd be taught in a tutorial, so I feel like it's the former.

 

Anyway, it may be a long-shot, but maybe someone somewhere has figured this out in the past 5 years lol. Thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2022 Mar 25, 2022

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You could try and set up a new user account on your computer (needs to be an admin) and then launch Illustrator from that account.

What you are seeing is not normal behaviour and can only be produced by either user error or some kind of corruption. And since you rule out user error, it must be corruption. Probably the preferences and they reside in the user account.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 25, 2022 Mar 25, 2022

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Right on thanks, I'll see what I can do. The thing is, I'm the owner / admin already. I'll keep playing with it, but it's bizarre that sometimes it duplicates the shape layer (esp. when I just click in a shape to A. build it or B. fill with a color) and sometimes it doesn't. Seems to happen most often when I just click vs. drawing a line to merge or delete shapes / paths.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2022 Mar 25, 2022

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You are the owner on your old account. Create a new account with the same privileges.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 25, 2022 Mar 25, 2022

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I have only ever had one Adobe account, under my current email address. Is that what you're referring to?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2022 Mar 25, 2022

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I'm referring to the user account on your system.

Please read your system's documentation and set up a new user account. And then launch into that user account and try if your issues are gone then.

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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I don't know what causes this problem, I ran into it just now and it seems to have created an exponential number of layers.

 

I fixed it by selecting the duplicated layers and merging it down with the pathfinder rather than selecting the layers and deleting them individually. I am trying to reproduce the issue, but I can't get it to happen again. I don't think it's due to 'corruption' at all, my guess it's something to do with paths being overlapped before using the shape tool.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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How many paths in your case? When there are too many paths, the shapebuilder tool will be slow.

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Hi Monika, it looks like it's created a couple dozen copies of the same shape. The second image shows a glimpse of the ducplicated shapes created afterward. These were all in the same compound path before I copied and pasted them out to their own layers for demonstration purposes. 

It got progressively slower the more I used the tool so I'm assuming it doubled up on the previous results as I was using it. The third image shows how a bunch of duplicated shapes were created, I unstacked a couple to show that they are the same.

I'm trying to replicate it the problem again and it doesn't seem to work when I start with duplicates of the same shape.
Yuzhen22642435pcx6_0-1668715773034.png

Yuzhen22642435pcx6_1-1668715782037.png

Yuzhen22642435pcx6_2-1668715999400.png

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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If it happened just once, then maybe it's just a twist in the universe?

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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I've managed to capture it, on Illustrator v 26.2.1.

 

I'm going to examine the shape to see what else may be causing the problem.

https://assets.adobe.com/id/urn:aaid:sc:US:4b23875e-52b0-41b6-9e2a-9ace55eb37bb?view=difile

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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I don't thinkl I can download the file.

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Sorry about that, everyone should have the ability to copy the file now.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Thank you. It's a finished compound path. What did you do with it using the shapebuilder tool?

 

In my experience compound paths don't go well with the shapebuilder tool. They slow it down.

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