This tutorial is for beginners who are not familiar with the pathfinder palette in Adobe Illustrator. Let's have a look at the tools in the palette and what they can do.
Creating a New Document
Open the Adobe Illustrator and go to File –> New. You can set the size of the page based on your preference. Here, I have used the default size 8.5×11 inch.
Tip: To undo a mistake at any time hit CTRL+ Z or CTRL+ Shift +Z. You can use this command to undo as many steps you have done.
From the tools palette choose the Rectangle Tool (L). If you don’t see the Rectangle shape in the palette, you may come across a square shape. Click on the right corner at the bottom of this shape to get the flyout of all shapes or type ‘L’ on the keyboard.
Setting Fill Colour
Make sure that you have chosen the right Fill colour. Apply it without stroke (see the image below).
Create a Rectangle
Choose the Rectangle tool. Hold the shift key and drag on the page to make a Rectangle. Here, the shift key is used to give the Rectangle a perfect shape.
Duplicate the Rectangle
There are many ways to duplicate the Rectangle in Adobe illustrator. But in this tutorial, we will use a simple method. First, make sure that you have selected the Rectangle by clicking on it. Then press “Ctrl + C” and after that “Ctrl+V”. This is the age-old method of copying. Now you will get two Rectangles.
Deforming the New Rectangle
First of all, you have to make the Fill colour of the Rectangle white. Select the new Rectangle. Go to the tools palette and select a white swatch from the swatches palette. If the swatches palette is not visible then go to Window –> swatches. After making the Rectangle white, you need to one of the centre points of the Rectangle on either side and pull it a little (no need to hold shift). You will get something like the image below.
Selecting the Objects
Use the Select tool (V) to choose both the objects. Or you can use “CTRL+ A” to select all.
Trim in Pathfinder
Go to the pathfinder palette (Shift + F9) or Window –> Pathfinder. By selecting both the figures click on the trim button. Pathfinder is one of the handy features in Adobe Illustrator. Now the two objects will look the same. This is because by hitting the Trim button we have grouped the two Rectangles together. To ungroup the objects, select them and hit “CTRL+Shift+G”. If that doesn’t work for the first try, you need to unselect the objects by clicking somewhere else and reselect them again using (ctrl +A). Then hit “CTR+Shift+G”. Now the two objects are separated. So, click on the white Rectangle and delete it. While deleting, if both the objects disappear that means they have not ungrouped it. You have to undo the step and ungroup the objects as explained above. You can use CTRL+Z or CTRL+ Shift +Z to undo a mistake at any time.
After deleting the white Rectangle, you will get an image as shown above.
Free Transform Tool
Go to the Tool palette. Pick the Free Transform tool.
Let us change the image a little since it is similar to a famous logo. I am using the copy and paste technique to do this. After pasting, rotate the image by navigating to Object –> Transform –> Rotate.
Now you have got an idea of how the Trim tool and Free Transform tool works.