The Join Line toot

A limitation to the Fill tool is that if there are gaps in what you think is an enclosed area; the tool fills beyond the area until the program finds a border without gaps. If you aren't careful, you can find yourself with a completely black page!

You could comb over the area with your pen or marker and draw in any gaps you may have missed. Or you can close all the gaps in one fell swoop with the Join Line tool. This tool goes over an area that you select and connects any gaps that it finds with a thin line. The join line may not look like much, but it restrains a fill from spilling beyond the area you intended to fill.

You can access the Join Line tool in two ways:

IV Press J on your keyboard

V Click the Join Line tool button on the Tools palette.

When the Join Line tool is selected, the cursor changes into a cross when you hover it over the page. To use the Join Line tool, just click and drag a rectangular selection over the area you wish to check for gaps. When you let go of the selection, the Join tool searches for the gaps and fills them in, as shown in Figure 10-9. That's all!

Figure 10-9:

Before and after using the Join Line tool.

The Tool Options palette gives you two options for the Join Line tool, as shown in Figure 10-10.

Figure 10-10:

The Join Line Tool Options palette.

Figure 10-10:

The Join Line Tool Options palette.

[Join Line] Tool Option*

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Open the Tool Options palette (if it isn't already open) by pressing F3, and then adjust the options for the Join Line tool by following these steps:

1. To adjust the maximum size gap the Join Line tool should fix, enter a value between 0.0 mm and 5.0 mm in the Join Width text box. Or you can use the slider to adjust until you reach your desired value.

While the Join Line tool is great for closing gaps, it can be a bit overzealous at times. If you're trying to fill an irregular shape, it may treat a thin area of the shape as a gap and join an area you don't want it to, as shown in Figure 10-11.

Adjusting the Join Width option can help remedy the situation. This sets a maximum gap width that the Join Line tool fixes. For example, if you set the Join Width to 2.0 mm, anything larger than that is ignored. So, if there's a part of your fill section that's 3 mm, you don't have to worry about that getting closed off.

2. Select the Target Color for your line by clicking one of the Icons (black, white, or transparent).

This option is useful if you're working on a 2-bit (black and white) layer. You can change the color of the join line by choosing either black, white, or transparent ink. Keep in mind that color should match the color of the lines you're trying to join, so if you're joining two black lines, for example, choose the black color.

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