Combine Break Apart Shapes Pages Mac

Working with shapes in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote is easy to do and can improve your document. Whether you insert a shape for a useful purpose or simply the appearance, there is a nice selection to pick from. But, if the exact shape you need isn’t in the collection, you may have to get a little creative.

Sure, you can go search the web for the shape you want, but if you have the basic tools to create what you need, you can save yourself some search time. You can combine shapes in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to create something unique. And of course, you can break apart combined shapes too. Our tutorial shows you how to do both.

Combine and break apart shapes in Pages, Numbers and Keynote

Combine shapes on Mac

You’ll follow the same steps to combine shapes in all three applications on Mac. And you have a few options for how to combine the shapes, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

To get started, open your document and make sure that the shapes are overlapping or touching the way you want them.

1) Select the shapes you want to combine. You can do this by clicking the first, holding the Shift key, and then clicking the second one.

2) Hit the Format button on the top right of the window to open the sidebar.

3) Select the Arrange tab.

4) At the bottom of the sidebar, you’ll see the four options you have to combine your shapes. So click the one you want to use and keep in mind, each will create a different shape.

Format Combine Shapes Pages Mac

Unite: Combines the single shapes into one merged shape.

Unite Shapes Pages Mac

Intersect: Combines the overlapping portion of the two shapes to create a new shape.

Intersect Shapes Pages Mac

Subtract: Removes the shape that is on top of or overlapping the other.

Subtract Shapes Pages Mac

Exclude: Removes the overlapping area between the two shapes.

Exclude Shapes Pages Mac

As you can see in the screenshots above, each setting to combine your shapes provides a distinct appearance for your new shape.

Break up shapes on Mac

Maybe one of the shapes you need is a compound shape and it simply has too many pieces. Or perhaps the pieces it does have need to be adjusted. Like combining shapes, you can also break shapes apart in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

1) Select the shape you want to break apart. For this tutorial, we’re using the firetruck shape from the Transportation category.

Format Break Apart Shapes Pages Mac

2) Click Format > Shapes and Lines in the menu bar.

3) Pick Break Apart.

You’ll see that the shape is broken down into its individual pieces and parts that you can remove or edit individually.

Break Apart Shapes Pages Mac

For our example, we took the firetruck shape, broke it apart, and then moved the ladder.

Edit Break Apart Shapes Pages Mac

Combine shapes on iPhone and iPad

You can combine shapes on your iPhone or iPad too. And while you may not have as much room to do so as on Mac, it still works the same

1) Select the shapes you want to combine. You can do this by tapping and hold the first while you tap the second one.

2) Hit the Style button (brush icon).

3) Select the Arrange tab.

4) You’ll see the same four options as on Mac to combine your shapes.

Style Combine Shapes Pages iPhone

Tap the one you want to use to create your unique shape.

Combine Shapes Pages iPhone

Remember, if you don’t like what you see when combining the shapes, tap the Undo button and then you can start again.

Break up shapes on iPhone and iPad

You can break apart compound or combined shapes on iOS pretty easily as well.

1) Select the shape you want to break apart. For this part, we’re using the ambulance shape from the Transportation category.

2) Tap the Style button and select the Arrange tab.

3) Pick Break Apart.

Now the compound image is separated into its various pieces for you to manipulate individually.

Break Apart Shapes Pages iPhone

Wrapping it up

If you use Pages, Numbers, or Keynote for diagrams, brochures, flyers, reports, or something similar where shapes are beneficial, then knowing how to combine and break them up can come in handy.

Are you going to play around with the shapes in one of these apps? Let us know what kind of unique shapes you’re able to make for your business or educational document!

For more, check out how to fill shapes with colors, gradients or images in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

And remember, you can share your own tips with us on Twitter or Facebook!