Figma grouping

How to Join or Merge Shapes in Figma

Can You Join Shapes in Figma?

Yes, you can merge shapes together using Boolean Operators. Specifically using the Union operation. Any custom vectors you draw with the Pen tool can be merged together as well.

Technically the predefined shapes are vector graphics, this is why you can resize them and not lose any fidelity.

Using the union operation is perfect for creating custom shapes like in the how to create arrows tutorial I created.

The union operation can be used with text but if the text is completely overlapping a shape then if will be merged into the shape.

Union will unite all selected shapes into a single Boolean group. That group will be named ‘union’ automatically. The selected shapes should overlap otherwise you should just group them together instead.

All the overlapping parts will be ignored and the outer path will now be the combined shape outline. Appling a stroke illustrates this, as it will follow the contours of the new object and not the shapes within.

Union can be applied to as many shapes you want, using ( Shift Click ) or dragging the cursor over them. You can also join together other custom shapes that have been created through a previous union or Boolean function.

Note that once the object created from the union will inherit all the properties from the top most object, i.e. color, stroke.

Of course, the color and stroke of the new shape can be changed at anytime.

How to Join or Merge Shapes in Figma

Merging shapes or vectors is simple in Figma, follow these steps:

 

  1. Select all the shapes that you would like to join together.
  2. Go to the top bar that has the three icons in the center and click on the arrow of the right most icon (Boolean Operators).
  3. Click on the Union Selection from the dropdown list.

Shapes that have been connected or unionized can be undone. To undo the union operation, either right click on the new ‘union’ shape and select “Ungroup” from the popup menu or just hit ( Ctrl Shift D ) on the keyboard.

Can You Edit Shapes That Have Been Merged?

Individual shapes can still be edited or moved even once unionized, just double click on the shape you would like to edit.

You can consider the shapes in a group. If you click on arrow in the layers panel you will see all the individual shapes within the ‘union group’.

To keep things a bit more organized, once your happy with the new combined shaped you can flatten everything down with ( Ctrl E ). This will completely remove any parts of the shape that are overlapping and only allow the outside edge of the shape to be editable from that point on.

Figma Union Demonstration

Now that we’ve learned how union works within Figma let’s try out a simple scenario where this would be helpful. Below is a quick example of how to use the union function to create a text bubble.

First draw out a rectangle of any size, about these proportions.

Figma rectangle

 

Round all the corners down by selecting one of the corners circles that appear when clicking on it. Try to match the radius below.

 

Draw out an even sided triangle. To do this, select the Polygon tool from the Shape tools. Make sure the sides are set to 3. To ensure that the triangle is equal sided hold down ( Shift ) on drag the cursor for the desired size.

Go to the corner of the triangles bounding box and once the cursor turns into the rotate icon hold down ( Shift ) again and rotate the triangle -90 degrees. It will look like a play button now. You can also type in this value in the Rotation field that is directly above the shapes side number field.

 

Place the triangle within the rectangle. Make sure that corners are overlapping the rectangle and the triangle is far enough from the rectangles corner.

Once your happy with the placement, select both shapes by holding down ( Shift ) and clicking on them. Go to the Boolean Groups tab at the top of the page and select Union.

The shapes are now joined together under the new union layer name. Naming it something like ‘message bubble’ would prevent confusion.

Make sure your on the correct layer and hit ( Ctrl E ) to flatten it down into one shape.

Conclusion

You should now understand how to use the union function and how it connects shapes together. Try it out with combining different shapes and see what you can create. Remember, if you need to edit a shape that has been unionized you can always double click on it or even ungroup everything.

If you have any questions or don’t understand something in this guide just leave a comment for me below.

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