Map Layout in Adobe Illustrator


New Member

I am trying to create a simple map in Illustrator CS5. I have drawn the road lines and now I want to create an outline around all the roads to make them stand out. How do I merge all the lines so that they are a single object and I do not get lines crossing at each cross roads (as happens when I use 'path outline')? The 'drop shadow' effect seems to work but I imagine there must be a more simple way.

Select them all, then go to object > expand and make sure just 'stroke' is selected. This will convert all the paths to one objects that now have a fill. Then go to Window > Pathfinder, select all these objects and from the Pathfinder panel, click the first button (Unite) to join them all together as one object.

Just be sure to make a copy of all the paths and group them together so that you have a 'back up' in case something's not right.
Probably best to use layers. Create the lines at say 2pt black. Select all lines and copy. Create a new layer and paste in place. Lock the layer below and select all the new lines. Change the new lines to say 1.5pt white. This way you can be flexible with the creation of your lines. If you keep them as lines then you can adjust at will without converting to outline.

Just my quick opinion.
Thanks for your help. Both helpful. I am new to GDF and really pleased I got such a quick response. I imagine I will be back!
The object>expand function will really help me going forward.