One thing that makes it hard to write a clear, concise article about using any kind of software is that there are often so many different methods to achieve the same task. Here’s an example: Let’s say that you want to make a “doughnut” shape (two circles on top of each other). How many different ways can you achieve this in Illustrator? I can think of three off the top of my head…

1. Make two circles, one smaller than the other. Click on one circle to select it and show the center point, then click on the center point and drag it over the other object. If you pay attention, you’ll see that the objects “snap” when you mouse near the center of the second object.

2. Use the Align palette: Select both circles, then click the “Horizontal Align Center,” then the “Vertical Align Center.” Pretty fast; the only con is that your objects will move around the page, and maybe you don’t want that.

3. My preferred method: Make one circle, select it, then use the Scale tool while holding Shift-Alt to scale down a copy of the circle.

(Feel free to post a comment if you came up with other ways to do the same thing…)

Corrie is the lead designer and developer for PixelMill and their in-house brand, jgtemplates. This would-be triathlete has a mathematics degree but wishes she had double-majored in computer science and art instead. Maybe next time...

Free Guide:

How to Choose the Right Charting Library for Your Application

How do you make sure that the charting library you choose has everything you need? Sign up to receive this detailed guide from FusionCharts, which explores all the factors you need to consider before making the decision.


  • http://www.platinum-central.com platinum

    You will still have no “hole” – it will simply be covering up another circle.

    Most of the time when I need something like that, the ‘hole’ of the donut will need to be see-through.

    Select both objects and use the pathfinder palette to remove it.

  • mpdesigns

    It depends on its application. If there is nothing layered under the “donut” then there is no need for a transparent hole. So her technique is perfectly legal. I tend to lose the transparent hole, cause sometimes stickin to simplicity is designs best friend.

  • http://www.simonjobling.com Si

    Surely a circle with a large stroke would be the most efficient (and simplest) method.

Learn JavaScript for free!
Free course: Introduction to JavaScript

Yours when you take up a free 14-day SitePoint Premium trial.