Too many different print objects. How do I combine in Illustrator?

I print business cards and am having difficulty figuring out how I can combine items so that I only have to select the engrave options once for all the cards. I have made them all the same color, however, I have to select the engraving options for all of them individually. I have also grouped them in Illustrator thinking that would help. I cannot find any tutorials online about this either. It takes far too long to select print options for 65 different items.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

This might not work for your use case, but the most straightforward method is to group all engraves, flatten, and convert to bitmap. Make sure any cut lines are still vectors and a different color. You should only have to set the engrave settings once.

Good luck!

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@dwardio’s suggestion is the best one, because it will also engrave faster

The other option I know of is to put a box around all of them (which you’ll then ignore in the GFUI), it will combine things that are within a box

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I will say that this is probably true. We’d have to see exactly what you’re doing to be sure of that. How you lay these things out can really matter.

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If all the parts needing engrave are raster then they can be combined in Inkscape just by using the make raster of all of them and then freezing the originals.

If they are all vector and the same color they will all engrave at once

If you upload one and copy/paste in the GFUI (CTL-C and then CTL-V) then you will have one set of settings that will cut them all but it will engrave the raster parts one at a time. It will still engrave the vector parts all at once. This is a bit slower to cut but is flexible and just a single setting for each bit.

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Are you able to provide a file? This is def the best way we can help. If they are the same color and you export to an svg, it should be grouping them properly in the GF interface. One way to test if they are slightly different colors a bit-select one of the lines in AI, go to Select–>Same Stroke Color (going from memory, but this should be pretty close), and it should select all of the lines that are that color (as long as they are not in separate groups).

If you don’t want to share it on the forum, feel free to send me the file in a private message and I’d be happy to take a quick look.

Vector objects of the same color will be grouped in the GF UI (grouping in AI does nothing.) If they are not, they are not the same color.

If they are raster/bitmap, then grouping and color will not help. They are considered separate objects. They need to be combined into one single, large raster/bitmap (sorry, can’t help there, I use Inkscape.)

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