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Profiles are closed loops that define cross sections for sketch-based features. A circle is always a profile, and a series of lines and curves form a profile when all of the end points connect. You start with profiles in feature commands like Extrude and Sweep.
Sketch profiles are automatically detected and displayed as shaded regions. If two profiles overlap, the additional region is recognized as a separate profile.
In the following image, the sketch profiles are shown in yellow. The blue rectangular region under the cursor illustrates a selected profile.