Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using the Compound Shape tool

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using the Compound Shape tool

You can create complex Vector shapes quickly and easily with the Compound Shape tool, which is found in the Properties panel. Rather than creating a single Custom Path with the Pen tool, Compound Shape tool allows you to temporarily group multiple Vector shapes together as they are drawn. Making it easy to move the objects at the same time, it also allowing for quick and easy editing of any shape within the compound group. You can also test effects such as Punching, Intersecting, Cropping, or Overlapping Vectors. By using the Subselection tool, each vector is easily accessible and editable. Let's give this a try. We've got our logo_working file up onscreen here and you see our main finished logo has a symbolic golden gate bridge running through the background, and I've got a sample of that golden gate bridge down here as well, to help demonstrate how the Compound Shape tool works.

Using the Compound Shape tool

You can create complex Vector shapes quickly and easily with the Compound Shape tool, which is found in the Properties panel. Rather than creating a single Custom Path with the Pen tool, Compound Shape tool allows you to temporarily group multiple Vector shapes together as they are drawn. Making it easy to move the objects at the same time, it also allowing for quick and easy editing of any shape within the compound group. You can also test effects such as Punching, Intersecting, Cropping, or Overlapping Vectors. By using the Subselection tool, each vector is easily accessible and editable. Let's give this a try. We've got our logo_working file up onscreen here and you see our main finished logo has a symbolic golden gate bridge running through the background, and I've got a sample of that golden gate bridge down here as well, to help demonstrate how the Compound Shape tool works.

So, I've got my Pointer tool selected. I am going to click on that bridge. We see, in here, a whole bunch of different vector shapes, all these different individual control points. Now, if I just click and drag I move the entire bridge as a whole, but if I grab the Subselection tool, I can click on individual parts of that Compound Shape, which means I can edit them individually. I can grab a control point on the roadway and change the length of it, change the angle or do whatever I like with that. I have complete control over the individual elements without affecting anything else.

So, it means I can build up a complex shape bit-by-bit without having to try and do it all in one go. So, we are going to give this a try. We are going to rebuild our bridge again, and we'll walk through some of the features inside the Compound Shape tool. I am just going to move my original bridge a little bit further out of the way there, give us some workspace, and we are going to start off by creating one of the bridge towers. So, I am going to go and grab my Rectangle tool. All I want to do is draw a plain old rectangle, just like so. Now, it's only just a simple rectangle. but we are going to add to this and see how the Compound Shape tool makes this a lot easier.

Now, if you take a look down in the Properties panel, over by the right-hand side, you'll see variety of little icons that basically are our control areas for our Compound Shape tool. We've got our Normal shape. We've got our Additive, or Union, shape. We've got our Subtract and Punch, Intersect, and Crop. Now, what I am going to do is I am going to select the Subtract/Punch option. I am going to draw another rectangle. Now, in this case, I am holding down the Shift key to draw a perfect square. When I click and drag, let go with the mouse, you'll see I cut right into that original rectangle, really easy to do.

I'll do the same thing again. I'll add in a couple more of these openings, and there is three of them right there. Now, they are grouped together, but they are also independent from each other. So, if I want to, I can go and grab my Subselection tool. I can select each of those individual shapes, like so. I can do things like check alignments. So I am going to go to my Align panel, and I am just going to align them based on each other. I think I also want to resize them. So, they are a little bit big, and I'd like to have four of those windows in there.

Now, they are currently all three selected. So, I can go ahead and grab my Scaling tool. All I have got to do is grab from a corner and drag upwards, and I can rescale all three of these at the same time. I'll just press my Enter key or the Return key to lock those into place. I'll grab my Subselection tool again and just reposition these three selected objects. I can do this with the mouse. I can do it with my Arrow keys, whatever works for me. I want to add one more little square down at the bottom.

So, make sure that I have got my main shape selected, grab my Rectangle tool and just click and drag, and then we added one more in, now that one wasn't drawn quite at the right size. So, I am going to zoom in a little bit, and let's see if I could scale this one, just select the one shape. You notice when you select one out of all the different shapes inside of this Compound Shape it gets a blue highlight. All the other ones have a black highlight. You know which shape is currently active. I am just going to reposition this, and I'll grab my Scaling tool again, and I'll just drag outwards still I match up with my other windows.

There we go, just like that. I'll zoom out by pressing Ctrl+Minus a couple of times so I can see more of the whole bridge. There we go. If my Pointer tool is selected, I'll just click away and then click back on my shapes, and the whole thing moves as one piece. So they are individually selectable using the Subselection tool. But with the Pointer tool, they basically move as one shape. Now, we'll add in a couple more things here. I am going to zoom out just a little bit more. I want to add in the bridge roadway. So, I am going to switch to my Add Union tool, and I am going to go and grab my Pen tool.

In this case, what I want to do is draw my roadway to create that forced perspective. So, I am going to start over towards the middle of the canvas. I am going to click once. I am going to drag across in a straight line. You remember, working with the Pen tool, if you just click and then move your cursor and click again, you basically get a straight line. I'll do that again for the bottom, and I'll come all the way back to the beginning. And then go right to the very first square and click once to lock that in.

So, now I've got my bridge roadway all set up. Again, this is selectable with the Subselection tool. I can change it. I can reposition it if I am not happy with the original location. Now, the last little bit that I want is I want a copy of the bridge tower down at the other side and sort of enhance that forced perspective. So, I am going to go and select my bridge. I've got rectangle shapes in there, and they are fairly small detail elements so if I accidentally try to select corner of one of my rectangles, I get this little message from Fireworks.

So, I am just going to zoom in a bit to make it a bit easier for more accurate selection. There we go. I'll grab my main rectangle, and I'll just hold down my Shift key, and I'll grab the other one. So, I've got all five elements there, the four windows, or openings, in the bridge, the tower and the tower itself. Now I am going to go to Edit > Clone. I get an exact copy of the bridge in exactly the same location. Now I'll zoom out a little, so we can see things a bit better.

I'll just drag my copy of my bridge down to the other end. Now, it's still currently the same size, so we'll need to do some scaling of that as well. But it was a pretty straightforward process to move it to the different location. I'll grab my Scaling tool and click and drag, and I can make this as smaller as large as I want. I want to really give an enhanced forced perspective. So, something along that line works out pretty well. Again, with my Pointer tool selected, notice these guys are all one piece.

It's not until I grab my Subselection tool that I can go inside and edit the individual elements. So, there you've got the Compound Shape tool. I think you'll find this to be a really handy feature, especially if you are new to working with Vectors or if you are trying to build complex shapes. And even if they are not so much complex in themselves, but having multiple shapes that are working together to create your final design. One last little point I'll make about the Compound Shape tool that's really a nice timesaver. We were doing that punch work by punching out those little squares inside of my bridge tower, that's a pretty easy thing to do inside of the Compound Shape tool.

If I was to do this with a Standard Vector, I'd actually have to go into my Modify menu > Combine Paths and choose Punch. So, I've got a couple of more steps to go before I could actually punch something with a standard set of Vectors. So, the Compound Shape tool I think is something you'll find to be quite helpful. This is just one of many examples of how Fireworks CS5 speeds up your workflow.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29475 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. What is Fireworks?
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 1h 27m
    1. Creating and opening documents
      7m 36s
    2. Understanding the interface
      9m 43s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 18s
    4. Setting up rulers, guides, and grids
      10m 7s
    5. Using tooltips and Smart Guides
      5m 40s
    6. Working with panels
      9m 29s
    7. Working with pages
      8m 59s
    8. Working with layers
      13m 13s
    9. Working with states
      4m 35s
    10. Using the Properties panel
      4m 38s
    11. Using the Preferences panel
      7m 34s
  3. 52m 39s
    1. Understanding the Fireworks PNG format
      2m 11s
    2. Saving and exporting files
      5m 11s
    3. Importing files
      5m 34s
    4. Opening Photoshop files
      6m 7s
    5. Opening Illustrator files
      3m 58s
    6. Exporting a single file
      9m 57s
    7. Using the Image Preview window
      1m 52s
    8. Using the Export Area tool
      3m 10s
    9. Creating PDF files
      4m 16s
    10. Saving Photoshop files
      5m 48s
    11. Using Fireworks files for Illustrator
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding bitmaps
      1m 32s
    2. Resizing images
      3m 48s
    3. Using the selection tools
      8m 0s
    4. Using the drawing tools
      8m 19s
    5. Retouching with the corrective tools: Rubber Stamp
      12m 16s
    6. Using the bitmap effects tools: Blur, Sharpen, and Replace Color
      7m 33s
    7. Using more bitmap effects tools: Dodge and Burn
      7m 1s
    8. Improving images using the Levels filter
      8m 15s
    9. Creating a bitmap mask with a selection
      6m 2s
  5. 1h 10m
    1. Looking at the vector toolset
      6m 53s
    2. Using the Pen tool
      7m 32s
    3. Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools
      4m 35s
    4. Filling shapes with patterns and live filters
      3m 17s
    5. Using Auto Shapes
      7m 24s
    6. Using shapes as image elements
      4m 16s
    7. Scaling shapes
      5m 28s
    8. Masking objects with vector shapes
      7m 13s
    9. Applying strokes
      5m 52s
    10. Using Vector Path and Path Scrubber
      6m 9s
    11. Using the Compound Shape tool
      7m 40s
    12. Using Snap to Pixel
      2m 15s
    13. Using Gradient Dither
      1m 46s
  6. 51m 18s
    1. Understanding symbols
      5m 41s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      13m 11s
    3. Creating button symbols
      10m 22s
    4. Creating animation symbols
      5m 4s
    5. Sharing symbols with the Common Library
      1m 37s
    6. Editing the instance of a symbol
      3m 46s
    7. Adding component symbols to a design
      8m 46s
    8. Exporting and importing symbols
      2m 51s
  7. 17m 34s
    1. Creating GIF animations
      9m 31s
    2. Animating with Twist and Fade
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a tweened animation
      4m 16s
  8. 26m 46s
    1. Using text in Fireworks
      7m 19s
    2. Understanding text properties
      3m 14s
    3. Adding text in a path
      4m 43s
    4. Adding text to a path
      4m 31s
    5. Using text as a mask
      3m 35s
    6. Maintaining crisp text in web images
      3m 24s
  9. 28m 35s
    1. Having fun with filters
      8m 44s
    2. Working with Styles
      4m 10s
    3. Using Blend Modes
      4m 40s
    4. Converting bitmap selections to paths
      3m 50s
    5. Working with Adobe Swatch Exchange files
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Kuler panel for color inspiration
      4m 38s
  10. 1h 14m
    1. Understanding the web toolset
      1m 51s
    2. Creating hotspots
      6m 22s
    3. Using the Slice tool
      8m 57s
    4. Using a master page
      5m 20s
    5. Sharing layers across pages
      4m 49s
    6. Sharing web layers across pages
      3m 30s
    7. Using HTML component symbols
      3m 15s
    8. Creating choices and showing design options to clients
      7m 7s
    9. Importing pages
      2m 47s
    10. Previewing the mockup
      4m 17s
    11. Using HTML prototyping
      5m 22s
    12. Improving the workflow
      20m 30s
  11. 33m 19s
    1. Optimizing images for export, part 1
      15m 36s
    2. Optimizing images for export, part 2
      13m 36s
    3. Generating a CSS-based layout
      4m 7s
  12. 22m 20s
    1. Integrating Fireworks, FXG, and Flash Catalyst
      3m 56s
    2. Integrating Fireworks and Flash
      3m 46s
    3. Using roundtrip editing between Dreamweaver and Fireworks
      5m 52s
    4. Copying and pasting objects to Dreamweaver
      2m 57s
    5. Integrating Fireworks and Device Central
      4m 13s
    6. Working with Bridge
      1m 36s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Fireworks CS5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.