Compound Shape Manipulation
Creating complex vector shapes is fast and flexible in Fireworks CS5, thanks to the Compound Shape tool in the Properties panel (see Figure 10). Rather than creating a single complex custom path, this feature enables you to group multiple vector shapes temporarily as they're drawn, making it easy to move the objects together, yet also allowing for quick-and-easy editing of any shape within the compound group (see Figure 11).
You can also test effects such as punching, intersecting, or cropping overlapping vectors. Using the Subselection tool, each vector is easily accessible and editable.
Figure 10 The Compound Shape tool in the Properties panel provides many creative options by allowing you to group multiple vector paths, while still retaining quick access to editing those paths.
Figure 11 Use the Subselection tool to select a single path in a compound shape; then you can edit that path without affecting the other vectors in the group.