Make or release a compound path

A compound path is just when you combine multiple individual paths into one single path. Shapes must be converted to paths before being included in a compound path. For more information, see Convert a shape to a path.


For a quick reference of modifications that you can make to a path, see Direct Selection tool modifier keys and Pen tool modifier keys.

To make a compound path

  1. Select two or more paths you want to turn into a compound path. (To select multiple objects, hold the CTRL key.)

  2. On the Object menu, point to Path, and click Make Compound Path.

    The resulting path will replace the bottom-most path (in Z-order) that was selected before compounding, adopting that path's properties.

    Two paths converted to a compound path


To release a compound path

You can break apart a compound path any time after you create it, however the original properties of the individual path objects will not be restored.

  1. Select the compound path.

  2. On the Object menu, point to Path, and click Release Compound Path.

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