Creating compounds

Compounds provide a flexible approach to creating a variety of shapes from separate objects using Boolean operations.

Unlike joining objects, creating a Compound is a non-destructive process. This means a Compound can be added to, or broken apart, at any time. Objects within the Compound can also be removed and modified without restriction, if and when desired.

Objects within a Compound interact with each other depending on their individual compound mode. This mode can be changed at any time; each mode can be previewed in realtime on selection.

Compound modes

There are various operations available:

Add—expands Compound by adding the object's area to all objects below. This is the default mode.


Objects before and after operation.

Intersect—modifies Compound by only showing overlapping areas of selected object and objects below.


Objects before and after operation.

Subtract—reduces Compound by removing the object's area from all objects below.


Objects before and after operation.

Xor—modifies Compound by creating a composite shape, with transparent areas where object overlaps with objects below.


Objects before and after operation.
Add Subtract Intersect Xor To create a Compound:
  1. Select multiple objects.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • From the Layer menu, select Create Compound.
    • Hold down the and, on the Toolbar, select Add, Subtract, Intersect or Xor.
To change the compound mode of individual objects:
  1. In the Layers panel, click the object's compound mode icon.
  2. Select a compound mode from the pop-up menu.
To add an object to a Compound:

The object is included in the Compound using the default Add mode.

To remove an object from a Compound:
To break up a Compound:
  1. Select the Compound.
  2. From the Layer menu, select Release Compound.