A compound path occurs when you combine more than one path or object. You can apply compound paths to objects that are layered, and different effects will be seen depending on the order of the objects, the colors, and the objects themselves. Wherever a path overlaps with another object, a hole is created (see Figure 26.21).
Figure 26.21. When two objects that overlap are made into a compound path, the top item is punched out of the other object.
To create a compound path, select the overlapping objects and choose Object, Compound Path, Make.
To break up a compound path, select the item and choose Object, Compound Path, Release.
This is a pretty simplistic explanation of compound paths. In Chapter 30, "Creating and Modifying Paths in InDesign," you delve more deeply into compound paths and the various ways you can edit and change them.