Strange behavior with Color Fills when combining multiple vector paths

There's something strange happening when I combine vector paths in Fireworks 8.  I'm building a logo that incorporates a globe, and I'm tracing the continents with the Vector Path tool.  Several paths were needed, and I combined the paths.  Then, I tried to fill the completed land mass with color, and I got very strange behavior (see the attached file).  

Instead of filling correctly, the color fills seemed to follow the lines between endpoints of the paths.  How can I get a true fill between composite paths?
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David BruggeCommented:
This looks very much like what happens when your path is made up of path segments and  is not connected into one continuous path.

The command "Combine Paths" can be misleading. It does not actually make one path from several.

Instead, it groups them together as a composite path (but still made of individual segments)

Instead of a composite path, you need a continuous path

The fix will take a few minutes.

To do this you need to isolate the individual endpoints of your segments and join them.

Start by breaking apart the composite path.

Select it and go to Modify>Combine Paths>Split

Now select a section to highlight the control points. You should see the end point very easily. Drag the subsection tool (hollow arrow) around  an end point so that you select both the ending end point of one section and the beginning end point of another.

Go to Modify>Combine Paths>Union

The difference between this and what you did before is that this time only two end points were chosen. If you have several point selected you cannot use the join command, but if you have several complete sections selected, the join command makes a composite path

Work your way around the shape, adding a segment at a time.

Eventually the fill may get in the way of seeing the segments. You can remove the fill temporarily while you finish your work, then refill the object.

Once you have all of the segments joined, your object should fill correctly.

Best of luck,

David B.


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tennarrow2000Author Commented:
Most complete answer I've gotten on Experts Exchange!
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