And there’s difference between two “Make compound shape” methods. You can do it just with right click on object and select “Make compound shape” – objects will appear on layers palette named ”<Compound shape>”. And you can select “Make compound shape” from “Pathfinder” palette clicking on right top arrow. This make object name “Compound shape” with no ”< >”. So the difference is that first kind of objects will be opened in Photoshop as rasterized layers. But the second are still shapes! Don’t ask me why it is. It’s just inner Adobe magic. Only remember this thing and use this powerful killer feature.
And I forgot about transparency. You can use it – it will be the same in Photoshop. So you can use solid fills and transparency but no other properties on objects like strokes, gradients, meshes or effects.
Wow thanks for this despoth, i have been trying all the other solutions here, just tried this and it is exactly what i need.
Open the illustrator file in Fireworks first – then save it as a PSD from Fireworks – it will retain the layers as vector objects.