In this paper, we introduce a generalized morphological skeleton transform that uses eight structuring elements to generate skeleton subsets. The number of representative points needed to represent a given shape is significantly lower than in the standard skeleton transform. A collection of shape components needed to build a structural representation is easily selected from the shape elements generated in the generalized skeleton transform. Each shape component covers a significant area of the given shape and severe overlapping is avoided. The given shape can also be accurately approximated using a small number of shape components.