In this paper, we study the effects of compression on bitmap indexes. The main operations on the bitmaps during query processing are bitwise logical operations such as AND, OR, NOT, etc. Using the general purpose compression schemes, such as gzip, the logical operations on the compressed bitmaps are much slower than on the uncompressed bitmaps. Specialized compression schemes, like the byte-aligned bitmap code (BBC), are usually faster in performing logical operations than the general purpose schemes, but in many cases they are still orders of magnitude slower than the uncompressed scheme. To make the compressed bitmap indexes operate more efficiently, we designed a CPU-friendly scheme which we refer to as the word-aligned hybrid code (WAH). Tests on both synthetic and real application data show that the new scheme significantly outperforms well-known compression schemes at a modest increase in storage space. Compared to BBC, a scheme well-known for its operational efficiency, WAH performs logical operations about 12 times faster and uses only 60% more space. Compared to the uncompressed scheme, in most test cases WAH is faster while still using less space. We further verified with additional tests that the improvement in logical operation speed translates to similar improvement in query processing speed.