In this brief walkthrough, we've outlined the basics of Adobe Fireworks, a discontinued editor for designing websites and applications.
What is Adobe Fireworks?
Formerly known as Macromedia Fireworks, Adobe acquired the software in 2005. Initially, Fireworks was built for web designers to create visual prototypes and simplified interfaces. The program had cross-platform functionality with other Adobe software, including Dreamweaver (their main web design application) and Flash (their web graphics app).
In 2013, Adobe announced that they would stop supporting Fireworks beyond version CS6. Updates to Adobe software like Photoshop, Edge, and Illustrator have made Fireworks less relevant, but some developers still adore the program's interface.
Popular Fireworks Features
Fireworks makes it easy to design mockups for web, mobile, and tablet interfaces. Within one file, it's possible to work on multiple canvases, and then link these pages to an interactive prototype. From there, you can send a work-in-progress to a client, give an app demonstration, and test your design on various devices. This is extremely useful for UI/UX designers.
Here are a few major features in Fireworks CS6:
- Smart Guides: These vertical and horizontal lines allow you to design better interfaces. Smart guides only appear when the user moves an object into another object's vicinity. They're helpful for discerning object boundaries and midpoints.
- Optimized Images: Fireworks projects are built for the web, which means they need to load quickly on a wide range of devices. Images are compressed more efficiently than Photoshop, so that they don't take up too much space.
- Improved Color Selection: CS6 has a redesigned color panel, with buttons for options like solid, gradient, and no fill. You can also determine the Stroke position using a separate dialog box, so that the stroke appears on the inside, outside, or center.
- Export as CSS Sprite: By slicing objects and exporting them as a single sprite image, you can reduce page loading time. When a website has multiple CSS images, more server requests are made, and this slows down the site.
- Fill and Stroke Opacity: CS6 includes a separate Opacity slider for the Fill and Stroke settings, so you have more control over your colors.
- 64-Bit Support: Fireworks runs even better on 64-bit PCs, especially when opening large projects. Meanwhile, Mac users will experience a faster refresh rate when selecting new objects in the Property Inspector panel.