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Studio MX 2004 | Dreamweaver | Fireworks MX 2004 | FreeHand MX 2004 | Flash MX 2004 |

 

Fireworks MX 2004  Fireworks MX 2004

Fireworks page 1 | Fireworks page 2 | Fireworks page 3 | Fireworks page 4

Since it's introduction in 1998, Macromedia Fireworks has been the leading edge in web graphics design. It was the first application to be dedicated to web graphics, providing tools for creation, optimization, and exporting all in one program. The new version is no exception, and adds even more enhancements to the design process. It's close integration with Dreamweaver has made it even more so. Add seamless vector and bitmap integration, including photo editing tools and built-in effects that rival third party plugin quality, and Fireworks is a superior tool.

Macromedia has worked to perfect adding popup menus, navbars, and rollovers, and in Fireworks MX 2004 adding them is as easy as clicking a mouse, without having to know any java script All images for navbars and buttons are automatically generated, along with the java script needed to run them, and the files can be edited in Dreamweaver. Roundtripping with Dreamweaver is better and more reliable than ever, so you don't waste time fixing broken code when working between the two programs.

Tighter integration with not only Dreamweaver MX 2004 but also with Freehand MX and Flash MX 2004 expand your choices for design. New bitmap and vector tools also make Fireworks more robust. By utilizing the same Check In-Check Out functions as Dreamweaver and Flash, you don't have to worry about overwriting colleagues' changes, or them overwriting yours. Roundtripping is better than before, now handling server-side code as well as nested tables. Let's look at some of the new features and see why I like this upgrade, and why I think you will too.

Start Page

FWMX 2004 has a new start page like the one in Dreamweaver.

Speed

This new version of Fireworks has been newly engineered to be faster than ever, and can handle large images much easier than before, making tasks like scaling and using brushes much faster than before.

You will also save time with new intuitive innovations, like automatically saving files in their original format. Choosing textures, fills and brushes in the Property Inspector is easier with new graphical previews.

Customize

Customizing workspace is easy. The panels can be docked. moved, floated, grouped, and ungrouped to meet your needs, and by using Panel Layout Sets in the Command menu you can save the panel layouts to load again later. Panels can be easily hidden or shown with a keyboard shortcut (Tab or F4) or by View > Hide Panels giving you more space to work whenever you need it. In Windows, you have the option to show and hide toolbars from the Windows > Toolbars menu.

Keyboard shortcuts can also be customized from Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, giving you nearly complete control over the way you work.

Property Inspector

A new Fit Canvas button on the Canvas properties makes sizing the canvas easier than using the Modify menu (which is still there if you prefer it).

fir

Graphical previews in the property inspector make choosing the right brush, texture, or pattern much easier.

previews

 

Exporting made fast and easy

One click exports make sending your images, menus or java script directly to Dreamweaver, Freehand, Flash, Director or even third party applications a breeze. The Export to button on the top right of every image window lets you choose where to export the files to: choose not only Macromedia applications, but third party applications as well, or preview in your choice of browser.

export to

Contour Gradients

Add more realism to your vector objects with contour gradients, first introduced in Freehand. With contour gradients, the gradient colors follow the outline of your shape. Be aware that these are extremely processor intensive and are rather slow to apply compared to other fill options.

gradient    contour

 

Dashed Strokes

dash

Dashed strokes are now an option in Fireworks just like in FreeHand and Flash.

 

Smart Shapes

Using the new Smart Shapes tool, you can create preset shapes and edit them using the vector tools.

tools     shape

shapes

Smart shapes can be quickly added by dragging and dropping from the new Shapes panel to any FWMX 2004 document, and edited using the vector tools, or you can even apply styles.

 

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Disclaimer

Adobe and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trandemarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.  All designs and images on these pages other than product shots or trademarks are copyrighted to me, Sara Froehlich and Northlite Designs. If you want to use something you see, please contact me for permission. Thank you!

©1995-2004 Sara Froehlich