Adobe Creative Cloud Design Tools All-in-One For Dummies (2013)


Fireworks CC


imageCreating app and website designs can be easier if you build your design using grids. At, find Firework files that include grids to help you build more professional designs.

Contents at a Glance

Chapter 1: Introducing Fireworks CC

Chapter 2: Free to Create

Chapter 3: Livening Up Your Artwork with Color

Chapter 4: Creating Text in Fireworks

Chapter 5: Getting Images In and Out of Fireworks

Chapter 6: Hotspots, Slices, and CSS Layouts

Chapter 7: Using Buttons and Symbols

Chapter 8: Don’t Just Sit There — Animate!

Chapter 9: Building a Wireframe Using Fireworks

Chapter 1: Introducing Fireworks CC

In This Chapter

image Understanding when you should use Fireworks

image Discovering the workspace

image Finding out about the tools

image Looking into the views

image Using the basic selection tools

Adobe Fireworks is an incredible application that offers solutions to meet the needs of web and interactive designers who create onscreen presentations, including business presentations, websites, mobile apps, and more. Using Fireworks, you can experiment with different optimization settings to preview your artwork and make sure it looks great no matter where it may appear in its final form. You can also build prototypes (or wireframes) to make sure that your site is organized before investing lots of time in the development of an app or website.

imagewireframe is essentially a mock-up or rough draft created to demonstrate or test a website. In web design, wireframes are basic visual guides used to suggest the layout and placement of fundamental design elements.

In this chapter, you’re introduced to the Fireworks software and its workspace. You also discover how to use selection tools so that you can start to manipulate graphics in Fireworks right away.

Why Use Fireworks?

Because you can use the Save for Web feature in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to create onscreen graphics, why do you need a separate application like Fireworks? Mostly because Fireworks offers several benefits that aren’t offered in Illustrator and Photoshop, including the following:

check Live optimization preview: As you work and make changes in Fireworks, you can simultaneously view the effect of those changes on your final optimized artwork.

check Easily create clickable regions: Using the image map feature, you can set up regions of your graphics to be clickable.

check Create rollovers: You can demonstrate the effect of a user rolling over a graphic in order to demonstrate interactivity on the screen.

check Work intuitively by taking advantage of its logical interface: This interface provides panels and features that relate to the web and that offer you the easiest way to optimize (make web-ready) graphics.

imageMany of these features, such as image maps and rollovers, are used in the prototyping stage to show a client or team how the final site or application will work. Such features are useful, but they’re best used only during the prototyping stage. For the final product, most developers prefer to use standard coding methods, such as Cascading Style Sheets. If you’re the designer, you can use Fireworks to design and create your online experience, and then allow a developer (if it isn’t you) to build the site by using CSS or JavaScript.

Working in Fireworks CC

One of Fireworks’s big advantages is that it’s built specifically for creating onscreen graphics. When working onscreen, you’re working strictly with pixels — not messy dpi (dots per inch) or lpi (lines per inch), which are typical printing concerns.

Figure 1-1 shows the dialog box that appears when you choose File⇒Open to open a vector graphic that was created in Adobe Illustrator. The dialog box offers conversion choices but emphasizes pixel dimensions.


Figure 1-1: Pixel dimensions play an important role in Fireworks.

imageAnytime you’re working with web images, you should know the approximate width, in pixels, of your final screen display. The width of a typical web page ranges from 650 to 1,000 pixels, but most designers stick with a screen built to span approximately 960 pixels. When you create images, you must think about how those images will fit within the context of the total screen. An image 600 pixels wide would fill three-quarters of a screen, whereas an image 1,200 pixels wide would force the viewer to scroll to see the entire image.

When you launch Fireworks CC, you notice right away that its workspace is similar to the workspaces in the other Creative Cloud applications. Adobe has done a good job of organizing each application so that the learning curve from one application to another is quick and integration is easy.

As you might expect, the Tools panel is to the left of the workspace, and the panels are to the right. The tools even look much like the tools in other Creative Cloud applications.

Using the tools

The Tools panel is sorted into six categories: Select, Bitmap, Vector, Web, Colors, and View. Table 1-1 lists the tools by category and the keys you can press to access them.

Table 1-1a

Table 1-1b

Table 1-1c

As you select each tool, the Properties panel displays additional options. (If your Properties panel isn’t visible, choose Window⇒Properties.)

Understanding the views

The tabs at the top of an image window give you the opportunity to view it in four ways:

check Original displays your image as it appears before being optimized for the web.

check Preview displays the image as it will appear when it’s saved for the web, based on your current settings. (You can find out more about those settings in Chapter 5 of this minibook.)

check 2-Up offers the opportunity to see an image in two windows, with different settings applied in each one. Most users tend to compare the original and optimized images in this view. (See Figure 1-2.)


Figure 1-2: Compare the original (left) and optimized (right) images in 2-Up view.

check 4-Up offers you four separate views from which you can experiment with settings. You don’t necessarily need to compare different formats when you use this view; you can experiment with different options for one format, such as pushing the limit with the amount of colors you want to keep in a GIF file, as shown in Figure 1-3.


Figure 1-3: In 4-Up view, you can experiment with ways to optimize an image.

Investigating the panels

Not unlike the other Creative Cloud applications, Fireworks allows you to detach panels from the docking area on the right side of the workspace. This procedure is similar to the methods you use to dock and undock panels in other Creative Cloud applications. You can find out more about docking and undocking panels in Book I, Chapter 3.

imageIf you can’t locate a panel, choose its name from the Window menu.

Working with Basic Selection Tools

You can work in Fireworks using the same selection tools for both vector and bitmap images.

Making a selection in a bitmap image

If you’re familiar with Photoshop selection techniques, you’ll have no problem using the same tools in Fireworks. Here’s how to make selections with the Marquee and Lasso tools:

image check Marquee: To make a selection with the Marquee tool, simply select it from the Tools panel and then click and drag to surround the area you want to select. You can add to the selection by holding down the Shift key and dragging another marquee region, or deselect a portion of the active selection by holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key while dragging with the Marquee tool.

image check Lasso: To use the Lasso tool, select it from the Tools panel and click and drag to create a path that then becomes your selection. As mentioned in the Marquee bullet, you can add to the selection by holding down the Shift key and creating another selection region, or subtract from the selection by holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key while dragging a selection region with the Lasso tool.

imageYou can use both the Marquee and Lasso tools interchangeably when making a selection.

image  By making a selection with the Marquee tool or Lasso tool and then clicking and dragging with the Pointer tool, you can move one part of an image to another, as shown in Figure 1-4. If you make no selection before you drag, everything on the existing layer is moved.


Figure 1-4: Drag a selection to move it.

Switch to the Subselection tool and notice that if you have an existing selection, the pointer changes to a double arrow, indicating that you will clone (copy) the selection when you click and drag it.

Making a selection in a vector image

By using the same tools you use to select bitmap images, you can adjust vector paths. Use the Pointer tool to move an entire vector shape, as shown in Figure 1-5.

Use the Subselection tool to move the individual points on the path.


Figure 1-5: The Pointer tool lets you move a vector shape.