If you are a web designer, you’ve definitely seen countless posts about which application is better; Fireworks or Photoshop. I use Fireworks to design websites and applications. I might be wrong, but I have been working on Fireworks for many years (yeah yeah I know adobe is not creating an updated version for it, it’s been quite some time…) and I think it is by far the fastest and easiest tool to put your ideas into pixels.
Below are some of the coolest things and the reasons that make me use Fireworks as my primary tool for web design:
1. States and layers
You can easily work on a big website with many pages with just one design file. In Fireworks you can work on each website page on an individual state with its own layers. This way, your file will be well organized and you can browse easily between the pages /states and add new layers or modify existing ones.
2. Gradients and curved corners
In Fireworks gradients are not applied as effects but as gradients! There is a main section dedicated to gradient settings. After you’ve applied a gradient to an object, you can drag, cut, rotate and squeeze gradients via the gradient handler – a special control that is available only in Fireworks.
The same applies for curved corners objects. When drawing a rectangle in Fireworks for example, you can rescale it without affecting its corner curves.
In addition, you can modify the curve of the corners at any time by simply using control handle. And one more cool thing is that you can make one corner straight and have the rest curved with one click only.
3. All in one
The smartest aspect of Fireworks is that it’s a tool that combines Photoshop and illustrator.
You can manipulate an image and adjust its color and add effects to it in addition to working on a vector based shape / design.
4. Vectors vs. bitmaps
When you create an object in Fireworks (whatever it is), this object is basically a vector. This means that you can scale it and rescale it as much as you want without losing or affecting its quality.
This is wow! But what is even more awesome is that when you’ve applied an effect to that object; a drop shadow for example; and you scale the object up, the effect will scale up with it. Fireworks will not just change the dimensions, it will also change the attributes of the applied effects. This feature can be a huge advantage when you are designing Apps for iOS.
The simplicity of Fireworks and the way it handles layers are two of its biggest assets. Photoshop files can become very messy when you want to design fast. If you don’t clean up your files at the end of your work session, it will be really hard for the developer to find the correct layers and groups to export.
More over the cutting tools in Fireworks are way easier and faster to use. Fireworks makes the life of any developer easier, and prevents any confusion in the development process.
Didn’t switch yet? What are you waiting for?
No seriously if you are used to Photoshop and have been working on it for years then definitely stick to it. At the end what is important is the end result.
But still, if one day you are bored or have around 10mins to kill, click on the little yellow icon and try to experiment. Who knows maybe you’ll end up liking it!
Edline Nicolakis Digital Associate Creative Director