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Adobe Fireworks

Adobe Fireworks
Fireworks CS6 on Windows 7
Developer(s) Adobe Systems
Stable release CS6 (12) / May 7, 2012 (2012-05-07)
Development status Discontinued (Will continue Long-term support only)
Operating system Windows, OS X
Type Raster graphics editor
License Trialware
Website /fireworks/

Adobe Fireworks (formerly Macromedia Fireworks) is a bitmap and vector graphics editor, which Adobe acquired in 2005. It was originally developed using parts of Macromedia xRes. Fireworks is made for web designers for rapidly creating website prototypes and application interfaces. Its features include slices and the ability to add hotspots. It is designed to integrate with other Adobe products such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Flash. It is available as either a standalone product or bundled with Adobe Creative Suite. Previous versions were bundled with Macromedia Studio.

On May 6, 2013, Adobe announced that Fireworks would be phased out. Adobe will continue to provide security updates and perhaps bug fixes for the current version, but does not plan to add any new features beyond what is in Fireworks CS6.[1]


  • User interface 1
  • Features 2
    • Hierarchical layers 2.1
    • Smart guides 2.2
    • Symbols 2.3
    • 9-slice scaling 2.4
    • Image optimization 2.5
    • Adobe Creative Suite integration 2.6
    • Export 2.7
    • States 2.8
  • Version history 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

User interface

Fireworks' user interface is consistent with the rest of Adobe Creative Suite, similar to that of Adobe Photoshop. On Mac OS X, it is possible to display the application in multiple document interface mode or the standard viewing mode where all toolbars float freely on the screen.


Hierarchical layers

All the layers can be accessed from the Layers panel. Layers may be wider or taller than the image itself. However, the final image is produced by hiding those areas that exit image boundary.

Smart guides

Fireworks supports guides, horizontal or vertical lines that act like a real-world ruler to help drawing, content placement and image composition. A user may place one or more guides on the image at any time and use it as a visual aid. For instance a guide is useful when a piece of text must be placed in line with another graphical item. Additionally, the user may enable the snap feature of the Fireworks, which causes objects (pieces of image, text or layers) drag to the vicinity of a guide to snap to it.

The smart guides however, are not placed by users. They are areas of the image that may interest the user such as the image boundaries, middle of the image or general boundaries of another object. When a user drags an object, Fireworks tries to guess what the user intends to do with the object and draws temporary visual and placement aids. This feature was added with the release of CS4.[2]


Reusable elements can be designated as symbols and placed at multiple pages or on the same page. When the master symbol is edited, Fireworks propagates the change to all instances of that symbol.

9-slice scaling

This feature ensures that rounded rectangles maintain their roundness when transformed depending on where the guides are placed. CS4 has this feature exposed as a tool. With this feature introduction in CS3 version, its usage was limited to symbols.

Image optimization

Fireworks was created specifically for web production.[3] Since not every user may be in possession of a fast Internet connection, it is at the best interest of the web developers to optimize the size of their digital contents. In terms of image compression, Fireworks has a better compression rate than Photoshop with JPEG, PNG and GIF images.[4]

Adobe Creative Suite integration

Fireworks understands the Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator file formats (.psd and .ai files) as well as Encapsulated PostScript format (.eps files).


Fireworks can export images to multiple file formats including PNG, JPEG, GIF, Animated GIF, TIFF, SWF, BMP, WBMP and PDF. It can also export to SVG (with the help of a free Export extension[5]) and FXG 2.0.


Previously known as frames, states are used for animation purposes. They are also used for defining behaviors in cases of symbol buttons like Up, Down, Over.

Version history

  • 1998: Macromedia Fireworks
  • 1999: Macromedia Fireworks 2
  • 2000: Macromedia Fireworks 3
  • 2001: Macromedia Fireworks 4
  • 2002: Macromedia Fireworks MX (v6.0)
  • 2003: Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 (v7.0)
  • 2005: Macromedia Fireworks 8
  • 2007: Adobe Fireworks CS3 (v9.0)
  • 2008: Adobe Fireworks CS4 (v10.0)
  • 2010: Adobe Fireworks CS5 (v11.0)
  • 2011: Adobe Fireworks CS5.1 (v11.1)
  • 2012: Adobe Fireworks CS6 (v12.0)

See also


  1. ^ "The Future of Adobe Fireworks". Adobe. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ West, Tommi (2007-03-01). "Design Learning Guide for Fireworks: Using Smart Guides and tooltips for precise positioning and layout". Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  3. ^ "JPEG Optimization: The Fireworks Advantage". Assorted garbage. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  4. ^ "Fireworks vs Photoshop Compression". Web Designer wall. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  5. ^ "Export", Extensions, Abe all .

Further reading

  • Bullock, Joshua. "Developing A Design Workflow In Adobe Fireworks". Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  • De Cock, Benjamin (2012-05-07). "Refining Your Design In Adobe Fireworks". Smashing magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  • Howells, Leigh. "10 Reasons why I prefer Fireworks to Photoshop for Web Design". Boag world. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  • Reinegger, André. "50 reasons NOT to use Photoshop for Web Design". Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  • Reinegger, André. "Create Interactive Prototypes With Adobe Fireworks". Smashing magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  • Rana, Sunalini. "27 Finest Adobe Fireworks Tutorials". SloDive. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 

External links

  • Adobe Fireworks
  • Fireworks Lab – a Fireworks resource website—This website has since been shut down, but visitors are able to download all the website's files at once.
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