Photoshop + Fireworks: Where to from here?

Now that Adobe and Macromedia have come together, we’re busily planning our next moves, and it would be great to get your input. Fireworks Product Manager Danielle Beaumont has posted a message saying that Fireworks is alive and well at Adobe, and we’re working to define the best course for each app.

It might help to define the players:

  • Fireworks offers a hybrid raster/vector editing environment for creating and editing designs for use on screen (typically the Web). Rather than going as deep into vector or bitmap editing as Illustrator or Photoshop, Fireworks opts to bring together a mix of tools for each function, plus symbols (edit once, update many), slicing and optimization, CSS menu generation, and more.
  • Photoshop is “the professional image-editing standard“–or, if you prefer, a ten-foot-tall, two-ton son of a gun who could eat a hammer and take a shotgun blast standing (or something like that*). Photoshop offers an unmatched range of capabilities for image manipulation, plus basic vector drawing tools, gallery and contact sheet creation, and a set of Web optimization functions.

So, some questions:

  • If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
  • Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)
  • Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
  • What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
  • Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?

By the way, we’re not, as I’ve seen suggested a couple of times, going to rip out the Web features we’ve developed in Photoshop. I’m not sure what motivates this idea, but I’m guessing it’s based on 1) a desire to make the positioning of the apps more distinct, and/or 2) a desire to avoid/reduce “bloat” in Photoshop. Re: 1, rather than crippling Photoshop for the many people who use it all or some of the time for Web design, let’s make Fireworks stand out by adding kick-ass, never-before-seen features. (Of course, it’s to identify these that we need your help.) Re: 2, I have more to say, but in the meantime consider this.

And with that, I’ll wrap up and open the floor to discussion. We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the future of these two applications.


* This is, of course, why I will never be allowed to write our marketing copy.

0 thoughts on “Photoshop + Fireworks: Where to from here?

  1. The vector/raster hybrid feature for Fireworks literally changed my work life. It would be a huge disapointment to lose this sort of functionality.
    I personally see a clean split for future versions of Photoshop in terms of UI design – web-image manipulation and photo-image manipulation. It would be nice to have the option to go into a web-centric environment or a photo-centric environment when desired.

  2. Seems to me there’s a culture-conflict issue. Let me begin by saying that I’m a huge Fireworks evangelist. If that program disappeared, I’d probably get out of design. I’m that dependent on it.
    Adobe has always kept vector graphics over here (Illustrator) and bitmap graphics over here (Photoshop). Oh yeah, and image slicing goes over here (ImageReady). The model has made them a lot of money, but once you get used to having all three tools in one environment, the idea of moving stuff back and forth between applications is simply untenable.
    When it comes down to it, Photoship is a marvelous image editor but it’s a horrible design tool. Setting type in Photoshop is simply unacceptable. The vector implementation is so clunky it’s virtually useless. And they’ve added so many “gimmicky” features since version 6 that it’s really become a “bloaty” piece of software. At the end of the day, I think the professionals are using mostly the Levels Control, the clone tool, and the old standbys. Wild and wacky filters and brushes are fun but they typically make a piece of design work look like a “photoshop” piece unless the designer really knows his/her stuff.
    Illustrator is a much better design tool (you could actually lay out a publication in it and emerge with your sanity intact) but you have to jump outside to an image editor to deal with bitmaps. On top of that, you have to remember what control-option-shift-tab-F12 does in order to take advantage of all the features.
    Fireworks doesn’t handle CMYK, but for a fraction of the price of Photoshop and Illustrator, it provides 95% of the functionality of both along with a slicing/optimizing tool that I find much easier to use than ImageReady. Also, I can grab a vector and adjust the hue and saturation. Fireworks doesn’t really care what kind of graphic it is. It just does what you want and there’s a lot of freedom inherent in dumping a few of the unnecessary distinctions between bitmaps and vectors. ImageReady might have had some utilty as a standalone app, but it’s tied to Photoshop like a Saimese twin that just slows itself down.
    I think Macromedia did a poor job of promoting a fantastic graphics program like Fireworks. However, by dropping the Fireworks effects engine (shadows, blurs, etc.) into Flash, they insured Fireworks’ survival in some form. Macromedia admittedly had the advantage that Photoshop and Illustrator (and FreeHand, too remember Aldus?) were there first so they wound up in a different place. However, it won’t make stockholders happy to see Illustrator and Photoshop and Fireworks rolled up into one, affordable do-everything app.
    I predict that Fireworks will either continue to stand alone as a web-focused graphics program while Photoshop/Illustrator continue on with sales based on the industry’s acceptance of them as the tools of choice.
    If the empire is threatened, we’ll see Flash and Fireworks rolled into a single webdev application or perhaps they’ll adopt the ImageReady model and transplant Fireworks in as a module attached to Flash or Dreamweaver (of course the Dreamweaver / GoLive scenario is another conundrum).
    Ultimately, there are a lot of conflicts for Adobe to resolve. There are existing models that generate a profit regardless of efficiency. There are very different “workflow cultures” between Adobe users and Macromedia users, and there are risks of pleasing nobody by trying to please everybody. There’s also the fact that the folks who own the PDF format now also own the Flash format. Now that Adobe essentially owns the ingredients for the “universal document format,” we may see massive changes in the kinds of documents we create, the way we view them and the tools we use to create them.
    “MacroDobe” has a huge opportunity as well as a huge mess on its hands. I’m very curious to see what the future brings, but for now, I’m glad to hear that Fireworks is alive and well. I’ll be praying for its continued well-being.
    Dave Bricker

  3. I never used Go Live, but one feature that intrigued me was it’s ability to place PSD files and have them be resized based on what a person did in the Go Live environment. I would love to see that make its way in Dreamweaver.

  4. Please make one Super App. There are too many apps open all the time for me and I dream of just having 1 web publishing app and 1 graphic app to do it all. I don’t want 12 commuter jets to get me to where I’m going, I want a 747.
    As far as to improve the process of making graphics for the web, I like to create transparent JPGs with a matte, but Photoshop does not keep a history of matte colors I’ve recently used, and I have to keep looking them up and plugging in the numbers. So remembering them would be an amazing feature. At least the last 10!

  5. >>
    The vector/raster hybrid feature for Fireworks literally changed my work life.
    Ditto on that — to the extreme — I haven’t had alt+tab repetative stress injuries since I picked up Fireworks.
    I would like to see more seamlessness with Illustrator and photoshop — particularly pasting editable vectors (with effects!) as much as possible (ala Flash 8).
    Also — better text handling in fireworks — columns, lists, and easy indents please

  6. I do all my Web graphics in Fireworks.
    -When you draw a line, it’s a line. in photoshop, drawing a line is bizarre.
    -Autoshapes (it would be cool to have more autoshapes and the ability to plug in autoshapes from vector templates. like a visio?)
    -Frames: Frames allow there to be multiple iterations of designs that you can step backward through.
    -Vector masking: I like using a vector for masking, like a clipping mask in Illustrator.
    -Export slices: I like the idea of drawing the export slices. However, I wish you could have more layers of export slicing (perhaps tying them into what frame you’re on).
    -Image optimization: Sometimes you want to improve image quality without having to jump back and forth to Photoshop. The image editing tools (like Levels, Curves, etc.) are painful to use.
    -Brush tools. I like Photoshop’s brushes a lot better.
    -Layer masking: The layer masking in Illustrator should be replaced with Photoshop style layer masking.
    -Memory handling: Larger images cause Fireworks to choke and stall.

  7. If it ain’t broke…
    Both products have their die-hard fans, both are suited very well to the tasks to which they are designed. Do you really need to get peanut butter in your chocolate and vice versa?
    * Roundtrip workflow between all applications. Let me context-click on a raster layer in FW, and let me edit it in PS, saving it back to the layer when I’m done.
    * Unified web export dialogues. Pick one, modify it, use it for everything.
    * File format sharing. PSD’s can get big for the likes of FW users, why not let PS read FW PNG data?
    Don’t mess around with too much, people tend to like these products as they are save for a few quirks. Just make switching and sharing between them easier, don’t try to integrate.

  8. I am also a long time and devoted Fireworks user that couldn’t stand seeing it disappear. Dave Bricker above has said pretty much all I would have liked to say very well and all he said applies for me.
    The very last thing I’d want to see is the creation of a “uber app” that would loose the best qualities of its former separate components. Another one of Fireworks’ advantages is its agility. It’s fast and intuitive and fun to use for design work.
    I completely agree with Dave when he says that Photoshop is a horrible design tool… it really is. People who use it for layout work are misusing it for something it was not designed to do. Vector based applications like Illustrator, FreeHand, InDesign… and of course Fireworks are much better suited to layout work.
    Please leave Fireworks and Photoshop alone. They both are the best at what they do respectively and are far less alike than many people think.
    To answer your original question though, I would definitely appreciate better interoperability between each application’s file formats. It simply is not good enough right now. Importing/opening a Photoshop .psd file into Fireworks more often than not results in disaster (why so many designers *insist* on doing layout work in Photoshop is beyond me). Going the other way is even worse as opening a native Fireworks PNG file into Photoshop or Illustrator or InDesign is simply not possible at the moment.
    What I’d like to also see is pushing the concept of InDesign snippets even further by making them sharable between all Adobe graphic apps (PS, Illy, ID, FW and Flash). We had been requesting this from Macromedia for a long time between Fireworks, Flash and FreeHand but it of course never was implemented. I would love to see something like that happen now. Talk about really sharing assets…
    Beyond that, what I’d really love to see as a long time Fireworks user is evolution and refinment in Fireworks’ vector toolset. Macromedia has given a lot of attention to other aspects of the app in the last releases and, IMO, neglected to improve Fireworks’ core vector toolset.
    Whatever happens, please oh PLEASE let Fireworks live as a standalone application…

  9. Fireworks would be a mega-killer app if it could build custom Flex .mxml widgets – similar to the way Microsoft Sparkle builds .NET code. Perhaps this is outside of the scope for Fireworks, but I’d love for the tool to have the vector/bitmap hybrid toolset that Fireworks implements so well.
    In terms of a more traditional web design workflow, it would be handy if Fireworks could generate CSS layouts along with bitmaps. Perhaps it would be possible to specify regions of Fireworks content that would transfer to CSS classes?
    Perhaps this would be better as a Fireworks/Dreamweaver hybrid? It’d be useful to be able to draw bitmap/vectors directly in Dreamweaver.
    One thing I love about Fireworks is the non-destructive effects. It’d be great to add a few more of these into the next Fireworks version. Perhaps “auto-clean” or “remove artifacts” or “clean up .jpg”.
    Props to the Fireworks team!

  10. One more thing that could be improved with Fireworks – and Flash too – please integrate InDesign’s wonderful typographic control tools (Opentype is great!).

  11. So, some questions:
    * If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
    Provide a print-screen tie-in somehow. I take tons of print screens, and it’s always a laborous process to get them into Flash, PPT, etc.

    * Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)

    Keep Fireworks quick, agile, and customizable. Put the v8 in Photoshop.

    * Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?

    Yes. Please make Photoshop have a “Convert for Fireworks PNG” button. Really, this is a “save Jesse 2 hours” button.
    – flatten effect layers
    – flatten text layers
    – kill hidden layers
    That way, when I take a Designer’s PSD, I can quickly pull the necessarey pieces out of Fireworks for importing into Flash.
    OR, export out each Photoshop layer as a trimmed PNG. When I say trimmed, meaning, trim the excess alpha channel.
    If you’re really frikin’ brave, write an export to MXML button, complete with embeds.

    * What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?

    no comment

    * Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?

    Photoshop’s input fields work and have good indentation; Fireworks seems to be made for small graphics. For example, numbers abouve 99 don’t fit into the width and height fields. The “feeling” of Photoshops textinputs just “feels” better.

  12. All right John, I’ll ask for an easy one, for a change:
    In Photoshop, when clicking once and then shift-clicking again creates a straight line. I would welcome THAT in Fireworks and every other ex-Macromedia application.
    On Fireworks per se: as so many say: keep it fast, agile, easy. Adobe’s prone to make bloatware. That was always the big difference between Adobe and Macromedia.
    I think one issue that won’t let me make the correct analysis here is ImageReady’s fate. What will be of it? Without knowing that it’s hard to evaluate Fireworks capabilities into the future.

  13. I love working with FW and Photoshop. To me they are two entirely different apps and I often work with them together when creating layouts. All my mockups are created in FW because it just so much easier. I get frustrated with Photoshop’s text handling and not being able to see the selection on canvas when I have a layer selected. I love to see the blue bounding box when I have something selected. IMHO that is way FW is so much easier to use when creating mock-ups.
    Improved text handling in FW. It is very difficult to get text to look the way you want on a path. I wish it worked more like it does in AI.
    Please keep the apps separate. PS is way too bloated as it is with IR on for the ride.
    People love FW because of its speed and agility so please leave it alone in this respect.
    Ditch GoLive and make creative suite for web designers.
    DW, FW, Flash, PS, AI, Contribute
    Ability to import FW pngs with layers intact to PS
    Better handling importing PSD to FW
    There is a reason why there are many color scheme apps and online color scheme generators on the market now, because none of adobe or MM apps handle custom colors very well. Please improve the color picker in DW and FW. I would love to be able to create a scheme in FW and use in DW and then pick the colors quickly with the color picker.
    I like the way AI handles text on a path. I wish FW could do the same.
    More custom shapes in FW
    Ditto on these things other people have mentioned
    *Provide a print-screen tie-in somehow. I take tons of print screens, and it’s always a laborous process to get them into Flash, PPT, etc.
    * Roundtrip workflow between all applications. Let me context-click on a raster layer in FW, and let me edit it in PS, saving it back to the layer when I’m done.

  14. wishlist where to go: better (real) Flash integration for Fireworks !
    Integrating a vector user interface designed in Fireworks into Flash is still a pain in the butt: too many properties get lost and vector shapes are converted into bitmaps only because they’ve got an alpha value. So one has got to make sure all the alpha values are 100 before importing into Flash, where the alphas then can be set back to their original values….
    To make a long story short: there’s lots of room for improvement here, I’m still waiting for the day when you can really speak of integration between Flash and Fireworks.

  15. Definately don’t bloat Fireworks to the extent of Photoshop. Most “developers” will have many apps open at once, browser, IDE eg Dreamweaver, SQL Server Enterprise Manager, etc. So big isn’t necessarily better.

  16. I prefer separate apps over a single uber-app, but would like to see a transition toward a shared user interface standard to make switching between the apps more seamless.

  17. Glad to see Fireworks is here to stay.
    As a web developer I would like to see FW in combination with DW b etruned into a versatile html+css layout tool where one can turn a design in a fluid page with css classes and image slices.
    This would require some clever way of slice layers that can be floated so that when you resize the image/view port all would be as it should be.
    Might be too complex as it would be able to support different types of layout.

  18. Fireworks is not PhotoShop: it should not be compared to it. As a fast “just do it” image manipulation and rapid prototyping tool, Fireworks is simply a better fit than PhotoShop. I’ve used Fireworks since version 2.0 and have grown fond of it. PhotoShop is best of breed industrial strength and does lots of things that its smaller cousin cannot do – there is no reason for PhotoShop to be jealous of Fireworks.

  19. John–
    Just picking up on a few of the comments here, it seems to me that the correct direction to take is to bring over some of the vector capabilities of Illustrator and marry them with Fireworks rather than attempting to force a shotgun wedding between Photoshop and FW.
    If you think of Fireworks as a layout *and* creative tool you’ve got it right. In that respect it’s almost akin to inDesign–a place to composite, create, and publish images for use in web pages. Seen in that light, better integration with PSD files certainly makes sense. And of course, I want to be able to do my layouts in Fireworks and generate the information I need to publish to multiple formats–a CSS file drawn from the colors in my composition, images for use in my HTML docs, or comps for final publication in Flash with my layers, masks, effects, and other bits completely intact.
    Oh, and I’m in agreement on the color picker. That interface hasn’t changed, well, ever. Time to move past a web safe palette as the default and look for a better methodology for presenting color combinations to designers.

  20. I have made Fireworks my standard for screen design mockups. The combination of vector and raster and its handling of text make it far superior than Photoshop/ImageReady.
    It has NOTHING to do with code though. I haven’t used it for code creation in about 4 years.
    I can’t use Photoshop any longer. I’d be doomed if you combined the two in some way. They are just so different from each other.
    Here are some of my favorite features:
    1. Printing frames creates multiple pages if you print to PDF (Mac OS version; I wish this was also in the PC version.) I live on this. Of course I also hoped that there would be a lot better management around this. If you did more on “page” management instead of this “hack” it could be a real Visio killer. Having backgrounds (or shared layers) in a more controllable (not all or nothing like it is now for frames) it would be much better.
    2. The fact that when I draw a rectangle it doesn’t become part of the canvas or the layer that it is on. This I guess you can call the vector aspect of it. But I love this.
    3. I think there is more that can be done with the Library/Assets feature. I like it in spirit for creating a component set for my team to share. The problem is that resizing components doesn’t work the way I want it to. It just stretches everything equally. What I like in Visio is that you can create stencil items and tell it what sizes and what doesn’t so that for example if I create a scrollbar widget as a library symbol, I don’t want the top and the bottom to change size ever, but just the bar part. it would even be great if fireworks provided these components (browser components) that when you exported to Flash or Dreamweaver it was able to interpret these component widgets to work correctly in Flash (text box, checkbox, combobox, etc.). But right now having the Library is a huge asset (pun on purpose).
    4. Like the Library the style area is also really useful. I do wish this was designed better though so it acted more like a style sheet and so if you tweaked a style after you already applied it to some elements it changes those elements that you applied it to. Also, I seem to have problems trying to create styles for graphical elements. I’ve tried to use fill and border colors.
    5. The features for exporting many types of images is just much cleaner in Fireworks. The way you go into ImageReady first when you say save for web drives me crazy. Fireworks is much better easier for creating transparent (alpha channel) graphics than Photoshop. I love how you can make the canvas a color and when you export it w/ transparency on and that becomes what your transparency anti-aliases towards. If I don’t want that, just leave the canvas as transparent and it is very dynamic alpha channel transparency. It might be in there in Photoshop, but I haven’t found alpha channel transparency.
    Really, in the end what I’m looking for is not a Photoshop killer. Photoshop is great for well photos and that is what you should keep focusing it on. it is really its core market. Fireworks should go after OmniGraffle and Visio and just cut them down. There is no reason that any designer should need 2 or 3 drawing tools for interface design.
    I also think that coding should be left to Dreamweaver and interface graphic design should be left to Fireworks. While slicing is very useful and so creating a table of sliced images can be nice (but who uses tables any more anyway), I don’t think its a big part of what at least I use Fireworks for. I used to, but I don’t think that many web sites are designed this way anymore as there is more text than not text and the text I use in mockups is usually for dynamic applications or part of a CMS so exporting text in most cases isn’t quite so valuable.
    Well, pppppplease! keep fireworks .. don’t combine it w/ Photoshop, and don’t get rid of it thinking that Photoshop is enough. I’ll be doooooomed!
    — dave

  21. Besides a lot of stuff mentioned above I would like to add some new perspectives and use cases for the next generation Fireworks. Most webapplication developers and designers need to create wireframes and UML diagrams for presentation purposes only (no code generation). It would be very useful if Fireworks contained a set of UML autoshapes and connectors as well as a set of interface controls and containers developers and designers can drag and drop from a library, rearrange them, style them and BINGO! A great-looking diagram or wireframe for presentations purposes created in minutes instead of hours. Just make it the one-stop shop for ALL web application graphics-related activities.

  22. 1) I’d definitely like to see a focus on developing FW as a strong web/ui design tool. If you can incorporate more on the “rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces” that’d be perfect.
    I already use FW for wireframing. A UI guy I worked with last year was really impressed by it, and commented there wasn’t another tool on the market these days which would let you rapidly do that kind of text/vector layout. Look at any info.arch. discussion and you’ll see endless threads basically bemoaning the lack of a good wireframing app, with everyone stuck hacking about in Visio/PowerPoint. There’s a market there keen to be tapped!
    I have a fantasy scenario in which you could rough out an interface in FW and then easily “export” it into a simple interactive version (the way people use PowerPoint for wireframes). Currently I have to redo everything in DW when we want to do an interactive wireframe. Being able to specify what to spit out as HTML tags and what as graphics (with attendent CSS) would be amazing – though I’m wary that this might a) export nasty bloaty code and b) be easily abused to get FW to “export” entire finished page design with kludgy HTML/CSS!
    2) More auto-shapes would be really useful for this, with a focus on UI widgets (similar to Flash’s built in tools???), and being able to import your own library of auto-shapes would be great. Currently I create my own by screen grabbing browsers, but they’re a pain to work with cos they’re not vector based.
    3) I’d love the ability to easily share libraries/colour pallettes over a network – similar to how you can place Word templates on a network drive. Great for keeping consistency across design/developer teams.
    4) I’d echo Bryan’s desire for more flexibility working with slices across frames. I also use frames heavily to store design iterations, and to literally create frames for a wireframe/storyboard.

  23. Wow what a question!
    The vision here is definetely to accomadate web designers. Right up my ally. 🙂
    SuperSize or Jump to? I like the Jump to feature personally.
    Jump to Fireworks to perform:
    1. Layout, Slice and dice for the web
    2. Improve CSS & Xhtml output that ImageReady attempted to achieve. Medialabs, Sitegrinder can do this with a plugin for Photoshop, certainly room for integration here with Fireworks.
    3. Improve Flash integration without the actionscript – Xtivity – has a great program that accomplishes this and makes great use of Photoshop layers to streamline flash animations.
    4. Cross browser dhtml and/or css menu creation. Static and dynamic (database driven).

  24. I definitely appreciate the open discussion your providing on your site to better the products. Thanks John.
    1). One thing I have been looking for between the two applications is the harmony of one or many plug-ins working in Photoshop AND Fireworks, since we are one big happy family now. 🙂 There have been a couple of inconsistencies with some third-party plug-ins that work in Photoshop, but crashed horribly in Fireworks.
    2). I definitely agree with P.J. and Dave Bricker (the first and second comment) — Keep the Raster/Vector features in Fireworks. Instead of going into three Adobe graphic apps, I just startup Fireworks.
    3). For design work, I still use Freehand for the overview/wireframing of the site, and dig into the details/graphics of the site with Fireworks. It would be nice if Adobe focused more on the designing/layout/wireframing capabilities in Photoshop. or just implement more design features in Fireworks?
    4). Keep the Data-Driven graphics in Fireworks. I have found this to be a definitely help when someone has asked me to “update” the graphic images. Change the data source and re-run the wizard. BAM! (Sorry, fan of Emeril)
    Adobe, so far, so good.

  25. I am a big FW user along with DW and use PS and Illy a little. The things I like about both are quite similar. In CS2, the context bar at the top of the pages, is really usefull, I wish you could transplant that into the Macro apps, but also transplant the IDE from Macro to CS: ie, I like to have the tools docked and out of the way of the workboard and not floating over the top of it like some of the pallets in PS and Illy. Also I agree with others on here that making round tripping between file formats easier would save a lot of time on my workflows.

  26. Ok, first of all – this is just me, but I DO NOT want one super app. The existing ones (read PS, AI, DW and Flash) are sluggish an unstable enough. I think instead of that, each one should be streamlined, not made just fatter with each release. This is one of the things I love about Fireworks, it feels so tidy and smart. I love Illy and PS, and I wouldn’t use any other alternative over them, the same with Dream and Flash. But I do think they need to follow Fireworks example, where most of the stuff is accesible and simple; there are no workarounds, you just do it and that’s it. I would like to see interface integration, for example, tabbed documents in Adobe apps a la MX, the possibility of stacking, sticking, grouping and whatever u want with palettes. I think the InDesign and MX interface is the way to go. Dreamweaver should get sth similar to smart objects, and I think FW should do all the heavy web work and leave PS the simple web tasks. Integration between FW and AI would be really nice too. ImageReady should be replaced by FW, keeping anything considered better from IR.
    I could go on and on, but these are things that came first to mind. Cheers 😀

  27. I want to add one more comment (since I went off and editorialized and threw out a lot of conjecture about the Adobe / Macromedia business model and all that stuff in my earlier post, but didn’t actually make any suggestions).
    One of the potentially powerful missing elements in Fireworks that seems like a natural is a really full-featured warp text tool. I did like the suggestion made about implementing openType (a la inDesign) but a built-in version of Typestyler with some special tweaking controls on top of the template-driven stuff (arched text, banner text, fish(?!), etc. ) might integrate nicely into the FW toolset for those of us who like working with Victorian type.
    While we’re dealing with type, type set on a curve shouldn’t place the letters tangent to the curve (like most programs do). It should actually curve the baseline of the letters. Letters set on a circle should actually be widened at the top so that both stems of a letter “H” are aimed at the center of the circle.
    I’m sure that’s a godawful programing task, but tangent type is ugly, and the warp text tool in Photoshop doesn’t handle circles. Anything you can do to accommodate us type geeks would be welcome.
    Many thanks for the opportunity to give input here. Design is my profession and my passion so let me know if there’s anything I can do to be involved in the development of these tools.
    -Dave Bricker

  28. Firefox all the way. I am a photographer who creates websites as well (both as designer and a fulltime IA)
    Photoshop serves my first need. Dreamweaver and Fireworks serve te second. ImageReady is too clunky – and reduces my productivity to about a third. It seems like I’m always, always fighting with it.
    Fireworks is just amazing at what it does, and I would leave well alone. I could see adding some features – esp. the kind of togetherness Fireworks has with Dreamweaver.
    seamless transferring b/wPhotoshop & Fireworks, being able to save PSDs in Fireworks would be at the top of my lists.
    Replacing ImageReady with Fireworks in Photoshop CS3 would be the right way to go.

  29. Hi
    I haven’t had time to read every comment but I definitely want to add my vote AGAINST FW + PS combination. They should be separate products. Each does the best job in its area. Although a nice integration between them (and them with DW) would be appreciated.

  30. I appears Fireworks is a very popular application I might have overlooked. My feeling is that several small supporting apps with common interface feel, good intergration (copy and paste, send to commands, what ever works best).
    What is really missing from the Adobe family is a site creation tool – something that an information architect, like myself, can use. Dreamweaver okay for creating pages but has little concept of what a site is. If any can suggest an application that does, let me know. If you want me to explain what I mean drop me a line.

  31. I could not imagine my web design workflow without Fireworks. It is a powerful tool, I use it constantly since version 3. Adobe, don’t ya dare to take it away!
    All the feature requests for the FW I can think of, are pretty much already presented in this thread. I try to go over these and maybe introduce a couple of my own.
    Firstly, 2 must-haves from Nathan:
    1) Grouping history steps using the FWAPI.
    2) Edit symbols in place like you can in Flash.
    And then some…
    3) Some kind of color scheme generator + improvements in color picker. Possible sources for inspiration: web-based Color Scheme Generator 2, desktop utility ColorPic.
    4) Better roundtrip workflow between all applications — PS/AI/FW/DW/Flash (and what about Freehand, it would be great to hear, that this app also survives the merger).
    5) Some flexible solution to quickly include browser chrome in mock-up’s. It could be done with Auto Shapes, with a library (like Halo Lite in FW 8), or maybe with an extension (choices in a panel: 1– define the website area, 2– choose between major browsers, which chrome gets inserted around the layout area (on a locked layer?)).
    6) Jesse’s idea of some kind of print-screen tie-in is interesting.
    7) A decent New From Template feature, like in DW or Flash. Browser-safe areas for common screen resolutions, IAB standard banner formats. Also a possible place for the “include browser chrome” feature. Could be updated through the FW update system, when IAB introduces new standards.
    8) I wonder if it is possible to develop some kind of components system for FW. Something like advanced Auto Shapes, like the UI components in Flash — skinnable and resizeable through dedicated panel + inserting some kind of JavaScript/DHTML/CSS functionality on export. Or maybe some kind of advanced templates can be implemented providing this kind of functionality…
    –Lembit Kivisik

  32. In reading these posts, and your own comments, I can see many misconceptions – at least to my mind.
    First, the idea of not taking the web features out of Photoshop. Is this a reluctance to let go of something even if it means a better product? There is just too much redundancy between Photoshop, Imageready and Fireworks. Actually I would throw Dreamweaver in there, as there are things you can do in it that are better accomplished in FW.
    In a previous life I was head of marketing for one of the largest packaging companies in the US. It always got me that we could never get rid of any of our printing presses. Some were 50 years old, and never run, but we just couldn’t let them go. They were “paid for” which is the equivalent of IP in the software business. But there are hidden dangers in this approach.
    Second, it seems to me that many of these correspondents, perhaps naturally enough, are blinded by their dedication to a product or a discipline. The avid FW user really has no idea of the things that can be done in the current version of PS. The dedicated web designer has no clue of the needs of the print designer. Someone who thinks Fireworks is a vector program has never spent much time with Illustrator–there is no comparision.
    I design identity for small(er) companies. This means logos, letterheads, brochures, web sites, etc. I use all of these apps, interchangeably. I may have my favorites, but I know that I need something in all of them. And I know that what starts out in RGB (for example) on a monitor is someday going to have to be printed in CMYK. So, over the years I have learned what works best for each of my needs in each app. Adobe and Macromedia have helped me considerably by having their respective apps recognize each other much better: SmartObjects are wonderful. Now it’s time to work on the Macromedia apps and their recognition of the PDF file format. (And get FW working with a Wacom tablet on a Mac!)
    I do not advocate stripping down any of these apps, rather redstributing redundant features and targeting each app to its best market segment. You don’t loose IP that way; after all, it is all Adobe. Strictly from a business point of view why would I pay for someone to be developing, say, slice and CSS technology in Photoshop while someone else is doing it for Fireworks?
    Frankly I was surprised to learn that Fireworks had a future. If it does, it can’t be as a Swiss army knife. That was fine when it was in a stable with no Illustrator or Photoshop. To make Fireworks vital it must do things that can’t be done in other Adobe apps. That is Fireworks’ only future.

  33. I would like to see better text anti aliasing in Fireworks (like the sharp feature in PS, or even multiple color antialiasing like the clear type setting in XP).
    Also, something that really bugs me with Fireworks 8 is the way gradients are set up. You cannot make to colors touch to make a sharp line of contrast. I like the way PS has an adjuster for the gradients between colors. Maybe this could be implented in FW.
    Just my two cents…

  34. David Heinzt wrote:
    The avid FW user really has no idea of the things that can be done in the current version of PS. The dedicated web designer has no clue of the needs of the print designer. Someone who thinks Fireworks is a vector program has never spent much time with Illustrator–there is no comparision.

    It seems to me that you are the one with misconceptions here.
    My dedication to Fireworks comes from its value and usefulness, not from blindness about the (former) competion. Since I started using it, Fireworks has become essential to my workflow because it made tasks that were tedious and awkward in Photoshop easy and fast.
    I switched to Fireworks from Photoshop many years ago when FW was at version 2.
    I am well aware of the abilities of the current Photoshop version. It is still a terrible layout tool which is something Fireworks excels at. I use Photoshop to enhance, correct and fix my camera’s pictures or the images I scan. It is really the best at that.
    I’ve also been using Illustrator for almost 10 years now (I use CS2 now) so I’m also well aware of its capabilities. It’s a fantastic application that I use almost daily at my job at a screen printing company (Web design is my second job… for now). I use Illustrator there to draw membrane switch keyboard circuitry and tooling as well as some basic technical drawing (with the aid of the fantastic CADTools plugin). I couldn’t live without Illustrator for those tasks. Its Smart Guides feature in particular is a God send to me.
    So, to claim that my/our allegiance to Fireworks is rooted in ignorance of other applications’ capabilities is not only extremely presumptuous, it is downright insulting.
    I’m saying all that to drive home the point that it’s not for lack of familiarity with Adobe’s existing products that I keep using Fireworks for Web design and layout work. I use it because to me, IT IS the best at that kind of work because, on one hand, its hybrid vector/bitmap toolset saves me from having to switch between two different apps to do the creative/layout work. Everything is done withing one streamlined interface. Secondly, it saves me from having to use a third application (ImageReady) or truly awkward “Save For Web” features within PS and Illy in order to slice, optimize and export my Web images. I can also do all that within the same efficient interface. This means I don’t need to deal with 3 types of native files and converting them between 3 different applications.
    All the above advantages are aboslutely priceless for me. Fireworks’ true value is in workflow efficiency which is derived from its hybrid toolset.
    Lastly, no one here is saying that Fireworks’ bitmap or vector tools are on par with Photoshop’s of Illustrator’s. To claim that Fireworks is not a vector app because its toolset is not the same as Illustrator is simply ludicrous though. The two apps have very different histories and purposes. Fireworks’ vector tools are strong enough for most of the things I need to do to create Web graphics. Not only that, many of its tools are more intuitive than in any other graphic application I tried.
    When I need to do something that is beyong Fireworks vector toolset like a blend for example, I’ll fire up FreeHand or Illustrator, do it there and open it in Fireworks. For me it is a rare occurence.
    With all that said, I don’t know what Adobe will do with the Web features within Photoshop and Illustrator or with ImageReady which is probably the weakest application they ever made but that doesn’t mean that Fireworks should be killed and its features scattered around within Adobe’s existing apps. That would effectively eliminate Fireworks real workflow advantages which come from its hybrid toolset.
    Fireworks deserves to keep being improved and developed and to have its place amongst Adobe’s product line as the fantastic, dedicated Web graphics application that it is.

  35. Dreamweaver + Fireworks = First class workflow.
    Leave Fireworks alone Adobe, don’t try and kill it off, be clever with it or turn it into something it was never meant to be. It is a web graphics program and it is the best out their. We dropped Photoshop in favour of Fireworks sometime ago, it was best thing we ever did. Fireworks really is a brilliant piece of software for anyone concerned specifically with web graphics creation.

  36. This conversation is interesting to me. I started off designing for the web in Photoshop. Then moved to ImageReady and thought this was the Bee’s Knees. The Fireworks came along and I was amazed at the great that program was and never looked back.One idea we all ned to grasp is the idea of more or less when it comes to software. I feel Adobe’s pain in adding a feature and never being able to take it out. But by not doing this, you end up with a program that is so bloated and feture laden it becomes a liability.It’s akin to the discussion of creative shops. Is it beeter to have an agency that does everything…Advertising, Design, Web Development, Branding, PR, Media Buying or to have these disiplines separate? I would say separate. The BEST graphic design does not come from BBD&O or Chiat Day. The best design come from studios like Duffy, Cahan and Associates, Jennifer Sterling, Pentagram.I say break ther programs out into what they do best. The truth is, Adobe added web festures into PS because of Fireworks. They needed those fetures to “compete” in the category. The playing field has changed. let PS deal with images and image manipulation. Let Fireworks deal with Web/Interactive graphics. Let InDesign deal with page layout and let Illustrator.Freehand deal with vector graphics.Does this mean that there will not be some overlap of features? No. I would love to see Firworks share PS’s custom brushes, but I don’t need all those cheesy filters in PS also.

  37. I left Fireworks behind when CSS replaced web buttons. Illustrator is used to visualise sites and Photoshop for production. As image maps have dropped away slices seem less important. I cannot understand Image Ready anyway – I crop, export and step back in P’shop. If Illustrator was improved then Firweorks could be retired.

  38. I spent 20 minutes trying to like Fireworks when I upgraded to Studio 8. It made no sense, and the interface didn’t even seem like something a Macromedia-phile would love. Then I deleted it from my hard drive. Photoshop CS2 is just fine, thanks.

  39. To answer a few of those questions in no particular order:
    1. No way should Photoshop or any of the CS apps adopt the “look and feel” of Dreamweaver or any other MM app. The Adobe GUI is more visually elegant, a known quantity to many more users, and is more flexible in terms of managing workspaces. Particularly when compared to DW.
    2. I presume these question in general sound the death knell for IR. That being my assumption here, I wouldn’t mind seeing a move in Photoshop to Round-trip web optimization features, rather than continuing on with SFW. Fireworks seems to be very popular in terms of its capabilities, so if we can get an image to a certain point in PS, then click the FW icon to quickly open the image in that app, then optimize, animate or slice and dice as needed, that would be great.
    They should absolutely remain separate apps. If anything this is a good chance to pair down Photoshop a bit and make it more streamlined, rather than heap another entire application on top of it. : )
    3. Rapid Web Prototyping is more logically a Photoshop function than a FW one, at least in so far as many of the pros writing books out there, recommend Photoshop (specifically its layering capabilities) as a great prototyping tool. I tend to agree though I don’t use it for that purpose too often. If I were to go that route though, MUCH better to have all of PS’ tools at my disposal to speed the process.

  40. FW is definitely the app for Web design where the combined use of vector and bitmap graphics is so necessary.
    Only issue I have with FW is that I’ve created many vector-based graphics with it that eventually, in another life, were needed to scale into some printable document, you know, at more than 300 dpi. And it’s here that Fireworks chokes, and there is no easy way to get those vectors out of it into another illustration app (upto v4 at least), be it *.ai, SVG, *.eps, or whatever. It would be nice to have this capability.

  41. I am a big Photoshop fan, but I use Fireworks for all my web graphics, it’s just easier.
    Here are my suggestions:
    1. CSS Layout integration- If you are going to have rollover support, and export HTML with slices, it would be REALLY REALLY cool to have that all created by CSS (or options available to do so!).
    2. Layer tools from Photoshop- It would be nice to pull some of the layer features from Photoshop over to Fireworks.
    3. Resources- Not to go the way of frontpage, but it would be really nice to have a lot more in the way of template options to build from.
    4. Increased integration between photoshop and fireworks. Fireworks is great for web design layout, much more than photoshop. There are occasions, though, that I need to retouch a photo and of course photoshop is the way to go if you are going to do that. If I could edit a png file with layers in photoshop with no problems, life would be great!
    Those are my suggestions!

  42. If you used some of FireWorks features in PhotoShop I don’t see a real downside, but completely combining the two might mean getting rid of FireWorks. The big advantage with FW is that you can do web page layout with it. It allows you to work with whatever graphics formats you want and lay them out how you want. Here’s what I would like to see –
    Adobe having design tools for both print and web, but keep them separate. Keep InDesign as a page layout tool for print, and turn FireWorks into a web layout tool. Web design is a distinctly separate kind of design because it’s not based on page constraints. We all still need image editors like PhotoShop and Illustrator, and likewise we web designers need layout tools that fit what we do, and so far FireWorks is the closest thing to it. Maybe you could even make a web version of InDesign that wasn’t based on physical pages, but more on web pages. It’s hard to come up with designs that flow with content and expand with browser windows if you’re stuck working with tools made for static design. I also like how FW is so easy to use for pixel based layouts. Most web designers don’t work in inches, they work in pixels. Keep that in mind.
    Here’s something else I’d like to see. Use the best features from both GoLive and Dreamweaver for a WYSIWYG app, but spinoff a lightweight code based app also. WYSIWYG apps are just far too large and heavy for most coding needs. Both DreamWeaver and GoLive, as well as Flex, have some great coding tools. If you could release something with just that, and not the integrated layout tools, you’d have a real winner with people that like to hand code things. Keep the code collapse, drag and drop integration with databases, GoLives code tree view thing, DreamWeavers great CSS tools, all that stuff, but make it lightweight, fast, and don’t worry about design features. One uber application that does everything will push away users who don’t want everything combined like that. It makes things klunky and loses focus on what they are trying to do. Kind of like how iLife gets so much praise for keeping things simple and to the point. And if you’ll notice, there are a ton of web developers out there who don’t use DW or GL for just that reason.
    A lot of my time in FW is spent making web page mockups. But not to export to DW, but to recreate with CSS, exporting just the parts I need, and avoiding code bloat. With so much focus on clean, valid code recently using image editors and layout tools to generate web pages just doesn’t cut it. It makes a mess of everything when you have to do anything more than a brochure site.
    Adobe has made a great name for itself by making great software, and now you’ve got a lot more software to work with, so don’t lose focus of who you’re selling to. Designers and developers don’t think alike, and they don’t work alike. Please don’t force them to.

  43. 1-i’d love to see a color scheme widget -similar to Color scheme generator 2.
    2-I’d like to see a tigter intergration to flash. Buttons from FW converted to Flash buttons. Effects like drop shadows being converted to flash effects-better yet have it generate stub filter actionscript so it can be reused while continueing development in flash.
    3-I’ve found that fireworks is the best tool to use when working flash. Photoshop is to layer heavy. I think they should stay seperate and let each do what it is really good at. If you go that route then better file i/o between them would be important for workflow production speed.
    4-I’d like to see fireworks pickup the plugin presentation of photoshop. FW always seems to have them tacked on without previews etc.
    5-I’d like to see FW support XMP metadata AND if imported to flash the FLA file picks up that metadata as well. Very important for us that pour or work into LCMS’s
    6-bridge integration for flash and fireworks.

  44. I didn’t use Fireworks up until about a year ago, and now I don’t think I could go back to anything else.
    Fireworks is just about the perfect blend of vector/bitmap tools that I need for my work in Flash and HTML.
    To answer your questions:
    * If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
    Here are three things:
    – Drop ImageReady and replace it with Fireworks.
    – Integrate Firework’s excellent vectors tools into Photoshop.
    – Implement Export Area in Photoshop. I know we can create slices, but using the slice tool (in PS or FW) is clumsy in my opinion and always seems to create extra garbage.
    * Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)
    No Single Uber-App! Please no more bloating of the software. Keep the tools to their target market and make them the best at what they are intended for, but spend the extra resources to improve the work flow between the apps.
    * Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
    YES!! Better PSD support for Fireworks and allow PS to open PNGs from FW. As noted above, replace ImageReady with FW. Better PSD CMYK to RGB conversion for Fireworks.
    * What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
    Smart-Objects for DW would be cool. Link to a PSD file and automatically scale it for the size requested and then places the JPG/GIF into the web folder.
    * Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?
    – Improve the vector tools in Photoshop to be as good as Fireworks.
    – Improve Fireworks anti-aliasing and bitmap sampling to meet Photoshop standards.
    – Keep the apps separate and make them the best they can be for their target audience, but improve the workflow between them.

  45. I would say, put the slicing features of ImageReady into Photoshop and put IR to bed. I see no reason to have two apps there. Then take that left over space and plop Fireworks in as a jump-to.

  46. I wanted to emphasize again:
    No Single Uber-App! I don’t want Adobe Photo-ustrator-flashing-works-weaver.
    If the world worked better with uber-tools that did everything, we’d be using Swiss Army knives at the dinner table. Some cross over is good, workflow is key between apps that do their job and do it well.

  47. I’m very much a Photoshop user rather than a Fireworks user, but my focus is definitely Web work. That said, I’d prefer that Photoshop continued to grow its feature-set, whilst Fireworks was refined to be the universal web graphics application. Sometimes Photoshop is just too heavy—RAM doesn’t grow on trees, sadly.
    I’ve only played with Fireworks, but I’ve listed the things I need it do before I can use it seriously for day-to-day work:
    • Both applications need to treat the same files the same—if you open a Photoshop PSD in Fireworks, it should look identical; notably Fireworks needs to support Photoshop’s layer styles. Beyond that, it should be a matter of UI and what you can do with the document that separates Fireworks and Photoshop.
    • One-click round-trip editing of
    Fireworks raster layers in Photoshop would be nice to have, but isn’t essential.
    Fireworks needs the same ‘Powered by ImageReady’ ‘Save for Web…’ that Photoshop has.
    Fireworks needs Photoshop’s colour-management; if nothing else such that round-trip editing isn’t a highly confusing experience.

    • An option to have Fireworks use the same toolbox set-up as Photoshop (with the same icons on the buttons!) would be fantastic.

  48. Please keep fireworks standalone. I’ve been using Photoshop these past two weeks and I can’t help but to fall back on Fireworks each time. Maybe it’s a developer thing, hard to nail down…but I remember first learning Fireworks, whenever I needed to “do something” I’d guess on how to do it and 95% of the time it worked. Just logical that way…Two weeks of many hours in Photoshop and I’m still lost. (except for lighting effects, cool discovery!)
    Just add CMYK support and better photoshop inter-operability!

  49. Just keep them as separate programs, yet bundle them together, like Photoshop and ImageReady are. I use Photoshop and Fireworks together, because combined as 2 separate apps, I can do anything, and it kicks ass.
    I use Fireworks for its simplicity, quick editing and web graphics. Photoshop is relegated to the heavy-duty use.
    The only “integration” I’d want to see is the MX workspace showing up in Adobe’s apps. I still want my separate Fireworks and Photoshop apps, though.

  50. Please leave Fireworks as a stand-alone.
    It could be improved but if it gets integrated into Photoshop, I’ll stick with version 8 and check out Microsoft’s “Sparkle” or whatever its called for future technology.

  51. Merge ImageReady and Fireworks
    Add a couple of Illustrator functions into Freehand and then call it Freehand
    Keep Dreamweaver as the base version and add GoLive functionality into the Pro version of Dreamweaver – name it whatever you want to
    Leave Photoshop as it is
    Keep Flash and Acrobat/Adobe Readers separate
    Leave InDesign as it is

  52. I think FW should stay as standalone app. As somebody said: it’s a web graphics program and it is the best out their! It’s fast enough and really easy to use.
    There are some elements that are needing to improve:
    * Text part. That’s a huge pain spot. Justifying text, fonts, loads of bugs etc.
    * Fw on mac. I recently moved to Mac and I noticed a huge speed comedown. It’s a G5 and had a amd 2800. When i click something the program reacts very slowly. On Windows it took tiny part of one second. Now it takes a sec or so. It very disturbing.

  53. I use Fireworks to make prototypes of my web GUI’s. Integrating it into photoshop would give me a lot of clutter I hardly use. My two cents? Use fireworks to design the layout of a webpage, slice it and use photoshop as a tool to edit/prepare the slices for the web. Pleaaaase don’t complicate my prototype tool….

  54. well! about vector creation and layout design i prefere use the fireworks, usability is so much more easy. I always dream w/ one program with easely use like fireworks and seriour performance and exatcly definition like photoshop. ll be one fireworks w/ functions and precision from photoshop. if possible ll be other sucess froooooooom adobe!

  55. Keep Fireworks and PS appart! I use FW all the time for web images, and my only gripe is that the font selection is poor (unlike InDesign CS) and giving FW a CMYK option would realy make my life easier. I much prefer FW’s GUI over photoshop – and I’ve been using both for many years.

  56. I’d like to see:
    Truly dynamically-linked files (like XREFs in AutoCAD). They could be brought in as Symbols, or truly XREFed, and be completely integrated with the layers in your file. They could show up in their own XREF panel, and be showable/hidable.
    Dynamic Styles. I wish that styles were a little more accessible. They are impossible to change once they are created, and objects you apply them to don’t remember the association. I wish that you could change a style, and have it reflected everywhere. I really wish that they could be mapped to CSS styles, too.
    A project panel. Of course, with all these XREFs and styles, you’ll need a project panel to keep track of all of the files they apply to.
    Dynamic text fields in all symbols, not just buttons. Sometimes I want to create a series of objects with a single text style, and it would be nice to use the same symbol and just swap out the text.
    Fix antialiasing artifacts. Sometimes certain shapes leave stuck pixels or empty pixels in corners or other places they shouldn’t be.
    Effects within Symbols. Layering effects like Multiply or Screen inside symbols do not have the proper effect when placed on the stage. To me, this is a bug. Please fix!
    Bring back Bitmap Scaling. We used to be able to choose whether we rendered a scaled symbol as a bitmap or as scaled vectors. Sometimes Bitmap Scaling was a lot smoother, especially for government seals or other very intricate vector objects.
    Better integration of the data-driven graphics wizard. I use this tool all the time, but I wish it had more options, like the ability to define filenames in the XML file. Also, it really feels like a seperate application, I wish it were a true part of the app.
    Ability to override HTML for a slice. Fireworks loves tables. It would be nice to be able to override a with a . Of course, it would be great if Fireworks could output CSS layouts using floats, but I’m probably dreaming there.

  57. First and foremost, please DO NOT create a super, all-in-one app. As a web designer I do not need to spend $800 on a super app when all I need is what Fireworks already has included. However, I truly think both apps can learn from each other. I like the simplicity of the Fireworks UI and as I saw stated before: “When you draw a line in Fireworks, it’s a line, but in Photoshop it’s something bizarre.” Clicking on an object selects it whereas in Photoshop you have to click on the layer first then the object. I have also noticed that optimization in Fireworks seems to provide better quality when compared to the same optimization in ImageReady. Slicing, hotspots, css menus, all web related image editing and controls Fireworks handles beautifully. However, in Photoshop you have amazing control of the image, filters, layer effects, etc.
    All in all I would say keep both apps seperate, but add a few common features between them. More filters and image editing in Fireworks and easier controls and better optimization in Photoshop.

  58. I work in both programs, though I loathe to open Fireworks – and do all I can to avoid it and its horrendous working interface whenever I can.
    Its been my experience that “old school” web designers – those that may have worked in Print Design prior to Web Design lean more toward the tools in Photoshop, Illustrator and of course ImageReady; and those who have ‘grown up’ with the web prefer the confusing menu & method structure of Fireworks.
    Easy to see where I’m from, eh?
    So – to answer your questions:
    (a) If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
    Immediate visual representation (while choosing options) of what you are getting with each option.
    (b) Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)
    Well…while I’m tempted to suggest an über app, I think that creates more problems than it fixes and will ultimately push more users from it than to use it.
    But I’m of the mind that proven strengths from Fireworks should just be ripped out of the program – it should be discontinued or remade into an LiveMotion-like program; with the remaining pieces added to Illustrator or Photoshop.

    (c) Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
    no opinon not already expressed
    (d) What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
    Improved export, Preview
    (e) Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?
    Fireworks UI sucks!!! Taking any hint from the classic Adobe UI masters and applying them to Fireworks would be an improvement.

  59. I would like Dreamweaver to deserve it’s name and gets one button “copy dream” and you stick your head…
    Now seriously,
    Photoshop cs2 hardly loads his new (compared to cs) interface on my tablet pc… It is already became so slow that I can’t even use the pen any more. If it fuses with Fireworks I wouldn’t even be able to use mouse any more.
    Photoshop should be even splitted to Photoshop Image editing & Photoshop effects, or something like that, or at least te make them load on request…

  60. Fireworks is a very useful program for web designers! It should be developed as a standalone application, and not integrated into any other product!!
    Photoshop is Photoshop and Fireworks is Fireworks. Let them be! 🙂
    About future imporvements in Fireworks:
    1) Is it possible to keep EXIF data when making batch resize-export of a lot of images? This would be useful for creating photo galleries on the web. Making images smaller, and at the same time, save the EXIF info in the smaller files for visitors to the web site, who might be interested in the original details about the photo they see. IS it possible? Someone told me that in Photoshop it’s already done?
    2) Fireworks 8 opens Adobe .PSD files pretty well, but does not keep vectors (of course…). IS it possible to make such changes in Fireworks, so it could open existing Photoshop formats with no (or almost no) loss? Preserving layers nesting, vectors, etc. I suppose it would be too difficult to implement, but just wondered… (And also maybe vice-versa;-)
    BTW, concerning the last opinion (of Michael Briney) – I must now say that Fireworks’ interface is a VERY GOOD ONE!
    And it does not SUCK in any way!
    It sucks only for those who are FAMILIAR WITH PHOTOSHOP interface.
    So, let me tell you something? For me, Adobe Photoshop UI SUCKS, a lot!
    I consider myself now advanced Fireworks user. It’s so easy and simple to do a lot of tasks in FW. It’s intuitive.
    And in Photoshop it all is very different. VERY different.
    So… let’s not say things like SUCKS, please!
    Let’s say, there are people accustomed to Photoshop UI, and people accustomed to Fireworks UI.
    Maybe none of them is the BEST. Everyone has learned something.
    So, for me Fireworks UI is very good. Do not touch it or only improve it slightly, but don’t change the BASICS. It’s the BASICS that appeal to FW fans, like myself.
    For someone else, Photoshop UI is good. Well, then, buy Adove Photoshop and use it.
    Let others use Fireworks:)
    So i said 😛
    About the (possible) integration of the two programs – no, no, no!
    They are different. Do not try to merge them!
    The only good thing that could be done is to offer FW users the possibility to open and (maybe at least in some way) edit PSD files, and for the Adobe user, let them open and (-“”-) edit PNG files:)
    Have a good day!
    Keep the good work on Fireworks!!!

  61. I can understand why you’d not strip Photoshop of web capabilities at this point. Its old user-base would flip.
    But now that you have a truly powerful dedicated web tool (FW), please leave Photoshop as it is – the ultimate print and video behemoth.
    I don’t want, need, or appreciate all that interface and memory overhead when I normally have to simultaneously run different browsers and web authoring tools for daily building and checking. Fireworks alone is perfect for this scenario; Photoshop + Illustrator are absolutely not.
    While I’m at it, I eventually preferred Freehand for its text-handling and multi-page capabilities over Illustrator. I use it to build presentations (rather than PowerPoint) and am able to keep many pages in one file, which I can not do in Illustrator. I run these presentations in Acrobat — full-screen — to have them lightweight, portable, zoomable, and highlightable.

  62. I would agree that the Adobe CS look and feel should be kept and only the strong benefits of Macromedia prouscts adopted over. I am especially interested in Photoshop and GoLive
    I would like to see hopwever Flash seamelessly integrated into both these packages, or else added as an extra application.
    I use a Mac and miss the loss of Livemotion which I used instead of Flash.

  63. Having taught both digital imaging and web design, and taught both Photoshop and Fireworks for web graphics – I can safely say that I would loose absolutely no sleep if there were no new versions of Fireworks.
    True, the Adobe family of applications can learn the odd thing from Fireworks (or simply from listening to end users comments in discussions like this) – but Fireworks has only ever been a toy to me.
    Perhaps I am missing something or perhaps all of the advocates of Fireworks for layout have yet to move to Accessible CSS based design and are still knocking out sites based on an over-abundance of tables and images.
    As for the bleeding heart liberals that say they can’t live without Fireworks: If you have it already it won’t magically vanish if Adobe decide to drop it from future releases – you’ll simply be stuck with the version you have and appear to be very happy with.

  64. I am an older school designer, started professionaly in 1985, however I have
    different workflows for print and web projects.
    For Web design, I find FW invaluable in my workflow and would prefer that
    it is kept separate from Photoshop, with one caveat, I would like FW to create
    gradient JPGs as smooth as Photoshop.
    Better Illustrator -> Fireworks Integration
    My web workflow uses AI to do the layout and then do some modification, photo
    integration and slicing in FW. I would love to have direct copy and past
    of vector materials between the two as well as be able to open AI CS2 directly
    in FW. This would save me an incredible amount of time.
    As far as DreamWeaver integration, I do not do a lot of roundtrip editing
    from DreamWeaver. As I do most the basic design in Illustrator, I mostly use
    DW for actually building html and CSS.
    What I would love to see in DW, Illustrator, or even InDesign, would be the
    ability to make site maps that can integrate with Page Description Diagrams.
    At this point I have to use Visio to do this, and it takes me way outside my
    workflow and does not integrate with any of my preferred products or directly create PDFs.
    I think this is a real opportunity for adobe, as many of the designers I know
    use Visio for this and hate it.

  65. Personally, I use FW + Homesite + TopStyle.
    Good to hear FW will live on. Hear! hear!
    The single most important issue for for me is that PhotoShop can deliver a sliced Web fileset with DIVs + CSS rather the TABLES that Fireworks generates.
    So, my suggestion, for what it’s worth…
    Either enable PS to import a fully sliced image to use PS to generate the output… OR, give FW that same output engine that PS uses to generate CSS + DIVs
    BTW, pleeease allow Homesite to live on?

  66. Producing Web graphics is a different activity than making other types of images – it has always disappointed me that ImageReady wasn’t a standalone app. A standalone Web imaging tool is totally justified because it offers an improved experience for developers and designers, as Photoshop is just too dang heavy with unlrelated features.
    That said, Fireworks’ object oriented, vector-to-bitmap approach, offers far more flexibitlity than ImageReady’s more raster roots. I think you have the superior tool in Fireworks – it’s lacking some masking and tiling background features – but if you add those in you will have a much better program than ImageReady can be. This is mostly due to it’s object model as opposed to a layer model.
    As a teacher, I can tell you it is far easier to teach Fireworks than ImageReady, because it’s easier to select items, rescale and recolor them, and do all the other activiites related to Web design (slicing, linking, animating). The only thing Fireworks is truly missing is an ability to make repeatable background images.

  67. Fireworks really did make me a changed man.
    I used to live and breathe photoshop and illustrator until a friend convinced me of the time saving qualities of Fireworks. It’s amazing to be able to reall affect both raster and vector arts in the same piece without switching wildly between two apps.
    I’d love to see greater compatibility between the file types and copy/paste features. beyond that drawing a straight line with shift would be nice in Fireworks. I love the style menus and the extensibility of auto shapes etc. in Fireworks — keep workin on a wonderful app!

  68. I think a very important thing that Adobe needs to abandon from the Macromedia product line is the horrible JavaScript code that all Macromedia applicaitons write (eg: behaviors). If you create a simple rollover in ImageReady and in Dreamweaver/Fireworks and compare the code that each spits out …. it is obvious that Adobe products write much cleaner JavaScript. I am not too familiar with Fireworks … I recall using it to easily create transparent GIFs without a haloes, but I suspect it writes horrible Javascript just as Dreamweaver does.
    I also fear for the future of SVG. I was very happy with the SVG features built into the CS2 line in GoLive and Illustrator … but now that Adobe ownes Flash I fear they will abandon their commitment to SVG …. I originally thought cell phones would be the place where Adobe incarnation of SVG would land, but now I see lots of “Flash for the phone” advertising on the Adobe site and am very confused. I hope I am wrong becasue SVG is a fablous technology which deserves its time in the spotlight by having an SVG application that artists can use to create outstanding work.
    David Marcinkowksi
    Associate Professor
    Pratt Institute
    New York City

  69. I have been using Adobe PS and Fireworks equally, but there is NO doubt that FW is better at web graphics and simplicity. Let me put it this way, if you give PS and FW to someone who has never used these types of tool, I put my money on FW as the tool to be preferred tool. There is alot to be said on simplicity and is elegance of use – FW live on.

  70. If I was in charge: I would drop ImageReady completely and replace it with Fireworks.
    ImageReady is totally deficient as a web graphics program, its only good point is the ability to make animated GIFs, but does anyone make those anymore?
    Fireworks is fast, easy works great — keep supporting it. Don’t send it to an uncertain future in India!
    The only things I would add to Fireworks:
    – Color management
    – the ability to remember Photoshop’s layered folders
    – Improved text rendering (kerning in particular and especially with OpenType fonts)
    Thanks for asking–
    Daniel Sofer
    Hermosawave Internet

  71. I really don’t know if it’s possible, but it would be really amazing if we could have a way to determine related elements in the layout in order to output a DIV-based tableless document to Dreamweaver.

  72. I know this may seem weird… but what i would love to have is..
    one application that can do flash, edit photos and also do illustration work and of course manage my sites… it should be built as different modules inside the same software.. in that way you can share a lot of tools, the interface is a lot simpler and same shortcuts to top them all.. i am not a software coder, there could be a lot of practical issues before u see this.. but at the end of the day this is how it should be.
    And for the question in hand.. my suggestion drop FW and Imageready totally and integrate everything into photoshop… lesser the software, lesser the megabytes, lesser the clutter, the better the work right.

  73. i am an extensive fireworks user since mx, i use it every damn day along with flash and dw, if u want feedback from the target THIS IS IT
    i will be back with stuff for which i still go in photoshop as i am not satisfied with fw. fo now here it is
    general design
    the menus are killing me, i’m losing 5-10% of the work time struggling with them,
    gradient meniu, only go knows how many times i,ve scrolled it to get to the linear gradient, also the controls for the gradient on the shape are clumsy, ever tried to make it straight after u drew it diagonaly
    that meniu is simply stupid, it didn’t work right from mX till now, try to find another way to display it, make t arrow scrollable for god’s sake
    combine paths pallete, i know there is one made by that guy kleantu ekonomu or something, integrate it ito the program along with severall other good pallets he designed, i think u shoul hire that guy, he understands our needs
    guides, the guides are stupid and intrusive, must have selectable, deletable, and vector shape generated guides, the snaping also must be improved and features added, here’s an ideea, snap to the center of a shape, no matter where the position of that shapes on the canvas changes
    blending modes
    -the blending modes pop up meniu isn’t arrow selectable or scrolable
    (much better in photoshop) but on the other hand there are more
    draw a circle fill it with red and another one on top of it fillled with another color, move the top one a little bit to he right , set the blending mode to something like multiply to see some changes. Now group the 2! Surprize! The blending dissapears. Serious problem !
    when choosing a font, and change your mind afterwards, you have to start scrolling the fonts from the begining each time because
    the pop out meniu doesn not retain the position of the last font u have accesed. instead the font u just picked is lifted in a list on top of all the fonts.That
    exasparates me.
    -better implementation of the text menius and text engine is imperios. open type suport, caligraphic and typografic features
    (see illustrator, indesign),
    some font management functions would be great (integrated directly into the interface), everybody is using a small app of somekind for font management that doesn’t do a lot of tasks. Attention this is new! Nor photoshop or indesign have it. Imagine how great it will be to be able somehow to create groups of fonts for every document, to browse, to organize and install the fontsa directly from u’r drwaing app.
    optimize optimize optimize
    fireworks seems to not understand what a picture of more then 8-9 megapixels is. it just crashes.
    optimize big image handling
    optmize the text engine, with a couple of paragraf fields it simply start to move like a 90 year old paraplegic
    optimize the brushes engine, try to spend some time painting over a mask and u konw what i mean
    optmize the brushes themselves and the strokes, much to learen from photoshop
    optimize and perfect the levels hue and saturation , add more color corection features, i don;t think the developers realize that the vast majority of the user don;t use the image editing features to remove red eyes, but for more complex editing
    think web, and optimize acordingly, for specific tasks
    slicing and exporting
    multi layer slicing imperios
    great job on html slices
    great job on FW-DW back and forth
    strong focus on CSS, CSS behaviors would be great
    text types——- html and raster (the html text would be exported directly into dreamweaver, or at least the formating exported into CSS classes)
    copming consideration—- ability to generate image previews of flash components imported as symbols for use in comping
    frames and INSTANCES !!! wouldn’it be great if u could demonstrate how an website would look and feel browsing between PNG’s. Hell Yeah ! Let us link through slices to other png’s or other instances of the same document (imagine u’re brosing through frames, and u put a single type of web page in a frame , contact about home.., but frames are for roll overs and other stuff, we need instances)
    kill all slices button
    kill all hidden layers (and when i mean layers i mean sub layers 🙂 )
    there are more but my boss will kill me if i lose more time there is the raster engine and much more that need to be analized

  74. If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?

    Make Adobe software as cross-seamless as possible. For example, dragging a selected vector path from Illustrator into Photoshop and Fireworks to copy it would be a boon. Macromedia had this functionality between Freehand and the late Extreme 3D.
    [That already works. Dragging selected vectors from Illustrator to Photoshop creates a Smart Object. –J.]

    Are there tasks at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)

    I’d like to see one honest-to-gosh app designed for Web content creation instead of piecemealing around. I’d like to see ImageReady merged with Fireworks, and then add XML scripting capability.

    Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
    What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?

    A jump button between PS and Fireworks on the toolbox would be great. Dreamweaver appears to handle PS bitmaps just fine, IMO. I’d worry more about Microsoft Expressions and XAML.

    Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?

    Photoshop is the paradigm by which all Macromedia-inherited apps should follow.

  75. As a web developer, I have found Fireworks to be an extremely efficient tool for rapid prototyping and web UI design. Clearly positioning it as such is an excellent strategy and I am very glad this is being considered.
    I have been using Fireworks since version 1 and have yet to find a comparable application in terms of workflow for web UI design that is as easy to use.
    Beyond the ability to edit bitmap and vector images in one program, here are some of my favorite features:
    * The ability to quickly draw, select, and edit objects without worrying about layers.
    * Powerful and easy gif/jpg/png compression functionality.
    * The use of the PNG file format (quickly preview web UI designs in any browser and windows explorer).
    * Color selector uses hexadecimal by default (great for coding color values into CSS).
    The one major annoyance I find with the Fireworks is the significant slowdown that occurs after the application is open for a while. This has been very noticeable since version 3, but slightly improved in version 8.
    Overall, Fireworks is an excellent web design application that should be improved and leveraged by Adobe.

  76. This is just my own preference: I’m too busy perfecting my Photoshop technique to learn another huge program like Flash. Sometimes I generate a small animation in ImageReady (which would probably be easier in Fireworks) and I want to add some sound or music to it. Just for this one thing I need to use Flash. This is all I want to use Flash for. I have no interest in developing Flash interfaces or learning Action Script. So…maybe the next iteration of Fireworks could both replace ImageReady, and allow laying down a sound track with the gif animation to export as a SWF — a kind of Flash Lite/web image optimization app. Anyone else like this??

  77. For me fireworks is the bees knees. For years i was trasping between PS, AI and DW, it has made a huge change to the way I work today.
    Personally I wish all the adobe programmes mentioned worked in such a nice simple user friendly way – I can pick up an item easily by clicking on it and work from there regardless of its format. This is by far the most simple thing and the biggest thing. Now when i have to use PS or Illustrator for very detailed retouching or print work I wich they had this simple thing and not all those layers to negotiate.
    Two things I wish worked better in FW
    – copying and pasting text from word and FW results in my pasted copy becoming rasterised, I have to use mac stickies or a text editor as a go between
    – support for other colour formats(im just wishing i could have some of the simple FW interface for my print jobs here)

  78. As an accomplished designer, I have to say that the use of Fireworks has built my business to what it is today. Although its main format is for creating web graphics and vectors, I have literally forced Fireworks to create every design from business cards to Vehicle Wraps (large format graphics) and beyond.
    With the union of Adobe and Macromedia, I only hope that Fireworks can continue to evolve. Specifically having similiar abilities to handle large design canvases and file export options like EPS and layered PDF. This way I can send the guys that only use Adobe my files created in Fireworks that they can import and edit.
    Other than that, I love Fireworks, hate Photoshop.

  79. the slowdwon after some period of time spent in the program is as real as it gets. i recomend restarting the application every hour or every hour and a half.
    you may also want to restart your computer every 3-4 hours when working like there is no tomorow
    i think the first thing before all that the software enginners shoul do (if the program is not murdered) is this.
    i said it before it needs lots of optimization

  80. Well . . . its very simple.
    If Fireworks is merged with Photoshop, I simply won’t upgrade. If FW becomes bloated or the UI is radically altered (read: made to work like Photoshop’s), I probably won’t upgrade either.
    Fireworks is a *GREAT* program, as-is. Just keep making it a ‘better FW’, on its own terms. It shines in creating artwork for _on-screen_ (vs. hard-copy) viewing. It doesn’t need the complexity of fancy CMYK support or Photoshop’s raster tools, just keep evolving Fireworks’ vector tools.
    I think it it pretty close to optimal already, but the one thing I would like to see would be usability improvements for some of the more complex tools (i.e., gradients) and a better color picker.
    Export to SVG and, especially, XAML would be awesome, but I won’t hold my breath for those.

  81. I personally love Fireworks and would be very sad to see it go. I teach a web design course at the High School level and Fireworks is one of the most accessible programs for my students to master in a short period of time. I have a considerable amount of curriculum to cover and the time frame is not conducive to Photoshop at all.
    Second, I agree with Dave Bricker and Stéphane Bergeron. What they have said earlier is my sentiment exactly. Please, oh please, do not get rid of Fireworks and please, oh please, do not get rid of the academic pricing for the studio products. The Adobe mainstream products are too expensive for schools to purchase and use, plus the licensing is very complicated for Adobe products.

  82. One thing I would like to see in Fireworks is the ability to define a project, like you can in Dreamweaver. Or even better would be to be able to use Dreamweavers projects settings.
    Second, even though I’ve never been able to get used to GoLive, I love the ‘smart object’ feature. Having the same functionality in Dreamweaver and Fireworks would be great.

  83. Sir: I’ve been using and teaching Illustrator and Photoshop for about 16 years now, and have dabbled in Fireworks and Freehand with the deepest of irritation.
    Flash is great, but please, please, please, whatever you do, don’t replace the tools and keyboard shortcuts of Photoshop and Illustrator with the Macromedia ones; if anything, absorb the Macromedia features but retain all the same great, standard Adobe interfaces, tools and keyboard shortcuts.
    You guys are still doing an amazing job after all these years!

  84. I am nearing the completion of my Web Design Diploma course, and have been studying Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator, along with Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash.
    Now that I am starting to create “real” websites, I use Dreamweaver and Fireworks far more than any of the Adobe software. As a novice, I find Photoshop and Illustrator somewhat overwhelming, and that the learning curve with both is stupendous. That’s not to say I don’t like them, but I find that Macromedia software is easier to work with and to understand, and far less daunting than Adobe. As I gain more experience, I may use Adobe products more than I am currently, but I just don’t have time right now. For students like myself and people just starting out, I will always recommend Dreamweaver and Fireworks, more than anything else.

  85. I have been playing around with Photoshop for a few years and would describe myself as an intermediate user capable of comfortably manipualting things with its vast array of tools.
    I have been doing web design for about two years and within that time have found Fireworks to be far more intuitve, much faster to learn, and in general far easier to use. Sure the advanced capabilities are not quite there when compared to Photoshop, but for sheer ease of use and speedy workflow I think Fireworks wins hands down.
    My only wish is that Fireworks had some way of understanding the masks used in Photoshop and converting them to its own methods of implementation. Sometimes you want an effect that only Photoshop can produce (easily), but then for workflow reasons you might want to do the remainder in Fireworks. I also feel that Fireworks’ handling of slicing and exporting is streets ahead of ImageReady as far as simplicity goes. Given that, the “jump to” integration would make a lot of sense, perhaps even replacing ImageReady with Fireworks (or at least giving the user the option of which one they would like to use).

  86. Hello John, just found your blog by chance on Google. I am a long time user of Fireworks -since version 1 actually- and for years it has practically been the only tool of choice when it comes to rapid prototyping and even designing entire websites with it alone. Even the Firefox logo was completely made on it.
    The raster-as-vector editing in FW is something I cannot live without now, as object selection rather than layer selection. Those two features are the main reason I use FW day by day. I respect Photoshop for what it does and does well (professional photo editing) but I don’t do photo retouching for a living, and PS tools fall short for my actual needs on that respect. Plus, typography management in FW is something PS should rather adopt if you ask me.
    I don’t mind FW and PS be rolled into a single application, as long as the editing and object selection qualities of FW are kept intact. Otherwise, no deal. I’m just so NOT used to comping designs on PS now that last time I was forced to do it it was rather an exercise in searing pain. Please keep FW alive..
    Features I’d like to see on FW:
    – PSD export with layer sets (please!)
    – Improved layer effects importing from PS (map PS layer effects to FW dynamic effects).

  87. I’ve used Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, Flash and Fireworks extensively for years.
    My journey has taken me from designing web comps in Photoshop (since 3.0), while integrating icons/art from Illustrator.
    Later I learned Flash, and really learned to love to design tools in Flash — amazing and unique vector tools, allowing selection of vector art similar to pixels tools in photoshop.
    I’ve now adopted Fireworks (with it’s similar toolset to Flash) as my primary web design comping app. I still use Photoshop for photo prep, and Illustrator for complex artwork, but all layout and design is now done in Fireworks.
    I’m not sure if that’s the path many others have travelled, but maybe it helps in positioning these tools. Thanks.

  88. I’ve been a devoted Photoshop user since version 3. I’ve had a copy of Fireworks available from the beginning and the main reason I haven’t switched is the lack of standard Adobe interfaces, tools and keyboard shortcuts.
    From reading the comments posted here, I think it’s safe to assume Fireworks is not going away. I’m fine with that, but it will be a slap in the face to all devoted long-time “Adobe loyal” Photoshop users if Adobe decides to make us pay the price of a new learning curve! Keep Fireworks? Absolutely. However, make it conform to Adobe UI as soon as possible! In fact, I suggest you start a new comments section where UI comparisons can be discussed.
    In the end, If I had to choose one over the other I’d choose Photoshop. Why? Image/photo editing is a core aspect of my web “graphic design” work. It may be true that Fireworks offers better “site design” features, but for “graphic design” I’ll stick with Photoshop. I even use Photoshop’s cababilities for video projects (web and otherwise).

  89. In regards to your questions, yes, yes and yes.
    If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
    Stronger integration between photoshop, illustrator and fireworks. I have to say, it’s rather frustrating to have to save down in illustrator to open in fireworks.
    Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)
    I use fireworks more for speed than anything else. As a web manager and former designer, it’s easier for me to whip something out using fireworks than photoshop. If I’m trying to do something heavy on the creative, yes, photoshop works but is more time-consuming. I think both products work on their own, but for different reasons.
    Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
    YES! It’s close – but for example, retaining folders from photoshop would make a TON of sense and is currently my biggest pain.
    What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
    I’m not sure I see any big issues with the compatibility. So far, I’ve had great experienes (pre-Adobe and post) with the integration – it seems to have only gotten better over the years.
    I love both the programs – and all the others out there as well, but can definitely see room for improvement.
    – Nick

  90. I’ve been using Fireworks since 1.2 and photoshop since v4.
    It has come a long way and I think it would really stink to do away with an awesome web tool. Photoshop is great and far superior but its in a different category for me. I only use it for photo manipulation. I can do many of the filters already within fireworks and I can even use Photoshop plugins (if i desired to) in Fireworks.
    I appreciate all the effort on Photoshop, but in my opinoin Fireworks for web design is faster, lighter, and it uses a common file format png.

  91. i dont have time to read all previous post but i just wanna say realy quick that i love FW and could not work a day without it.
    i think FW should remain a standalone application. i can’t think of a single good reason why it should not.
    I only wish that FW was a bit more mac os x friendly. it doesnt feel like its optimized for mac at all.

  92. Please continue to develop FW, it has become my defacto design tool for everything I do. I use it for web graphics, t-shirt graphics, I recently designed the new school logo on it. It is simply the best all around graphics design tool on the market, I can work vector and raster at the same time, melding both into a single image with amazing power, taking that away from me, will simply kill my creativity.
    Please keep FW alive and well.

  93. Dear All!
    I am nmot a professional user of either of the tools.
    But i tell you this…this is a mess we have at our hands.
    SIMPLIFY the product line…please!
    Yes people will hate you for taking out stuff from the current applications, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
    The idea these days in case anyone missed it is simplicity and ease of use and learning.
    Photoshop needs to be a photoedititng thing foremost. With Macromedia based Lightroom in the works…i dont know where Photoshop will be left.
    Let Fireworks be and/or redifine the roles of PS and FW and Lightroom and all the other pieces of applications.
    Currently Adobe has too many applications doing the same stuff over and over in different ways. And now that Adobe controls ALL of the creative tools (“All your base are belong to us..”! 🙂 ), Adobe has the opportunity to cut down on the redundancy.
    Dont listent to the shareholders! Dont listen to the marketing guys! All they (you?) want are channels of distribution and niche markets, somethig i am extremely wary of!
    Apple hasd been sucessful because of their simple interfaces, simple to use products and it wont hurt Adobe to start steering things in that direction (ease of use). I liked Lightroom(beta) just for that one thing alone! It gives you what you want right there and then.
    I personally also am a fan of Dreamwearver and FW tabbed task panes (which stick to the sides)
    and i think PS is in need of a major UI rework.
    Yes, cry and shout all die hard users of PS (i am one too) but come on! Let’s move things into the 21st century now will we?!
    We have to shed the baggage sometime!
    In a nutshell: Merge and re-engineer all you applications and provide a simpler experience for all users.

  94. FWIW, I like ImageReady. If Adobe were to replace it with FW, I’d first like them to do something about FW’s gratuitously ugly UI. Like all MM products it’s nasty.
    A selection of mattes (as Jennifer Apple suggests) or FW’s export with transparency would be useful.

  95. I am SO glad to hear Fireworks is sticking around. For a while I thought I was going to have to switch to illustrator.
    If I could see any two things to improve Fireworks, they would be:
    1. Let me apply a gradient or pattern to a stroke!
    2. Better compatibility with Illustrator. Trying to take vectors from an .AI file and pull them into Fireworks is about impossible.

  96. I forgot one:
    Fireworks’ bevel and emboss kind of suck right now. It would be nice to choose the shadow color instead of being stuck with black 🙂

  97. [re-posting]
    I’ve been using Fireworks for years and I love it.
    It’s an excellent tool for web graphics.
    :: I’d like to see a more sophisticated Pop-up memu
    Maker. (like what sothink has.
    :: Plus, more support for non-western languages
    such as: Arabic, Persian (Farsi), Hebrew…etc.

  98. About the ideas to take over from each product: I think the vector capabilities in Fireworks are an amazing feature. I’d love to have Photoshop allow me to draw a vector shape and apply brush parameters like I can in Fireworks. The possibility to go back to the shape for adjustments at any time is a real creativity booster.
    Applying filters non-distructively like in Fireworks is a nice feature, too. I often find myself wanting to readjust, say, the radius of a blur. Right now I have to keep lots of backup layers and reperform several steps if I want to change any filter parameter.
    The web optimization capabilities in Fireworks are superior to those in Photoshop/ImageReady if I recall correctly (smaller files and better quality). Photoshop could benefit from a shared codebase there.
    I think the integration between the applications should definitely be improved. I personally would love a “Jump To” feature, as well as the ability to open and save Fireworks PNGs in Photoshop without losing any information, as well as the ability to modify Fireworks vectors and layer filters in Photoshop.
    Ideally, Fireworks would replace Image Ready for me. Most people I know use Fireworks for web work anyway, thus eliminating the need for ImageReady. But I understand that ImageReady has many supporters as well.
    As for the über-app idea, I think that those CSS/DHTML/Slice features better be kept out of Photoshop, since these are not directly related to the image processing stuff Photoshop is supposed to handle. A separate application/module like CameraRaw/ImageReady/Fireworks is a much better solution. Nevertheless, some Fireworks features (such as the incredible vector/raster integration I mentioned before) should be added to Photoshop, and some Photoshop features (such as the Healing Brush or the Highpass Filter) should find their way into Fireworks.

  99. Perhaps beef up some of the photo editing features of Fireworks with some of the PS Elements 4 editing tools such aaaaaas the more fleshed out ‘levels’ control as histogram etc.
    To the FW Color mixer add the Color picker feature from PS that allows entering Hex color numbers to be able to chose colors in addtion to the exisitng RGB numbers.
    Improve the gradient tools in FW for less banding in Fireworks.
    Add the magnetic Lasso selection tool from PS to Fireworks
    Keep improving the blending modes.
    Better optimization for very large jpegs.
    Otherwise, ABSOLUTELY keep DW Fireworks and Flash going.
    The only products you should consider dropping outright are Go-Live and Image Ready, both of which are cleary inferior and utterly redundant to those you bought along with MM.
    Keep up the great work!

  100. I think all the comments about preserving Fireworks’ and Photoshop’s are valid. It actually scares me to think about losing Fireworks’ wonderful features.
    But an uber app is interesting, esp. one with a customizable interface. I can see where this could go, and I like it. Compare it to how Flash and Dreamweaver currently give you workspace options: Designer or Developer.
    Maybe the uber app could give you the options: Web or Photo — you can the idea. Another option could be Custom, where you choose which modules to add to your workspace. That would be awesome.
    I would hope that by integrating the two apps that I would finally have Fireworks’ design strengths and Photoshop’s color and levels control and numerous filters.

  101. I’ve been a casual to intermediate Photoshop user for several years and have only used Fireworks relatively recently, but with my line of work being in web design I’ve found in indispensible. I still use PS for more advanced artistic / filter effects but the prepped work comes straight back into FW for workflow.
    I absolutely second the need for a magnetic lasso in FW; the point to point tool works OK if you click often enough and anti-alias, but when I’ve got a large complex outline I’ll always shift to PS, cut, then paste back into FW.
    I’d prefer to see these apps kept separate to avoid bloating either down; FW for web, PS for print. Providing the best tools of each are available it won’t be a problem.

  102. Please keep Fireworks, and let it continue to flourish as a stand alone application. (thanks, but no thanks to the ill prospect of collapsing FW into ImageReady.)
    I second, third, and “Amen” the addition of: improved masking tools, a seamless tile maker, magnetic lasso, and far less violent PSD export (with layer sets) process, and vice-versa.
    But the real coup for Adobe would be the ability to auto-generate CSS driven layouts from Fireworks generated content, including bitmaps, menus, fixed/fluid backgrounds, etc.
    Pull that off, and I’ll sing Adobe’s praises from the mountaintop.

  103. Like many on this list, I am a huge Fireworks fan. Fireworks doesn’t force you to think about what mode you’re in, and it standardizes a lot of design steps (unlike PhotoShop, where each action requires a unique tool and process.)
    My single request, other than keeping Fireworks alive and well, is that PSDs exported from
    Fireworks and imported into Photoshop would carry over much more information from Fireworks. I say this because I design in Fireworks but my clients always want a PSD file.
    The Fireworks To Photoshop export/import path is poorly documented and not fully supported. In particular:
    Photoshop does not understand Fireworks groups. It auto-flattens them.
    Photoshop does not fully understand Fireworks layers.
    Photoshop does not fully understand Fireworks text treatment (even though both use vector text of some flavor.)
    If I could export a clean PSD from Fireworks and have minimal clean-up work in Photoshop, I would be delighted.
    Currently, I have to ungroup every single element before PSD export. Further, I have to reassign all the objects to the right layers and groups once I’m in Photoshop.
    As you can imagine, this is not optimal. I would love better interoperability so that I can design in Fireworks and easily import into Photoshop.

  104. As a designer and professor of media art, I would really like to see Adobe simplify the application landscape. I think you already divide workflow into different media or content types, and that seems to work. Now there is some redundancy and some outdated tools as well.
    I would love to see four apps that focus on different media and graphic contents. You need an Illustration program, a bitmap editing program, a web (site) page design program, and a scriptable media animation program.
    Keep Illustrator, but let it integrate better with Flash.
    Keep Photoshop, incorporate some of the blending and effects tools available in Fireworks.
    Roll ImageReady, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver into one super web app, but integrate it with Flash. This program could have a design tab, and a web content tat or environment. It is a good fit to put these things together because they overlap in many ways now. Call it Fireworks though, so the “I will die without Fireworks” folks won’t feel alienated. the rest of us will survive the changes just fine.
    Add 3D to Flash and let the new super web tool and Flash have integration for animations, quick javascripts and layer imports.
    Keep InDesign for PDF development, but don’t develop it too much more as a webpage tool.
    Get rid of Golive and whatever the Adobe “Flash” clone was. I’ve only ever met one person that used Golive.
    You can still offer suites or combinations of these tools for different foci — web or print design — one with Flash, Photoshop, and FireworksWeaverReady. The other suite would include InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
    Most people are not sure about the Bridge idea. It seems to go to far towards becoming an operating system interface. It adds a redundancy to the filing system that seems unnecessary.

  105. Another huge FW fan here. I’ve been having to work in PSCS2 today on a layout which is what lead me to this post. The pain got to much and, in my craving for FW, I went looking on the web to see what its future might be. I’m delighted to see so many championing this wonderful app. I didn’t realise it was so popular.
    I completely disagree with Stoddad’s comments, though (apart from the bit about Bridge). They whiff slightly of someone that’s never used FW, or had a real need to. The idea of rolling FW, DW, Flash and ImageReady into one is too horrible to even imagine.
    For me I’d like to see Adobe’s wonderful type engine built into FW as its current engine sucks.
    I’d like to see better layout tools, to aid in rapid prototyping. Things like grid creation (as in DTP style layout grids), with settable margins and padding that mimic CSS. I’m thinking you should be bringing in some of the layout capabilities, and fine-grained control found in InDesign. In addition, provide units that are harmonious with CSS, i.e. ems, and CSS-style leading (line-height). Provide text rendering for aliased text that mimics the browser – i.e. without actually marking up (body) text in HTML, it’s hard to get a true idea of what it will look like.
    Bring in PS’s excellent effects – while FW’s are alright, PS gets layer effect right.
    Smart Objects in PS are a stroke of genius [Thanks! –J.] – bring ’em into FW. Better yet, make the two interchangable. E.g. SO’s created in PS/AI can be copied out into FW while staying editable (a double-click on the SO in FW opens PS or AI, for example).
    Improve the export-to-web features (currently, PS does this much better, with less banding).
    Improve FW’s smart shapes tools so that the yellow nodes are snappable.
    Harmonise keyboard shortcuts.
    Keep it fast and agile and robust.
    Don’t focus on gimmicky, flashy beginners’ features; make it a tool for the web craftsmen and women out there in the trenches. Now that you’ve got FW, stop trying to cram web dev stuff into PS (all the vector editing tools are pretty horrible in PS, to say the least)
    Finally – don’t destroy the interface! For Windows machines, the Macromedia-style interface, with its dockable and collapsable panels, works so much better than the ‘classic’ Adobe apps.
    [We think that both systems could benefit from elements of the other, and I think you’ll like what we’ve got in mind. –J.]
    This thread has just made my evening after a thoroughly miserable day mocking up in Photoshop. Like others have said – it’s a great photo-editing app, but a great design tool it ain’t.

  106. First of all, Fireworks is THE best application for web design. I can’t remember the countless discussions I’ve had with PS fanboys who are perplexed about my choice of not using PS but it’s simply because they never used FW. IMO PS is a dinosaur, hard to tame, and with a terrible breath, which I’d rather keep off my desktop!
    [Okay, but if you want us to improve it, we need some specifics. Thx, –J.]
    PS does, IMO, have a terrible interface, and it is partly due to its hybrid nature and trying to be the tool for everything. The application which originated as being designed for print design is now being used mostly for web design but the interface is the same and retains several typical print features.
    Fireworks on the other hand does one thing and does it well, the interface is consistent with all the other MM apps, which cannot be said for Adobe’s applications which do not have consistent keyboard commands (try zooming in photoshop and reader and you’ll see!).
    I want to see Fireworks remain a separate product from Photoshop and also be marketed as the software for web graphics design. Some of the features I’d like see added or improved are:
    – better support for Photoshop file format export/import
    – some more bug testing before releases
    – slice export, as someone mentioned, more slices layers or allowing different slices for different frames, this would aid in using FW for creating design mockups
    – a way to create a mockup demo flow, with ability to simulate pages and even use button slices as simulated hyperlinks to allow people to go from one frame to the other, and make it exportable to HTML or Flash
    – more advanced vector drawing, modifyinf, extending paths, adding borders and vector effects
    – fix the sampling “1 pixel blob” bug that appears at the point of paths that are pointed and tapered
    – better type engine, and better type sampling, allowing for kerning, better text control in general, ability to let text flow around objects, this would assist in mockup design work
    – text rendering that looks like it would in an actual browser!
    – better and more advanced gradients and the ability to add several layers of gradients and fills to the same object to create composite effects without having to duplicate the object
    Thanks for listening and I hope you take our comments seriously and consider them for the next version!
    I will keep supporting FW and I have written one tutorial until now and I intend to write more of the same as well as cover FW more extensively in my blog.

  107. I realized I forgot to mention a feature I’ve been dying to see:
    – snap to pixels. When drawing autoshapes, paths end up between actual pixels giving them a blurred (sampled) appearance, the only fix is to manually move these paths to actually intersect pixels to make them look sharp as is most desired. I would love to see a tool to fix this or make autoshapes snap to pixels automatically. Take into account that shapes render differently when outlined and when filled, as a filled shape is always sharp by default, and an outlined is always fuzzy.

  108. I’m a fireworks big fan. I believe in the integration of both applications (Photoshop+fireworks) in a super program that works better, with more filters, effects (like photoshop) and same transparent work with flash like fireworks is actually.
    If fireworks die…..I die with it it to….photoshop is not the answer!…not for web design.

  109. I am another person who cannot live without Fireworks! It is a million times quicker for my web workflow than Photoshop.
    Please take good care of Fireworks, and I will be an Adobe supporter for a long time.

  110. It is called PHOTOshop not WEBGRAPHICSshop.
    Fireworks is effiecient to run, efficient to use. My busy webdesign workflow consists of three apps–Fireworks, HTML-Kit and Firefox (other browsers later).
    I don’t use DW as it is too slow. I also do some print design and for that Fireworks is the wrong tool. I use Illustrator and Photoshop as those are the right tools for the job. I will never use Photoshop for the web. It eats resources and can’t handle vectors well. Most filters are destuctive and even simple drop shadows are a pain to create.
    For me the only bit of change to make to Fireworks it for a hand coder mode that would allow direct, one click output of the selected optimised file without selecting “quick export”. There should be a button called “quick save optimized” that takes whatever optimized file format and settings and then the save dialogue. No HTML or file selection–just save the file already. I don’t use any of the tools in the Quick Export panel so how can I get it to stop asking?
    Bottom Line
    No Single APP. Make FW faster, better and THE web design tool. let PS remain the photo and image tool it was designed to do and we will live in a great world.
    And to David Heintz, I use PS-CS2 and Illustrator almost everyday–for graphic design jobs–and they’re great. I won’t start trying to design a print piece in FireWorks and I will hopefully never have to go back to designing web graphics in PS.

  111. For me using both and being a production manager of a team that uses both tools, I’d love to see some sort of way for both tools to link into the same dynamic library. Most people seem to have a strong emotional attachment to either one and i’m happy to let people work with the tools that suit them and their task, but I want them all to be able to talk to each other and to reuse symbols and instances (and whatever else you want to call them). And if someone edits the master version, when an old file is opened I’d like to be given the opportunity to use the updated versions.
    [Truly seamless integration will take some time to achieve (if that’s even possible, given that we can always raise the bar on what that means). That said, providing improved communication is a big priority for us right out of the gates. Over time we may be able to leverage things like Smart Objects in Photoshop & elsewhere to offer a really sweetly integrated experience. –J.]

  112. Any recent news on this issue?
    I am also a Fireworks preferrer. Simply a more focused tool that gets the work done so much more efficiently than Photoshop can.

  113. As a web developer, I love Fireworks because:
    a) It loads fast (this is one MAJOR factor)
    b) Tools are much simpler. Like one person commented here, a line IS a line.
    c) It’s intuitive
    Now there’s no chance Photoshop (or Imageready) will ever get these attributes, Photoshop is so bloated the only way to clean it up is if you actually remove features.
    So I just hope you continue to develop Fireworks the way it is, a lean WEB graphics application.
    And let Photoshop remain the big ol’ jack-of-all-trades graphics
    application for people with impractically expensive desktops.

  114. As we don’t know what the big announcement Adobe has made in Las Vegas at this moment, it’s hard to really give a definate comment.
    I do want to say that pretty much as many have said here both applications are different and at present work extremely well in their own environment. The thought of souping up Fireworks is certainly a good direction, but in the end this will just continue until both softwares are eventually merged. A big plus as a lot of people have mentionned is the fact Fireworks is so light and quick, does all the basics and can directly handle web coding on images without too much effort. I prefer interactivity between both so as to have the option
    to still buy one or the other or both. Photoshop which has always been the ultimate photographers software is in essence all encopassing at this point. It would be great if like Bridge you could have interaction.
    Maybe an expandable module added to Photoshop that would open Fireworks say something like a splitscreen toolbar kind of thing that would only load and startup Fireworks once activated with a toolbar button. You could
    do your Fireworks layout, and it would be live editable in Photoshop. It would be great if Fireworks could support live HTML Frames(it may and I’m not aware of it)as well instead of doing it in Dreamweaver. I have to agree in this respect with those who favor a single software instead of the multitudes needed to work one graphic and a web site.
    A passing note, Portable Apps are becoming a huge thing I use them often it would be great if Fireworks could be ported as this as well.

  115. just another Fireworks fan who wants to add his voice to the apparently huge list of people who hate using Photoshop for web graphics. Fireworks makes my job easy and fun – don’t mess that up, Adobe.
    [I appreciate that you like FW, but I do wish people would stop coming to this discussion with the attitude that Adobe is going to “mess it up.” FW hadn’t gotten many resources in a long time (just a function of competing priorities), and that’s changed on our watch. Exciting things are in the queue. –J.[

  116. I would just like to see more powerful drawing tools in Fireworks. Some of the things that I can do in Freehand as far as manipulation of objects (rotate, resize, ect.) at the object level. Things that I still cannot do very easily in Illustrator without navigating a bunch of menus. I want to keep my head in the task at hand and on the drawing I’m creating, where my focus should be. I also want to be able to allign points within an object and not just objects.
    And most important of all… please, please, make the text field where you type the name of your slices BIGGER!!!
    As far as Photoshop goes, I only use it for complex color workspace conversions, to analyze statistical information about pixel values(Histograms), and applying/converting the pixel aspect ratios to images moving to video.
    It’s great for this complex stuff, but if you are designing in Photoshop, there are better tools out there that cost less and are much easier to use.

  117. As a professional Fireworks web designer (and also colleague to pro-Photoshop/anti-Fireworks web professionals) I’d like the standard toolset to be enhanced (without the need for third-party extensions) and the compatability between the two to be better and standardised. That way I can convince them to make the switch!
    Here’s my list:
    You should be able to apply masks to an entire layer (that would be super cool).
    Rounded rectangles should be able to produce clean aliased corners, which are easily editable in the AutoShape Properties panel. I shouldn’t have to create a normal rectangle and use the rounded feature – it makes no sense! And I definitely shouldn’t have to use Senocular’s Transform Panel to resize AND maintain the roundness.
    I should be able to create nice, anti-aliased rounded rectangles with a 1px stroke without the need to use Super Nudge to actually make them 1px!
    The dimensions of an object in the property inspector should show actual real-time values when resizing an object with the drag handles.
    The info panel should allow you to show the resize in pixels as well as percentages.
    Panels shouldn’t be so fiddly as to when you open and close a few, some never revert back to their original height, instead taking up the entire column.
    You should be able to choose to display hex codes in lowercase so I can copy them into my stylesheets and change the values manually.
    And finally, while my colleagues still use Photoshop in the meantime, when exporting from Fireworks to a PSD, the layers should be created as Photoshop groups (not sure about grouped items though).
    Other than Fireworks is just brilliant. But if you think you can improve anything else, please do 🙂

  118. I actually have quite a few suggestions regarding FW (and I will be back with more), but one remains paramount.
    First a prelude. People seem to have forgotten that one big purpose for FW was to ease the creation of animated GIFs. While I agree that animated GIFs have given way to Flash ads, FW is still an amazing tool for comping online advertising. IT HAS FRAMES!
    I am an Associate Creative Director of Online Advertising for Genex I have 10 years of experience in the online ad world. Here’s a breakdown of my process:
    After creation of the ad concept, I begin working in PS. Here I prepare any artwork I may need. Scanning/recoloring/isolating objects via paths & channels/retouching.
    Then I open the PSD(s) in FW (anything you can do to ease compatibility is greatly appreciated). I build items big so that I can save them as symbols (I believe Adobe created Smart Objects in answer to symbols). Here I layout my keyframes for the ad. Duplicating frames and adjusting things where necessary. It is in FW that I begin to prepare the ad for eventual translation to Flash. FW frames make my life so much easier and they are a big reason why I build my key frames in FW as opposed to PS. I can literally tap from one frame to the next. BTW, love live effects, copy attributes, copy as vector, paste inside (similar to paste–just an additional key. Very intuitive).
    Killer feature for FW: GENERATE STORYBOARD
    When I have completed my comp, I have to export frames to files then lay them out in inDesign or Freehand. (I don’t use Illustrator because I need to generate multi-page PDFs). I also assign a slug that identifies the product, campaign, concept name and ad size. THIS PROCESS IS LABORIOUS. Give me a button I can click to bring up a new window (think of the “Extract” screen in PS) where I will be able to customize my layout. I can choose my page size, the number of frames per page, control the frame scaling, how they are arranged (across or down). Page count should be automatic. Add stroke should be a check box. Auto space/distrubute should be a check box. I need this flexibility as there are a variety of ad sizes on the net. Sometimes I need control over the arrangement. Give me control over the placement/size/font of the slug line. I should be able to save this storyboard as a PDF. In fact, if you really want to be forward thinking, allow me to combine this storyboard with others so that I can place a single campaign in one PDF. (Note: I’ve spoken with numerous other online creatives. Everyone agrees. Generating a storyboard would be a godsend.)
    Once the ad is sold, I begin moving from FW to Flash: copying vectors over directly and saving individual PNGs and JPGs. Anything you can do to ease the transition to Flash is greatly appreciated.
    Another request: bring the on-canvas gradient controls from Flash into FW and allow me to copy the gradients to Flash from FW without having to rebuild them. Flash has wonderful on-screen gradient controls!.
    Sorry for this being so long.

  119. One request for FW. In today’s world of optimization testing for ad copy an improved batch process feature would be wonderful. Including the ability to find and replace multiple text strings at once (currently allows only one).
    Another option may be to really build out the capabilities of the Data-Driven Graphics Wizard to accomplish for multiple source files what is currently only available for one. I.e if I could feed multiple source files that would all be acted upon with the DDGW variables life would be SOOOO much easier.
    Looking forward to the next V

  120. I’ve been giving the subject some more thought, and here are a few other things I’d like added or changed…
    The live marquee needs to be more exact. It doesn’t always start in the position you want it to, and sometimes, its impossible to get the exact size you want. I’ve tried creating an elliptical marquee of X,Y and it skips some values for no apparent reason!
    Like Photoshop, I want to be able to Ctrl click a layer to select it with "marching ants".
    After grouping and then subsequently ungrouping some vector paths, I’d like Fireworks to remember the original names I had for each item! It’s so frustrating to name things nicely, group them for cleanliness, and then come back to a project later, ungroup them and be presented with meaningless names like Path, Path, Path.
    The Export Image Preview function needs to be less buggy. This particular quirk really bugs me… If I have the zoom tool selected and click to export, the cursor should change to be the standard Windows one for the Save dialog box, and not still be the magnifier cursor.
    But most importantly, I’d like to see a new Gradient selection tool. It’s cool to be able to place my gradients where I like, but it’s too difficult to do it perfectly!
    This tool should change the property inspector to show me the current X & Y position, and Length & Angle of the gradient (where X & Y are relative to 0,0 of its parent object) as well as the type and colours of the gradient obviously.
    It should let me manually enter values using the keyboard, but also allow me use the cursor keys to move it left, right, up and down, and while holding the Shift key, extend/shrink the gradient using the up and down key, and to rotate it using (Shift) left and right! That would be one of the best features.
    If Adobe implement half of what’s been suggested here – obviously all of mine :), the new Fireworks will definitely be the web professional’s tool of choice. Looking forward to it muchly.

  121. Oooh. I’ve got an improvement for Photoshop (and Illustrator)! Allow me to paste hex codes with the bloody # in it aswell. I’ve emailed Adobe with every new release (for years) complaining about this and still nothing has been done.
    For those few times I do use Photoshop, this slows me down even further (not forgetting the slow start up time, slow tools and slow everything else…).

  122. Please don’t ruine Macromedia color picker – it can pick colors from anywhere on the screen, that I lack in all Adobe and Corel applications.
    Better improve color mixer and palletes in Macromedia applications.

  123. Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
    Defintely, especially with some layer modes in fireworks and are imported in photoshop, some fireworks objects look differently. But my recent designs from fw to ps have been quite good. On the other hand, fireworks should also have a good support on handling psd imports, i find that photoshop imports png files well, but fireworks lacks this ability.
    Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?
    1.i would say being able to deal with CMYK. Yes it is true, fireworks wasnt built for print, but still, there are some people who use fireworks more than just a web design tool, ( i personally use it to create my digital designs, logos , and stuff). There should be better print support for fireworks, especially in dealing with page mock ups and so. I heard they where also including the cmyk format for the next cycle.
    2.wrapping tool in ps. The distort, scale and skew tools offer limited possibilities to alter the shape of your text/image object. Since fireworks deals with the web, and these wrapping tools (wave, wrap, etc in ps) would be a good idea.
    What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
    Better handling with the popup menus in fireworks. Sometimes it screws up things when being imported in dreaweaver. Another good idea would be the more improvements on the fireworks html produced.
    If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
    make fireworks the leading web graphics tool in the web, and no more competitions, hehehhe, fireworks is the best for the web!

  124. It would be great if fireworks could use a photoshop brushes.I hope that this will be solved in the next version of Fireworks.
    Btw fireworks is the best tool for the web graphics
    [We need to be careful about this kind of thing. People love to say, “Photoshop’s too big! Photoshop takes too much RAM! Photoshop makes me feel dumb because I don’t understand every single thing it can do!” (Okay, they don’t say the last one, but it’s hiding just beneath the surface of a lot of complaints.) Everyone wants to put their own “wafer-thin mint” into Fireworks. And guess what would happen as soon as we did that? Boom–you’ve got Photoshop: not a bad thing, but it’ll draw all those same complaints. –J.]

  125. My situation:
    I make websites and stuff for web-use: stills and flash banners, etc. Both in fireworks and Flash. I am not very good at Flash since im used to the Fireworks graphics tools, so Flash is only used to animate my graphics, as much of which is made in fireworks and exported as PNG.
    I’ve begun to make Card versions of the websites i use, so the design of the website is found on the card, although the information is typical with name, address, etc. Here it’s important that i can transform 72DPI pictures to 600DPI information – fireworks does that for me.
    My current stance towards Photoshop:
    The few times i’ve tried to meddle with it, i’m strongly attracted to it’s brushes, i’ve been scared and let down. Too difficult anc complex. It’s really unfair that Photoshop is as widely known as it is because it’s not very good for web-use.
    My current stance towards Fireworks:
    I LOVE IT – it does 90% of what i need, and is integrated with Dreamweaver which saves some time. I only need that serious texture and edging capability which i currently need photographic edged 6 and alienskin software for.
    My current stance towards Flash:
    A neccessary evil: i need the animation, i hate the tools and the way to go about handling frames and symbols, much too complex.
    Fireworks needs brushes and edges capability. I use Photographic Edges 6 and alienskin software for that now, but would like to see it implemented.
    Fireworks and Flash needs to be merged: i hate the flash design tools, animating is too complex but that’s what i use it for: softly, beautiful, animation.

  126. Type, Fonts, Spacing and Anti-Aliasing – Hello there I would love too see the type editor from PS into FW. The control over text is amazing. Rather than the shity one in fireworks. The copy usually forms a great deal of any web-design and without good use of text in fw this means I have to do it photoshop – which should really only be used for “photo” work.
    As an example – I wanted to set the spacing of a piece of text and set the kerning etc. I did this at 22points both in photoshop and fireworks. In PS I set the spacing to -50 and the AA to Crisp – saved out as a 12 quality jpeg. I did the same in FW. But I couldn’t set the spacing to -50 so I set it to -7 looked about the same. I set the AA to custom – (as FW crisp looks shite) so oversampled 16 times. I then put the two high quality jpegs together – and guess what… the Photoshop one won hands down. I prefer to work in FW as it’s vector based and easier to do web-based graphics. But when it comes to clear, crisp legible copy/text it sucks! Please improved it!
    Kind regards,
    Mark UK

  127. I would like to say, many amateur to pro designers use Fireworks. If adobe doesn’t want to screw that up, they will keep Fireworks as is and not try to merge it with photoshop or any other application. photoshop and fireworks have different workflows, therefore combining the 2 or combining fireworks with anything else will only upset the majority of your customers.

  128. I think that by far fireworks is a superior web design application due to its vector based design layout and ease for updating/tweaking of items and it allows for rapid prototyping and editing. However I get really frustrated as the image toolset in fireworks as good as it is lacks in certain areas so I have to take designs over to photoshop to improve the final design and add in extra design elements that just arent possible in fireworks.
    I personally think what would be great is better interatcion between the two apps so you can move layered png files between the two or improve the vector/path tools in photoshop so they enable quicker and more intuitive design like fireworks so the more design heavy/intricate & layouts for flash can be built easier in PS and then keep fireworks as is and aim it towards vector/XHTML/CSS type layouts with improved dd menus and other XHTML/CSS based features and tools. ????? As it is perfect for those kind magazine/corp layouts and ps is better for image/graphically driven sites 😉

  129. Please can you do me a great favour. Send me a complete Adobe photoshop,flash,premiere,and illustrator softwares,as a Christmas gift,.I appreciate …cheers
    contact me :
    [Sure! Would you like your hand-delivered gift box in platnium or solid gold? 😉 –J.]

  130. I am still shocked after all these years you still cannot apply a gradient to a stroke in Fireworks. I mean this is like level 1 stuff guys. Come On!
    Things I hate about fireworks.
    The entire gradient workflow blows chunks.
    The color selector is horrible.
    Rotating objects is not intuitive and feels unnatural.
    Shadows and glows and all those effects need a much better work flow and please get them out of the property inspector. They do not belong there unless they have already been applied.

  131. I don’t know that this is the right forum for this comment – but here it goes. Could we get the Adobe/Macromedia programs to open without loading every single plugin, driver… I hate waiting for 1 minute plus for everything to load. I’d rather it open fast and then load what it needs as I use it.
    [Sounds like you have an absolute ton of plug-ins installed. Anyway, yes, we’re getting better about not loading so much at startup. The PSCS3 beta is appreciably faster in this department. –J.]

  132. Complaining about what Photoshop does that Fireworks doesn’t and visa-versa is a bit moot don’t you think?
    I feel that the culture is to deep and therefore both must survive.
    Can we get rid of Imageready though?
    [Already gone. –J.]

  133. FW have quite rough AA. I hope FW will have better rasterization engine in next version. Like Xara, for example.

  134. Please don’t screw up Fireworks now that Adobe has its hands on it… I have both Studio 8 and CS2 installed and use Fireworks about 80% of the time for everything I do – its a great ‘do it all’ general tool. I don’t think that this would necessarily compete against the more in depth Illustrator or Photoshop for vector and raster imaging.
    [Please see A Bright Future For Fireworks. The new Adobe is investing more heavily in FW than Macromedia did in a number of product cycles. –J.]

  135. I have been using FW for graphics design for live sports broadcasting for several years, including this week’s 2007 NHL Allstar Game. It’s outstanding interface and simple ability to generate 32-bit TIFs w/accurate alpha & Fill transparency makes it indispensable. No matter how hard I try to use CS2, I always end up throwing my hands up in frustration and going back to FW, currently v8.x. Love it, love it, love it. Nothing else does what it does, the way it does it.

  136. I discovered Fireworks two years ago and I think it is far superior for designing and creating images for websites than Photoshop. Plus, I love the way it integrates with Dreamweaver.
    However, it’s typesetting capabilities are very backward. It doesn’t group fonts by families, which creates huge font menus. Also, it crashes if the file gets too large and has no recovery capabilities. I think all applications should have some form of auto-save.

  137. I prefer that Fireworks be primarily for web development. Fireworks is very intuitive and I was producing within days of owning it. I’ve had Photoshop for months and still can’t use it for anything but photo enhancement and special edges. I knew I’d have a long learning curve to learn special techniques but didn’t anticipate having to read the manual for basic usage. It would have been cheaper to outsource my special needs to a graphic designer.
    It is apparent to me that the graphic and production needs of web developers are widely different from print graphic designers. Making an all-in-one solution would probably drive both parties crazy. Making them more compatible would be great though. I would like Fireworks to let me have more than one layer for slicing so that I could have one regular set of slices, one for background slices, and one for alternate layouts, etc. (This comes up a lot now that I use CSS more.) Also, I’m sorry to say that the latest version of Fireworks is the buggiest one I’ve ever used so please try to have the next version cleaner.

  138. I just started using Fireworks and I must say… As a long time Flash designer, it’s the app that has been missing out of my workflow for years.

  139. LOL! I was actually fired indirectly as a result of a suggestion I made related to Fireworks to the creative driector of a company I used to work for if you can believe that….
    I was brought in as a consultant to take up a back-log of slack left by the existing staff…and immediately requested a copy of Fireworks. That request was flat out denied with no cause given. I have been doing this for 8 years – SELF TAUGHT. Remeber I was in a room full of so-called “designers” with BFA’s and BIG loan payments to the design academy they went to. All these guys know is PS b/c thats what they teach you in school. So imagine the threat I posed by offering an alternative.
    My suggestion was that Fireworks is a much more efficient tool for web layout, mock-ups, and cut-to-html duties, and as a result they were doing themselves a disservice by not at least investigating it. The creative director and sr. designer freaked out on me, stormed out of the room, and we never got along since, no matter how much I walked on eggshells around them from that point on.
    The fact is, PS has been getting more and more FW like for the last 5 years.
    AND The point remains, Fireworks replaces 3 Adobe programs.
    Oh well – my suggestion to others when dealing with Photoshop clones….keep the truth to yourself! Companies make up there own truths within their walls.
    For the record: the company was a sweatshop in Tampa called Beware those who value your careers, talents, and opinions.

  140. Been using FW for a few years and i never needed anything else when it came to web design. I started using PS very recently just to be able to use the “cool” brushes and blend modes.
    I do all of my layouts in FW, slice them and export them, and that’s it.
    Recently I spiced up my designs using PS. Then I got to the slicing part.
    There’s no “right-click slice and select Export Slice” in PS…
    Then I tried to edit text. A pain, really.
    Also took me a while to understand how to select things in PS.
    I also found myself thinking that if you don’t know the keyboard shortcuts in PS then you’re dead.
    FW is so much easier in this aspect. I have to agree that PS seams like a very powerful app. But right now, FW is the tool for web design.
    P.S. I took a peek at the CS3 suite. Why didn’t FW get the little interface upgrade that Flash got?
    [Lack of time. We couldn’t bring all the Studio apps in line in just over 12 months. –J.]
    Also, the “What’s new?” list for FW is just simply dissapointing…
    [Well, I disagree. I think that this is clearly the most feature-rich Fireworks upgrade in years (better PSD handling, 9-slice support, intelligent widgets, MXML support, more). What features are valuable, however, depends entirely on the work you do, so what’s here won’t resonate equally with everyone. –J.]
    Is FW going to get left behind? That would be a sad, sad thing…

  141. I think they need to be integrated more. I know many people don’t like bloat, but why not improve photoshop and dreamweaver by integrating fireworks in both? Personally I see fireworks as a middle guy.
    When I say intigration, I don’t mean get rid of firworks. I know a few people who would flip out over that. What I mean is tighter intigration with the ui and things. Perhaps make fireoworks work as a plugin/extension to photoshop and dreamweaver. Find a way to bring the apps really close, but not so close that they become one app.

  142. Forgive me if this has been mentioned already (lotta posts here).
    I would love it if gradients/styles for Photoshop could be used in Fireworks. I find it shocking that it hasn’t been done yet – esp in CS3!! Same goes for brushes and the like. It’s not bloat because they need not come pre-installed. There’s nothing worse than a designer spending hours finding awesome tools that he can’t use in his or her favorite graphics program. fireworks). The fact that many people have a miss or hit experience with Fireworks and Photoshop, with many sticking strongly to one as opposed to the other, it doesn’t make sense to NOT make them very compatible, especially since they are capable of different things and to varying degrees of difficulty.

  143. I shared Fireworks with a fellow web developer who is just getting into design. His words: “Fireworks is easy, fast, and powerful. I can’t believe I used anything else for so many years”.
    I agree. Fireworks is great tool for web design. Unfortunately, it’s always been in the shadow of Flash, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop.

  144. Let Fireworks open photoshop and illustrator files, without braking layers or text boxes, or anything. Then we could receive artwork from print-based design studios (which typically produce design for a company before any web team is hired) without having to buy photoshop/illustrator/etc..
    Photoshop’s handling of undo/redo is great. The same with actions. I think we all came to understand it much better than fireworks automation system.
    Add a “tiled background” tool to firworks, that allows to fill any solid shape with a tiled bg, thats editable doubliclicking (like a symbol), than when you slice it, it exports a gif or jpg that’s usable as a tilable bg for any element in the website.
    Memory handling in fireworks seems to freak out at the fourth hour of work with a 1000 x 1900 document that has 20 photos.
    Selection in fireworks rocks, except for selection behind objects. Some hot key like right mouse button in photoshop, could be useful.
    Let Symbols group into libraries. And let Libraries be independent from files.
    So if i edit a button in the library, 30 fireworks files have the button updated. That would have saved us a ton of time last web app we designed.
    If we could have some way to toggle layers on/off by clicking on some part of the design, fireworks could serve better when showcasing interaction design. Check out omnigraffle.

  145. I don’t like Fireworks at all. Since it is now part of CS package I tried to use it for website prototyping – both Illustrator and Photoshop lack in this area. But I found Fireworks very limited and clumsy to work with. I can work many times faster using both Illustrator and Photoshop even now than using Fireworks.
    After reading the comments here, it seems obvious that there is need for program like Fireworks. But please, for those of us who already know how to use Illustrator, add few web oriented features to Illustrator too. Though learning may be little steep, Illustrator is much more powerful and easier to work with.
    What I miss mostly in Illustrator is how text and graphic objetcs are aliased. There should be option for turning on/off aliasing for specific objects, layers etc.
    Also stroke tool should mimic web browser css rendering in Web mode. And this is basically it! If these two things would be implemented I wouldn’t even think about using another program for web work (apart from Photoshop of course).

  146. I use both extensively. Photoshop is waaaay better at the bitmap level.
    Fireworks is superior for web work. Period.
    Both programs cross-over to some degree.
    I Think its funny thay PS, in all its power has been getting closer and closer to (copying) Fireworks workflow for years now. (ex: Vector drawing tools, Folders in the layers pallette, easier object selection…to name a few). PS devotees have no clue where all these new features came from. (copying Fireworks)
    PS (Photo Shop) as the name indicates was orginally a non-web design tool. Fireworks was created for web design explicitly. For that reason..Fireworks is better for web work. I stress WORK here…not playing around with images and abstract design.
    I wont hire web designers who only use Photoshop or only use Fireworks. I need talent who are nimble with both. NEWSFLASH : You don’t have to use one or the other!!! Most Fireworks people know this…most Photoshop people seem to be brainwashed…and frankly ignorant to what FW can do.
    Most print designers dont understand the concept of an “object” as it relates to software development…or library Symbols. I love Fireworks because it more closely resembles the OOP (Object Oriented Programming) model.
    You can create a Menu, that is an object(symbol) that has other properties…like Buttons(Objects), that has properties(Text, Graphics, Gradients), that themselves have properties (Filters, etc…). And you can actually move things around and shared between files with little effort.
    Photoshop has been faking web designer workflow for years…but showing and hiding and locking layers is hardley the way to group logical elements. Its silly really.

  147. @Joey – AMEN!
    You said so many of the things that I have been thinking for years. Especially the bit about PS becoming more like FW.
    Ironically, however, much of this Object based layout (rather than Photoshop’s clumsy layers) came more from Corel Photopaint and Deneba Canvas years before FW.
    Those of us who “get it” realize that object based layout is superior to Photoshop’s half-baked layers concept. Strangely, even Illustrator and InDesign are object-based. Why does Adobe continue to push layers?
    [If it were a simple question of one approach being better than the other, we’d have long ago adopted the better method. The challenge is that an object-based approach is great for some things and lousy for others; same goes for Photoshop-style layers.
    Sometimes (e.g. painting, retouching) you’ll very much want layers that work in the way that Photoshop originally implemented them–large, clear sheets on which you can paint. You almost certainly *don’t* want PS to create a new layer/object every time you put down a paint stroke. (That behavior is one of the downsides to After Effects-style vector painting, which is why we implemented video painting in PS; the approaches are complementary, not redundant.)
    There are obviously times when an object-based approach works better, and Photoshop has made changes that help you work in that way (e.g. optional auto-selection of clicked layers; multiple layer selection; layer grouping; etc.).
    One problem is that we have to set the defaults just one way, and some people never bother to try switching things on/off to find a way of working they might prefer. That’s one of the many reasons I keep emphasizing the desire to make Photoshop more easily & radically customizable, so that with one click you could change many aspects of the app’s environment and behaviors. –J.]
    I think we’ll see Photoshop become more and more like FW. It’s now all about everything being editable all the time (a luxury that FW users have enjoyed for years and PS users are just beginning to discover)!
    I’ve been using FW for web design since beta 1 and I use it every day. I still use Photoshop for what Photoshop is good for, image editing and graphic creation. But, for web design/layout and quick slick web graphics, FW can’t be beat.

  148. Hi John, this is just a comment to your editorial in my recent post. I agree that layers work well when painting, touching up, and otherwise working with photos or other artwork. This was the initial intention of Photoshop, but (IMO) the ever-growing mis-use of Photoshop (esp. using it for layout design) has caused Adobe to bloat and morph the software into a one-size-fits all solution. This solution is hardly such. Unfortunately, Photoshop is known as the killer graphics app. so all the wannabes get (steal) Photoshop and perpetuate the situation instead of choosing the right graphics program for the job.
    Well, I certainly didn’t intend this to become a PS bash session, and nor am I so down on PS. I think the last 7 or so years for PS growth in features and capabilities has been incredible.
    I hope Adobe continues to innovate and I hope that Adobe realizes that FW is a different animal and deserves a permanent place in it’s lineup. I just wish Adobe would give FW more prominence by putting it on the home page under products with the rest of its flagship software.
    Adobe has to educate its users about FW’s capabilities and that it is NOT a PS replacement, but rather a very powerful addition (or extension, if you will) to PS. Adobe has an incredible marketing engine that can make FW or break it.

  149. excuse me david (david bricker) but if you are enable to use photoshop correctly does’nt means photoshop don’t work well..
    I think it’s better for you start to learn to use photoshop and then talk about it.
    Also think that photoshop is the software most used by the most important webdesigner in the world.. so start to think about it.. Bye 🙂

  150. There’s a perfectly good reason why Photoshop is used by designers; because they don’t have to (and shouldn’t have to) put up with the difficulties of coding and implementing what they create. Designers tend to push graphics to the limit, while coders try and push the file-sizes back down. There definitely needs to be two different programs for these two parties, Photoshop for the designers, to use all the built in filters and brushes and minimize on their workload, and Fireworks for the simple interface and genius features that make outputting for the web so much easier. Over-complicating either of these programs would be a very bad idea.

  151. “Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough? ” Definitely yes to this. when psd files opened with adobe Firework they must be editable. At least their color. it can be very usefull.

  152. I remember being introduced to Fireworks 3 in 2000. With no background in design, I only took 2 hours to familiarize myself with the tool and from then created alot of websites. It’s the single best graphic application for anyone. Drawing is a breeze with Fireworks. Alot of similarity with Illustrator too. I find Illustrator easier to use and learn than Photoshop. Because it’s hybrid raster vector app, I only need 1 software to fix all my graphic needs 🙂

  153. For PNGs which use Frames, provide an “Export to PowerPoint” feature whereby each frame is a single slide in a PPT deck. This makes walk-throughs much easier. Today we have to export “frames to files” and then create a PPT deck and import the images into that deck one-by-one… painful!

  154. It’s all about the tools we are used to working with. I have never tried Fireworks, and I am sure it’s a fine program. For what I do, PhotoShop provides both the photographic and image control for the web while Illustrator provides my vector work. DreamWeaver has tight integration with Fireworks. My only wish is if DreamWeaver can have the option to have the same tight interface with PhotoShop.
    Personally I would not like to see a single “super application.” Each of the programs listed in the comments so far do an excellent job for what they a designed so why change what already works well (aside from some added features we all would like to see).

  155. Quick note for ‘Bob’ you are going about it the wrong way, use PPT’s insert/image/photo library feature and your process will be vastly simplified.

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