Web Design Software: Killer graphics software: Fireworks...do you agree

started by Dzblack on Jan 8, 2004 — RSS Feed

Dzblack Dzblack
Posts: 33

We teach at a local college -- Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash,  Dreamweaver and Fireworks. Our students are left to themselves to figure out what graphic programs they prefer; we are careful as instructors to keep our opinions quiet. Here's what happens...

We throw Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator at them in the first semester. Then we introduce Fireworks in the second. Many students quickly glean a fondness for FW and express their admiration for it. Several have said that if they could afford only one graphic software, it would be FW.

This student realization (and fondness) comes after they have been exposed to Photoshop, Illustrator and even Flash. They are impressed with FW.

I must agree. Maybe you do too. FW is both a vector and bitmap program with many of the features of both Photoshop and Illustrator. So what do all of you prefer?

Against all that's been said above, what is FW to all of you?

Arura Arura
Posts: 5

I am not good with graphics, but I use Photoshop to edit photos and Fireworks to edit vector graphics, slice and prepare them for website (navigation buttons mainly). Since I have Dreamweaver, I use Fireworks mostly for web graphics. But again I sucks at web graphics. I am looking for tutorials to make better web graphics btw.

Cece Cece
Posts: 8

I have been using all these softwares for some time.  I use Fireworks to create quick buttons and banners. It has vector abilities and a png version of the artwork. Modern browsers are reading png very well so I would guess very soon we'll be using png instead of gif and jpg.

I would guess the advantage is the learning curve is not as steep as Photoshop. Photoshop is still my preferred software for retouching, filters, etc. It now has strong vector capabilities. Illustrator is my preferred vector software, hardly use Freehand. Flash is for more complexed animation, usually RIAs or large files. Dreamweaver is entirely a different animal and use it for layout.  

Brady Brady
Posts: 5

I think that they all have their distinct advantages....however....having been a student recently this is what I think.

I think that the student's opinion of a program has a lot to do with who is teaching the program, how they are teaching it, and what particular skills they are teaching.

For example, My Fireworks instructor was not that skilled, nor was he teaching in an exciting manner. My Photoshop instructor was an advaced artist, and was able to teach the basics of the program through exciting tutorials that focused on the basics at first then progressed to more difficult things after, but always keeping my attention. Because of this I found photoshop easier to learn and use.

Having said all that, Photoshop is still my most used program, but I do use Fireworks as well (only not as much).  

Hitthosekeys Hitthosekeys
Posts: 10

Well, I'll just wave a big hello to the forum--thanks, Joe!--and add my chirp to those who like the Macromedia suite. I very much like Fireworks, but agree that familiarity is an important part of getting along with a piece of software.

For great Fireworks tutorials, btw, Linda Rathgeber has some great stuff out there:


along with a great demonstration of photomontage techniques at the Project Seven website:


I've also found the Lynda.com CD-ROMs (not free, but a good value) very helpful.

OTOH, my father uses a completely different set of tools--Photoshop and Painter, with spectacular results:


Tzunami Tzunami
Posts: 4

Definately, Fireworks is an invaluable piece of software that combines excellent vector and bitmap editing tools. Admittedly some of the more advanced photo-editing effects take a bit longer with Fireworks over Photoshop, but similarly some basic effects take a lot longer with Photoshop. Don't forget that both can be substantially upgraded with extensions or plugins, but for web development Fireworks has it hands down

Bobert Bobert
Posts: 5

I couldn't get enough of Fireworks when I first began learning how to use it. I was first intoduced to it by an instructor (not that great of an instuctor).

Like Brady, I learned Photoshop from an artist, while the instructor which taught me Fireworks, was a network engineer.

I believe that Fireworks is the best for optimization, quick rollover buttons, slicing, etc., but I always use photoshop for all of the eye candy.  ;D

Lauri Lauri
Posts: 6

I think nothing replaces Photoshop. PS is my mother, best friend and even god

Dzblack Dzblack
Posts: 33

I agree! Its hard to beat Photoshop. However, I use Photoshop ONLY for photos.

If you build web sites with a WYSIWYG editor such as Dreamweaver, then Fireworks makes a bunch of sense. Why? Because it integrates extremely well with Dreamweaver and saves both time and money in the process. Slicing and dicing, button production and rollovers is a beautiful process with Fireworks. Yes, you can manipulate photos with Fireworks, but that's not our reason to purchase Fireworks. The reason is other than all the above.

Let's look at this issue from another point of view: If you had enough money to purchase only ONE graphic program, one that could handle both print and web graphics, what would you buy?


Vladimir Vladimir
Posts: 53

I agree. Photoshop is a bit too much for buttons, fancy text, and such. However, it is THE tool for photo editing...

Aidrice Aidrice
Posts: 4

I'll buck the trend here... (as I do in a couple other forums I have joined) and put in my vote for Photoshop/ImageReady/GoLive. I'm surprised so many Photoshop users use Dreamweaver instead of GoLive, when the Adobe products integrate so well together.

Teaching Photoshop and Dreamweaver togther doesn't make sense, especially now that Adobe Creative Suite is such a comprehensive group of software.

To forestall the inevitable barrage of posts claiming that "GoLive writes terrible code compared to Dreamweaver"... well, I've heard that over & over, with no one ever supplying any hard evidence to support the claim. Designers who use both programs usually say there's very little difference between them, that it's really a matter of what program you've already got & what you're familiar with.

Any other Photoshop/GoLive users out there willing to step forward?

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

I have always used GoLive in preference to Dreamweaver and most of WPDFD has been done in GoLive - until recently.

Sadly, GoLive has not kept up with modern Web standards and when it comes to the all CSS pages that I now do, GoLive can just not handle them in Layout mode. Source mode is okay and Preview works but Layout is just not up to scratch.

Dreamweaver's Layout mode is a bit more accurate - but still not good enough. I've been using BBEdit for the last 18 months.

As far as their respective code generation goes, both do a reasonable job of HTML and generate very poor, inefficient and impossible to edit JavaScript.

I think that GoLive is much better than DW for basic level CSS support but when it gets to a certain level, falls flat on its face. GoLive struggles with XHTML and doesn't get closing tags right. Its syntax checker accepts stuff that W3C doesn't - that's bad and leads to a false sense of security.

If you really care about your craft, you won't use either. If you just want to get the job out - ya pays yer money and takes yer choice!

Aidrice Aidrice
Posts: 4

Thanks Admin for your reply. That's the first real analysis of DW & GL I've seen... most of the time it's "Dreamweaver ROCKS" and "GoLive SUCKS" sorts of things.

I am a rank beginner to web design but I am reading everything I can get my hands on & looking for good design forums (like this one) to learn from experienced designers. I am fast learning that I really need to learn XHTML & CSS and not to rely upon wysiwyg. (I am already becoming somewhat frustrated by GoLive's quirks.)

So what's a good HTML editor for windows?

Thanks again for taking time to educate a newbie!    

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

So what's a good HTML editor for windows?

I think that the HomeSite/TopStyle combination is pretty good on Windows but there are lots of others. There's nothing to stop you from using GoLive or Dreamweaver in 'source' mode if you already have them. It's the layout modes that let them both down more than anything.

Porcustal Porcustal
Posts: 3

Aidrice said:

So what's a good HTML editor for windows?

Well NVu is pretty good for html, its based on the Mozilla editor, the only quip i have is it doesn't enable manual css editing, just auto type. So you'll have to use another text/edit program for that. Which isn't a big problem...

http://www.nvu.com/download.html   : this is the link

David David
Posts: 40

I used fireworks the other day and really got on with it, though the raster/vector relationship felt clumsy at times. I think it's simply because fireworks is designed for web designers that they like it so much, while I'd have thought photoshop is aimed more at artists, photographers and graphic designers.

Jonny Jacker Jonny Jacker
Posts: 28

When you start creating graphics in Flash, you should notice some familiar tools. Nearly every graphics program uses rulers, paint brushes, and pens and Flash is no exception. In this sample chapter, you'll learn to use these familiar tools and more to create killer graphics within Flash.
IBM 1932

Lizzie Bailey Lizzie Bailey
Posts: 2

Im only at school (please dont judge) im studing ICT and really REALLY want to be a web designer! My friends call me Queen of fireworks. maybe sad but i love it its amazing. I know it like the back of my hand

Sabri Dino Sabri Dino
Posts: 45

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