|Site Navigation.net||SM||fireworks-crack all your web graphics problems|
|Home||What's New||Menus & Navigation Systems||S N Guide||Thermometer||Articles||Tutorials||Resources||
|Directory of free java script menu free Java applets menu and DHTML navigation for your web site|
fireworks-crack all your web graphics problems
Fireworks 4 is unquestionably the way to go if you're creating or editing graphics for the Web. Its features are unparalleled, especially for image compression and the creation of interactive navigational items. Fireworks-crack all your hurdles in creating or editing graphics for the Web.
What's New in Fireworks 4By Joyce Evans
If you've worked with Fireworks before you're probably anxious to know what the newest additions are and how they can make your work more productive. If you're considering purchasing Fireworks 4 then you'll want to know if it will fulfill your needs.
The most notable addition to Fireworks' latest version is the Pop-Up Menu Wizard. The other two vital improvements, in my opinion, are the selective JPEG optimization and the drag-and-drop rollover functions. This article will cover the new features, the not new but notable features, and throw in a bit about integrating Fireworks with Dreamweaver UltraDev 4. (Note: I'll refer to Dreamweaver as Dreamweaver UltraDev throughout this article; Dreamweaver 4 is identical in both applications so UltraDev covers them both.)
Macromedia User Interface
The visual interface of Fireworks 4 looks like the Dreamweaver UltraDev interface, using the same icons, which helps shorten the learning curve if you're new to one or the other program. Some of the keyboard shortcuts you use may not be in Fireworks 4, for example one I used often from Fireworks 3 is the Ctrl+T for transform but it doesn't work in version 4. If you find yourself wanting familiar shortcuts, you have the option to add your own. But there's more, you can even use Photoshop shortcuts, Freehand shortcuts, or Illustrator shortcuts. There's an option right from the menu bar to change which shortcuts you have available.
Pop-Up Menu Wizard
Even a novice with no HTML coding experience can produce a "Microsoft" like pop-up menu. The traditional way to make these menus involved knowing how to hand code or at the very least how to hide and show layers in an editor with this capability, such as Dreamweaver UltraDev 4. Fireworks 4 now provides a Wizard interface where all you have to do is enter the menu items, submenu items, and links. You then have the choice of using HTML-generated menus or image menus. Making your own styles and using them for the pop-up menus can customize the image menus.
The pop-up menus aren't perfect but they do offer a quick solution when you need pop-up menus. The main problem is that the menus use absolute positioning based on the top left side of the browser. You can't center the menu in Dreamweaver and have the menus appear where you want them. There are some workarounds for positioning, customization of the border, and timing of the menu close that can be done if you're willing to do a bit of hand coding. Another solution to the positioning problem is to design the menu in Fireworks in the same location you want it to appear on the Web page, just remember not to center it when you import it into Dreamweaver.
Selective JPEG Compression
Now this is a fantastic addition to Fireworks 4. In previous Fireworks incarnations, you could already use separate compressions such as GIF for one slice and JPEG for another. But now you can use two separate JPEG compressions in the same slice. This feature uses a mask to mark out the areas that need a higher quality of compression. The mask includes all the areas in an entire document, so the improved quality isn't necessarily in only one slice. The caveat is that you can only have one JPEG mask per document. But it's a nice way to improve quality by adding a bit more weight to certain areas instead of whole slices. I tested it and added 100 percent quality (the rest of the page was at 80 percent) in 4 areas of a 600x480 pixel document and only added 2kbs to the total page weight.
Masking and Layers Panel Enhancements
With a new thumbnail preview of every object, selecting multiple objects is extremely easy to do from the Layers panel—where you can visually see exactly what you have selected. Simply dragging and dropping these to a new location can change the stacking order of layers and objects.
This feature makes masks much easier to work with. As soon as you select the masked object with the Pointer tool the gradient handles are visible. You don't have to remember to select the Paint Bucket first anymore. I don't know about you but I kept forgetting to click the silly bucket first. You can also access the mask by clicking on an icon representation right from the Layers panel. You now can make an image and a vector mask using the same technique instead of two different methods.
I know I keep talking about Dreamweaver, that's only because it's what I use and am most familiar with, but Fireworks 4 code can be used in other editors as well. Export options include HTML and images—which produces generic code. You can export only images that can be placed into an editor without Fireworks HTML, and you can export to Director as a SWF file, CSS layers, PSD, Illustrator, and Lotus Domino. There are a lot of options.
You can also export as a Dreamweaver library item—except for the pop-up menus, which can be used as a library item in a workaround. If you're using Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 all you have to do is select Insert > Interactive Images > Fireworks HTML. Not to mislead you, this command works for some types of imports from Fireworks, but you may be better off copying and pasting the Fireworks code where you want it. Fireworks generates all the code necessary—tables and all—for a Web page.
Another important integration issue is the use of other files. Fireworks 4 can import and use native PSD (Photoshop files) including Photoshop 6. For this, you can use Illustrator 8 but not version 9—a dialog will come up telling you to save in Illustrator 8 version. Of course, Fireworks 4 also integrates with Macromedia products.
Fireworks has improved the animation user interface tremendously. With the Live Animation feature, you can reposition, redirect, and reanimate your animations across multiple frames, using VCR-like controls, without ever leaving Fireworks. The new features include being able to set the start and end location of your animation directly on the screen. The Object panel now shows how many frames there are, the scaling, the rotation, and the opacity, making access for editing extremely convenient. You can even preview in the workspace using the VCR-like controls. Fireworks 4 makes deconstructing animations quite easy to do. It's especially convenient if you or a friend made an animation in Fireworks and are sharing files. You can see exactly what effects are added to objects and what is on each frame. I've written tutorials entirely on making animations with no instructions, just by deconstructing in Fireworks.
Fireworks or Photoshop
So do you purchase Fireworks 4 or Photoshop 6? The answer is: It depends. Photoshop 6 has added a lot of Fireworks-like features for the Web and of course Image Ready can slice and optimize. Photoshop has drag-and-drop rollovers and a lot of other great features. So consider your needs and your budget. If you can only afford one program and you do only Web work, I'd say Fireworks 4, hands down. It does what it was designed to do—Web images—and does it well. I especially like that I can select any object on any layer without switching layers, plus all the other great things mentioned in this article. If you primarily do print work, or print and Web, then maybe Photoshop 6 is for you. But if you can afford both—go for it.
This product review by Joyce Evans is taken from Webreview.com
Click here for Macromedia Flash