Adobe Fireworks CS5 . October 2010 . Vol. 16 No. 10

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

September 2010 --Adobe® Dreamweaver CS5 and Microsoft Office 2010
August 2010 --Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, InDesign CS5 and Adobe InCopy CS5

Adobe Fireworks CS5

By Howard Berenbon

Fireworks CS5 will help you quickly design graphics and animated objects for Web and mobile applications.  It’s available on its own, or you’ll find it bundled with some of the Adobe Create Suites intended for use with Dreamweaver with a number of Photoshop features.  With Fireworks CS5, you can create, optimize and export interactive graphics, from navigation buttons to pop-up menus, and easily animate Web objects for special effects.  Its vector and bitmap graphics editing tools let you design a professional looking, navigation structure and more, for placement into your Dreamweaver pages or mobile devices. 


After installation from DVD (either as the stand alone program or from within a suite), the main menu starts with the familiar Adobe look: command menus at the top and the work area below.  In fact, it’s almost identical to Fireworks CS4 but with two additions: under Create New you’ll find a From Template button and below, a link with Create expressive graphics for the Web.  The link takes you to Adobe TV so you can view some videos tutorials on Web design under Fireworks.  The menus, which are identical to CS4, are File, Edit, View, Select, Modify, Text, Commands, Filters, Window and Help.  Below the File menu is a vertical bar with your bitmap and vector drawing tools. To the right of the toolbar is your file area with the Properties Panel below.  And to the far right, starting at the top, are more panels including Optimize, History and Align, Pages, States and Layers, Styles, Color Palette and Swatches, and more.  You’ll also find some Help icons (Getting Started, New Features & Resources—same as in Fireworks CS4).  Clicking on any of these buttons will take you to for that information.  You can also access help from their Help menu at the top, which takes you to online where can search the Adobe Community, or just pick a topic for more information.

Building Navigation Buttons

For example, you can easily build a set of custom navigation buttons by drawing the desired shapes, say rectangles, using the Vector tool, and then filling each with a selected design from the Styles panel. You can pick from hundreds of pre-designed styles including wood, chrome, pastels, paper and plastic in various colors and 3D shapes (the chrome, clear, colored glass styles looked very impressive).  Next, add text to your buttons using the Vector text tool, and go back to the Styles panel and pick some colorful text effects.  Don’t forget to design two buttons per link.  Build one for the “on” mouse state and another for the “off” state for the rollover effect.  Then get back into Dreamweaver and create your navigation structure by opening the Insert menu and clicking on Image Object, then add the “on” and “off” graphics with links for each button.

What’s New & Improved in Adobe Fireworks CS5

Enhanced Performance

Improve efficiency with faster performance, an updated graphic toolset, and greater control over pixel placement.

Pixel-precise rendering--new

Pixel-perfect rendering keeps designs crisp on screens of almost any size.

Supported workflows with Adobe Flash applications--new

Export objects, pages, or entire documents to Adobe Flash applications via FXG to develop interactivity.

Design templates--new

Save frequently used projects as templates to share with your design team.

Adobe Swatch Exchange support--new

Match colors precisely with designs from other Adobe graphics software with Adobe Swatch Exchange.

Design complete websites

Prototype in Fireworks and then export standards-compliant CSS layouts with external style sheets for completion in Dreamweaver.

Adobe Device Central integration--new

Start mobile projects with confidence using device profiles in Adobe Device Central.

Extensibility improvements--new

Customize scripts for exporting, batch operations, and FXG formats with the expanded extensibility API.

Easy-to-use design tools for screen-based design--enhanced

Create and edit vector and bitmap images, or import and modify native Adobe® Photoshop® and Illustrator® files. Changes remain editable at any time, and final output is optimized for display resolutions.

Optimization and scaling tools--enhanced

Optimize graphics for a wide variety of screen types with preview, selective JPEG compression, and comprehensive export controls. Intelligently scale buttons and graphic symbols with 9-slice scaling to accelerate website and application prototyping.

CSS and HTML export--enhanced

Design complete web pages in a robust graphic environment and then export standards-compliant, CSS-based layouts — with external style sheets — in one step. Integrate foreground and background graphics with distinct slice types, and utilize repeating images.

Improved type handling--enhanced

Produce exceptional type designs with the enhanced Adobe text engine. Copy and paste double-byte characters from Illustrator and Photoshop without loss of fidelity. Float text inside a path, and take advantage of many other improvements.

Sophisticated prototyping--enhanced

Design interactive layouts for websites and rich Internet applications (RIAs). Reduce development time by exporting multipage, clickable website comps as standards-compliant, CSS-based layouts, and bring RIA prototypes into the Adobe AIR® runtime without writing code.

Intelligent integration--enhanced

Import Photoshop and Illustrator files while maintaining color matching, element fidelity, and editing capability. Export Adobe Fireworks® designs into applications in the Adobe Flash® software. Copy and paste objects between Fireworks and Adobe Dreamweaver®.

Effortless client collaboration--enhanced

Demo with two-way video communication in real-time online meetings with the Adobe ConnectNow feature in, part of Adobe CS Live online services. CS Live. Also, generate clickable PDF files or interactive HTML comps for review, and create Adobe AIR prototypes to run on any platform.

Customizable and reusable assets--enhanced

Common Library of graphic symbols, form elements, text symbols, and animations. Design your own custom symbols and styles for continued rapid design and prototyping.

Developer productivity tools--enhanced

Quickly create assets and optimize images for use in development projects. Rely on Fireworks for batch processing of graphical elements.

Adobe Fireworks CS5 sells for $294.98 and will run on any multimedia PC, Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor, 512 RAM, 1 GB available disk space , 1280x1024 display with Windows XP/Vista/Enterprise or Windows 7and a DVD-ROM drive. It will also run in the Macintosh, multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X v10.5.7 or v10.6, 512 MB RAM and 1 GB available disk space, 1280x1024 display and a DVD-ROM drive. For more information, or to order, visit

Fireworks CS5 - PC & Mac Versions

Adobe Fireworks CS5 - $299
Upgrade - $149

Software Companies Mentioned

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95110-2704