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Introducing Fireworks 8: New Features and Best Practices

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This chapter gives you a rundown of Macromedia Fireworks 8, with a focus on the new features added to this edition. Novices and experts alike will find this chapter useful as they explore the new version of Fireworks.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • What's New in Fireworks 8
  • Fireworks 8 Environment
  • Document Window
  • Tools Unique to Fireworks
  • Property Inspector
  • Menu Bar
  • Fireworks Panels
  • Customization with Preferences
  • Troubleshooting 
  • Best Practices—Knowing When and How Your Images Will Be Viewed

What’s New in Fireworks 8

Several new features have been introduced in Fireworks 8, as well as enhancements of some existing features. New feature functionality includes

  • The new Image Editing panel—Provides access to commonly used image editing tools, filters, and menu commands.
  • The new Auto Shape Properties panel—Enables you to modify the properties of Auto Shapes.
  • The new Special Characters panel—Using this panel you can insert special characters into text blocks.
  • The new Add Shadow command—Enables you to add a shadow effect to vector objects and text blocks.
  • New symbol libraries—Additional buttons, bullets, themes, and animations have been added to the Fireworks 8 libraries.
  • New default styles—Additional styles have been added in Fireworks 8.
  • New default patterns and textures—Patterns and textures for use in filling shapes have been updated.
  • CSS-based pop-up menus—Pop-up menus created in Fireworks 8 are now CSS-based, rather than JavaScript.
  • New blend modes—25 new blend modes have been added, including Negative, Hard Light, Soft Light, Freeze, and a host of others.
  • Additional import file formats—Formats such as QuickTime, TGA, MacPaint, and others are now available for import into Fireworks 8.
  • Additional slicing capabilities—Slices can now be polygons or rectangles.

Those existing features that have received updates include

  • The capability to save multiple selections—Using the marquee tool, you can now save, restore, and name multiple selections within PNG files.
  • Shift-Click functionality in the Layers panel—Enables you to make contiguous selections within the panel.
  • Stored Autosave preferences—Fireworks preferences are autosaved by the application to ensure that your preferences remain consistent each time you run the application.
  • Enhanced vector compatibility—Vector attributes of fills and strokes are preserved when objects are moved between Fireworks and Flash.
  • Improved JPEG compression—JPEG files can be exported into smaller files with better quality.
  • Improvements to the Color Replace, Remove Red Eye, and Vector Path tools and Popup Previews—Each of these tools has been improved to enhance functionality.
  • Export Preview renamed to Image Preview—The functionality remains largely the same, but the navigation link has simply been renamed.
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