This does change your background but the background color covers over all your other layers/objects. This means you really can't do any design if your art board is set to a black or too dark background. If you are doing web work, you can save for web as a .png and then open in Fireworks. Once in Fireworks, you can easliy change the background color. In fact, Fireworks is a much easier to to use drawing tool then Ilustrator or Photoshop. If you have'nt tried FW, give it a shot.