What do people think about the new color picker in Fireworks CS6?
I like the new larger swatches and default palette: a revised "Color Cubes" layout that includes non-web-safe colors and a selection of warm and cool greys/neutrals. I also like the option to view and enter RGB values and to specify transparency (for fill and stroke separately)
However, one thing I'm missing is the option to change the swatches from within the color picker itself. Previously, it was possible to choose from a standard set of color swatch layouts or the Swatches palette itself, via a small fly-out menu.
Now, that option is gone. The color picker simply picks up whatever palette is currently loaded into Swatches (except for masks, which still draw from a separate greyscale palette). To load a new palette into the color picker, you need to change the contents of the Swatches palette itself. This means a little less freedom for the user.
For example, if you've added a few custom swatches into your Swatches palette, but then decide you'd like to switch the color picker layout, you'll lose those custom swatches—unless you go through the extra step of saving them as a palette. Frankly, in Fireworks, I don't even know how to quickly delete a large number of swatches in order to save a custom palette like this. (The only option I'm aware of is to Command-click, which deletes a single swatch at a time; this requires a lot of patience.)
Another aspect that concerns me is the contextual nature of the Fill color picker. Accessed from the toolbar, a complete a set of fill options are offered, which is very convenient; you can quickly choose between No Fill, Solid Fill, Gradient Fill and Pattern Fill. But this is not the case when you access the Fill color picker from within the Properties Inspector. In particular, the No Fill option is missing, whereas this used to be the place to make this change. Users who to try to set the Fill to None here may wind up inadvertently sampling colors when they try to click on the No Fill option below, while the color picker is still open.
Thinking about it, there's plenty of room here; I think the No Fill option should be added back in to the color picker within the Properties Inspector—much as it's already included for Stroke.
Finally, I'm not saying that I used it a lot (I didn't), but I always liked having the Web Dither fill option; it's definitely a unique, textured look that's not commonly available in other applications. It's gone now.
The thing is, there's room for it. So why take away a feature like this?
Changing Swatch palettes is still accessible using the Swatches panel. Window > Swatches. You can add, export, save and replace swatches from this panel as well
The Fill options are in the Properties panel, RIGHT below the color picker in your Properties panel screen grab. You access them without having to activate the Picker. There was no need to have them in both places, I assume. More discoverable, quicker access.
As for Web DIther, my understanding is that it was removed due to lack of use/popularity. There may have been other reasons that I'm not aware of, though.
Thanks for the reply, Jim!
I was definitely aware that the Swatches panel can be changed. My concern was the lack of independence between the Color Picker and the Swatches panel. A user cannot change the Color Picker layout without losing or having to save any custom swatches they may have created. Also, if you're working with a set of custom swatches, you must change the Swatches panel in order to access a more traditional, complete swatches layout within the Color Picker. Although the interface is somewhat streamlined here, I don't see the advantage of removing that independence between the panels.
Also, I do appreciate the quick accessibility of the Fill options from within the Properties Inspector; it was a good idea. But within the color picker itself, I think it's a simpler user experience to maintain a semi-consistent list of fill options, even when accessed from the Properties Inspector. My instinct is to set the Fill to None using the color picker—which I can still do from the Toolbar—but doing so from the Properties Inspector only leads to confusion, as I click on the "No Fill" option below the color picker and wind up sampling color instead (white or red). Meanwhile, the space that this option would occupy within the color picker panel sits empty and unused.
In this case, I think consistency, ease-of-use, and precedent should trump any concern about duplicating functionality. (With Stroke, for example, the alignment options still appear in both the color picker and the Properties inspector—less than an inch away from one another. And that's a good thing.)
I wish there were a way to have a dialogue with the Adobe teams about issues like this. The current approach is too much like sending a letter to Santa Claus.
Regarding the new Color Picker/Swatches panel relationship, here's a good metaphor: The Color Picker and the Swatches palette are now bound together like participants in a three-legged race. One can't go anywhere without the other.
(I'd think it'd be pretty easy to add that fly-out menu back in to the Color Picker.)
These color picker issues are annoying to me also. I used to switch color pallets all the time from the properties picker. Now I have to go fish for the color picker on the right that I never use.
Sending a letter to Santa is right! I don't feel like Adobe really cares about Fireworks.
I completely agree with groove25 about having a dialogue for things like this. I notice that whenever people make suggestions to improve Fireworks, the answer is to send it to the wishlist. Well that's all fine and good but the dialogue should still continue here on the forums where users and Adobe engineers can discuss it. There is no dialogue with the wishlist. These days customers expect more than a one way communication medium which is why social media like twitter and these forums are becoming more popular.
The thing is, this isn't the place for that dialog. If you do so here it becomes a complaint session instead of a HELP forum. The wishlist is the proper channel and the best way to get your idea seen and Adobe DOES take it seriously and DO see them.
Apologies for the cross-post, but I felt it important it add my message in this thread as well.
Just a note regarding the wishform. Your detailed input on that form is important and I really appreicate you taking the time to help make Fireworks a better product. So thank you for filing these bugs/concerns.
Keep in mind that even though one person may have indicated they filed the bug, you should also file your own bug on the issue if you are experiencing problems. This reporting makes the engineers aware of how prevalent the issue is and helps to prioritize which bugs get addressed first. Yes, I know, in an ideal world, they'd ALL be marked as high priority, but that's seldom the case with anything. Squeeky wheel gets the grease, etc...
While filing the bug doesn't necessarily mean you will personally hear from the engineering team, this doesn't diminish the importance of using the wishlist/bug reort form. This is a quote from the form itself:
>>We normally do not send personal replies to feature requests or bug reports. We do, however, read each and every message. We use the information to improve our products and services. Your comments, suggestions, and ideas for improvements are very important to us. We appreciate you taking the time to send us this information.<<
That said, I'm making an effort to bring these threads to the attention of the FW team, and if I hear anything myself, I'll be sure to let you know.
I disagree totally of you about the Web Dither, it's totally usefull and very used today, but it's discret, and I'm sure about how the developers never gave a zoom a page to see the web dither there, in use...
Staying with CS5, while Adobe don't learn with his own mistakes.
Also, Fireworks MX introduced things, but Adobe is changing the best of this tool, his soul..