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pixelated text

Jan 18, 2013 3:45 PM

Tags: #illustrator #pixelated #fireworks



I inserted a simple text such as "I love you" in Fireworks. I insert the same text in Illustrator. In Illustrator the text is crystal clear. In Fireworks it isn't clear at all. Isn't Fireworks a vector-based programme too? When I produce a pdf file from Fireworks the text is pixelated. When I produce the pdf file from Illustrator the text is perfect.


How can I produce text in Fireworks which is as clear as Illustrator? I was under the impression that Fireworks can indeed produce vector like Illustrator.


Thank you for your help

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2013 8:51 PM   in reply to lb

    This type of question comes up fairly regularly, so I'm going to quote myself. This was in response to a question regarding onscreen rendering of vectors, but it applies here as well, I think:

    First, check your Zoom level and set it to 100%. For whatever reason, Fireworks often opens a document at less than 100% zoom, and this creates very bad looking results on the screen. You can find the Zoom level in the lower right corner of the canvas or go to View > Magnification. You can also use the shortcut Command-1 to set it to 100%, or Command-minus or Command-plus to decrease or increase zoom.


    Second, realize that Fireworks is basically always in Pixel Preview mode. It's committed to showing you the pixels that will be rendered upon export as a bitmap. This is different from Illustrator, which was designed for print, first and foremost; Illustrator is not committed to a single output format and instead tries to render vectors as smoothly as possible on screen, at all zoom levels.


    The second point, in particular, is important. Fireworks has great vector capabilities, but it was designed for the creation of bitmap graphics for the web, and its output is always bitmap only. If you're creating something for PDF output, I wouldn't recommend Fireworks; I'd use something intended for print output, like Illustrator.

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    Jan 19, 2013 9:46 AM   in reply to lb

    I wouldn't worry about print-size resolution (e.g. 72ppi vs. 240ppi, etc.) as it's not relevant to web output, but it is true that the more pixels you have to work with, the smoother the results. This means, for instance, you could create a document at twice the intended size, to effectively double the pixel resolution. Later, you could export the document at half size on output; in the end, you'd be back to the originally intended pixel size/resolution, but the bicubic rendering interpolation could provide a smoother rendering than the text rendering engine did at that size/resolution.


    Be sure to try out the various Anti-Alias settings available in the Properties Inspector.


    Here are a few threads discussing text rendering in Fireworks (and Photoshop) in some depth:


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    Jan 28, 2013 1:29 PM   in reply to lb

    There are multiple ways. I'd probably make a copy of the file using File > Save As, and then use the Modify > Canvas > Image Size command. Within the Image Size dialog, you can enter the size in either pixels or percent. Or, if Resample Image is checked, you could use the Print Size Resolution field to the cut the pixel dimensions in half.


    Another way to output at half size would be to use File > Image Preview. Within the Image Preview dialog, there's a set of File options that includes Scaling, which you could set to 50%. This is a nice method as it doesn't require saving another copy of the file beforehand.


    I'm assuming these two methods would produce the same output, but I've never tested it.

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