Running into a snag I hope someone can help me with. I'm using some textures that are in an MXP package for some recent designs. Now that the designs have reached the approval stage I need to send them off to the developer for slicing and coding of the actual site. The issue I'm having is that since the textures are part of an MXP extension, I need to get the exact dimensions to the pattern so I can tell the developer where to slice the background but can't find any way to get this information.
I know under normal circumstances you can go to your textures folder and just look at the dimensions in a file browser. Because this is an MXP file though the textures aren't installed into any directory (that I'm aware of or can find) and so I can't find a way to look at the texture file outside of Fireworks to determine dimensions. I even tried downloading a decent extension tool that might have hepled, but it only looks at textures in the texture directory, not unpacked MXP files.
Can anyone tell me how to get this information, or if there is a way to look into the MXP file and get the dimensions I need etc? I hate having to create an object and guess at getting the proper dimensions by trial and error all the time. One of these patterns in particular would be really hard to determine with that method because of how it's made. Any information would be greatly appreciated... maybe I'm just missing something obvious? The texture palette in native to Fireworks doesn't have any fnuctionality other than a crude list that I can tell. It's hard to believe that after all this time that software developed for use on the web wouldn't allow viewing of exact dimensions for a repeatable effect. I mean at some point it's a given it will have to be sliced for the web right?
Thanks in advance for any information!
Are you using Fireworks CS6? If so, check your user library Application Support folder:
~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fireworks CS6/Textures
If you're on Windows, the file path may be different, but there should be a corresponding folder. Previously, textures were found in the application's Configuration folder, but this changed in CS6. (You'll still find textures there, but not the complete, active set in use by the application.)
I've pondered the web slicing/background issue in relation to textures and patterns, too, but don't remember if I came to any conclusions.
(What happens if you export the document as HTML? Wouldn't it include a version of the texture graphic as part of the export?)
Thanks for the reply Groove,
Sorry about the delay as well. They changed priorities on projects here at work temporarily and so it took me a couple days to be able to come back to this. Unfortunately no luck for me, but great suggestions. I am on Windows and was unable to find an exact correlation to a path in Windows to what you said you can see on the Mac (I do have hidden files and folders set to be visible).
I found an additional Fireworks CS6 textures folder in Users/<my user name>/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/etc. However it only had the same textures and patterns as are included in the folders of the same name in my defaulat adobe install path... maybe even less. I poked around for a long time but have been unable to find anywhere else that might include these files. Are MXP files "unpacked" at the time Fireworks loads and so don't officcially install the textures? If anyone knows where these should be on a Windows system please let me know, it would save a lot of headache for me in the future! What's really getting me is that if I do a search for a file with the pattern name in it, nothing comes up on any drive or path. It's like the textures don't exist anywhere but in Fireworks...
Also i did try the export HTML option but it didn't give me anything useable like a single repeatable slice. It basically took the entire design and converted it to one big JPG and loaded it into a HTML document. I have very little experience with the HTML side of Fireworks functions because the developers here have their own way of doing things and don't want any extra information in the layered PNG other than the objects used to create the GUI. In the past I always had bad experiences with "auto-conversion" of things like that as well so I always hand coded anything I created as well and manually sliced the GUI like the developers here do. I could be missing an option in the HTML settings that allows me to do what you're suggesting more effectively but I don't know where that option would be lol!
Thanks for the assistance, if anyone has any information about where the MXP installed textures should be located on Winodws I would love to know. Thanks!
Try Googling around for info on where to find the Textures folders on Windows. For example, this link applies to CS4, but it may still be relevant: http://www.fireworkszone.com/redirectionNbClicks.php?root=2&extension= 0&idTutorial=523
Do you still see the textures listed within the Textures menu of your Fireworks interface? If so, then they're in a folder on your hard drive. The only caveat would be if the textures were a component of a Style. Styles use textures and patterns, and "load" them temporarily into the Textures and Patterns menus, but they're not actually loaded into any folders on your hard drive, as they're encoded into the style itself.
Some developers will distribute their extensions in multiple formats for the convenience of users. If you're really hard-pressed, you could ask the developer if they would be willing to share the extension in a format other than MXP.
Thanks for the additional insight. I'll try to dig deeper with a Google search and see if I have any luck. I got the initial idea to check the "users" path in Windows from a Google search but didn't see any other suggestions of where it would be located other than in that directory. I poked around all the other user directories but none of them contained Adobe paths in them. It's very difficult to find information about Fireworks textures (and often Fireowks in general) in a search though because you mostly get info about how to install textures or people posting their textures for download. I guess the large quantity of those "free packs" tends to push more informative posts down the search rankings? Also the lack of use as compared to Photoshop etc. seems to mean there is a lot less tutorial and help information in general available. Much of what is out there I have noticed is for very old versions. I'll look around some more and see if I can find any more path suggestions.
The patterns DO show up in the textures option under the standard color/stroke/texture panel and that is where I have been selecting them. I have a small library of 3rd party textures that I attach as an additional directory for textures and patterns, but haven't gotten around to that yet since I installed CS6 and because many of the textures I use more commonaly are in MXP style packages rather than loose files. I have also verified that the textures in question are not in the 3rd party folder. The fact they show up in the internal texture selector gives me hope that they can be found though. One concern I have is that they are being stored somewhere very difficult to find and the texture in question is being called something on the actual file name that is different from the name given in the Fireworks texture pallete. If I could find a valid folder I could visually identify it regardless of name, but finding that magic folder is the issue right now lol!
I wasn't sure how MXP packs worked, It kind of seems like this particular MXP is behaving like you explained styles to work. I admit to knowing very little about how MXP files are put together but I'm starting to wonder if there are options to establish whether you want your content accessible or not, you know for licensing protection etc. Many people are OK with letting others use their patterns, but do not want anyone editing or redistributing them. If the MXP format allows you to restrict access to those patterns it may be why I see so many of the textures starting to be presented this way, other than ease of installing for the average user. In fact most of the add-ons I've gotten for all Adobe software in the past year have almost all been through extension installs, be they free or paid materials.
In the meantime do you know of any add-ons that simply add some file information to the texture panel? All I need is for it show the dimensions along with the little preview that pops up when you mouse over a name. I'm amazed that they have never got around to doing this. It seems like it would be terribly simple to implement on Adobe's side and it would be extremely useful for most users I would think. I have seen many people in the comments of various forums etc. as I have searched for an answer that were asking for this kind of feature so there is definitely a need for it. I don't use these particular textures enough to bother the creator with special situations... I can find the dimensions manually with some trial and error by creating an object in Fireworks and playing around until I hit the sweet spot. I would just like to have a fast accessible option so that I don't have to keep a written log somewhere of all my extension installed textures and their dimensions, or have to stop and pick out the dimensions every time i use a new texture. It's not so bad when you're doing it all no your own, if it's off you can adjust on the fly as you code. In a development team environment it can cause some issues having to go back and forth with someone else until you get it just right. I know the coders here don't like to fool with "graphic issues" at all haha!
Once again thanks for the tips. If you (or anyone else) have any more ideas I would love to hear them. I'll poke around some more and If I manage to find a work around or solution I will post the result for the benefit of the community.
Did you look in the locations described in the link (re: CS4)? Based on the file paths it describes for Styles, I'd expect to find Textures in two locations:
C:\Documents and Settings > [USER NAME] > Application Data > Adobe > Fireworks CS4 > Textures
C:\Program Files > Fireworks CS4 > First Run > Textures
My understanding of MXP files is they're basically just an archived or packaged file format—kind of like a zip file. And the Adobe Extension Manager is just a file installer. It provides a basic licensing agreement, installs the component files in the correct location, and helps keep track of updates to installed extensions. That's about it.
As I think about it, textures are usually overlaid onto color fills, so finding the original texture may not be the end of the story in terms of creating a tileable background graphic. (You may just want to slice your original Fireworks document to do this.) Regardless, it's good to know where you can find these textures on your system.
Thanks for hanging in their and trying to help out with this one. Sorry I wasn't more clear in my last post. I had found the links that talk about those folders already and found the CS6 equivalents in my system, but they didn't contian the tesxtures I'm looking for. They both actually had less textues in them than the texture folder that is in my /program files/adobe folder has. Those paths look to me to be something Adobe uses on a first start basis or perhaps when you restore to defaults? My folders only had the Adobe provided textures and patterns, no 3rd party ones at all. I haven't given up hope of figuring this out, might just have to work on it bit by bit when I have a few minutes here and ther to poke around in every little potential hiding place.
I know what you mean about the gradients and color overlays on a texture. I've had to get used to thinking ahead on those to prevent issues. Wasn't so good about that when I first started doing the web work at my company... needles to say the developers weren't so happy with me haha! These days I usually only have an occassional snag with getting the height just right (especially since the developers want to keep the image sizes to an absolute minimum), but as long as I know the orginal dimensions on the pattern I'm fine as I can just add the height of the original until I clear the gradient transitions. Otherwise I try to avoid creating anything that might require ovelapping the background in different areas. There is no practial way I'm aware of to ensure the patterns correctly line up in that case. Still thanks to transparent PNGs things aren't as bad they could be if there is a need for a complex background or "shinies" around the body area etc.
I appreciate the efforts in trying ot find this elusive folder. If I manage to find a solution or the actual folder I will post here for the benefit of all. Thanks!