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Finally determined what causes an "Internal Error Occurred" message in FW

Aug 29, 2011 5:58 PM

I use Fireworks for creating wireframes. One FW png file may contain many layers

with each layer representing a web page. The intention is to create the png file, and then to export it to a PDF file so that developers can use it to view the pages and to understand page navigation. I learned this technique by watching Jim Babbage's excellent video on using Fireworks for wireframing.


I create hotspots in the FW png file on one layer and use that to point to another layer that represents another web page. The purpose is to show a kind of flow or extra info for the developers. I've been struggling for over a year with an error that would pop up now and then when attempting to save the png file. The error would show "Internal Error Occurred" and I had no idea why this was occurring. I tried multiple things to get rid of the error and recently I finally discovered what was causing it.


It turns out that if you create a FW png file with layers, and you insert a hotspot that points to one of those layers, and then later when editing the FW png file you decide to delete a layer that is being referenced via a hotspot in a different layer, this error will occur. It doesn't occur every time you attempt to save the png file, but it will occur if you save the png file (no error shown), then export to a pdf file, then (as required by FW) attempt to save the png file again. That's when you will see the error for sure.


The cause is a hotspot link that points to a layer that no longer exists. This is most often caused by creating hotspots that point to the layer, then later deciding to delete that layer but you don't go back and remove any hotspot links to the deleted layer. For some reason, FW will let you attempt to save the file and may or many not show the dreaded "Internal Error Occurred" pop-up message. If you were able to save your png file and didn't see the error show up, and then you decide to export the png file to a PDF file, FW requires you to save the png file after the export option completes. It's when you attempt to save it at this time that it will show up for sure if your hotspot points to a deleted layer. The error message won't go away either.


It's kind of a pain if you have a bunch of layers with a bunch of hotspot links, but you will have to click on each hotspot and determine if it points to a layer that exists in the current png file. If that layer doesn't exist, you will have to point to a layer that does exist, or delete the hotspot to get rid of the "Internal Error Occurred" message.


Hope this helps,



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2011 11:28 PM   in reply to keydongle

    Thanks for posting your discovery! That's always helpful.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2011 10:13 AM   in reply to keydongle

    Unfortunately, with the exception of button symbols, web objects are not linked to specific objects or layers. So deleting an object or layer has no impact on the web object (slice or hotspot) itself. There's just no connection between the two.


    That said, you can file a Feature Request on the Adobe Wish List. The list is monitored.


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2011 8:00 AM   in reply to keydongle

    I have no hotspots in my document and only a basic layer structure, and I have this error now. In fact, I can't save the file because of this error and I am very frustrated.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2012 2:12 PM   in reply to keydongle

    I don't use Fireworks, but, I have a co-worker who does, who is asking for help.   I don't have specifics as to what he changed or did to lead to this error, but I am hoping someone can tell me where to start.


    I can see the web pages in Fireworks, and everything looks fine, so I know the data is there.  But, when I click file/export menu, the error message appears:  "An internal error occurred".  My frustration is it does not say what the error is so I cannot even begin to figure out what it is complaining about.


    We are trying to export to Dreamweaver.  It is a "simple" page with a few links and photos, nothing fancy.


    The computer is windows 7 professional.

    The software is Adobe Fireworks CS4 version 

    - I used the help/check for updates and it says no updates available


    Is there an error log that gets output that might have specifics to the error message?  "An internal error occurred" is just too vague and we don't want to have to start over from scratch if it can be avoided.

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