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Fireworks is a phenominal web graphics tool. The workflow and tools are
optimized to make the graphics portion of web development as easy as
possible. In general you should never rely on a graphics program to write
options for creating nav bars and menues that can quickly be exported and
maniupalted in dreamweaver ... but no matter how you slice it FW's core
function is creating images for the web. ("for the web" can equal "for the
screen" as opposed to print in most cases)
Photoshop is a phenominal tool for touching up / manipulating photos and
Flash is great for creating animation and interactivity on your website. It
brings together video, sound, animation and user-interaction to make a rich
Note how all of these tools are mutually exclusive and complimentary. The
following is not an uncommon workflow:
- I use photoshow to touch-up a photo that will be the central image of my
website; I use it to stylize the photo to look monochrome and have a
perfect, flawless finish. I save the photo as a jpg.
- then i open Firworks and import the photo. In addition I use fireworks to
create my navigation graphics, buttons, icons, etc... and I mock-up the mjor
elements of my site to get all teh colors and positioning correct
- in fireworks I use the slice tool to slice up my images (I can add some
behaviors here, but I dont like to trust the code created by fireworks; I
prefer to write it myself for more control) and export all the slices
- in Dreamweaver I create the markup for my webpage and place all of my
images that I created in Fireworks. If I want to use SPRY for some of my
interactive elements I would do that here in DW
- finally (lets say) I decide to create a small game that will live on my
site; first I create all the graphics needed for my game in fireworks and
then I import them into flash and I program/animate my game
Voila, I have a webpage... note how all these tools have their place and
their core functions. Of course there is overlap (ex. I can use fireworks
to do basic photo manipulations and I can use photoshop to create most web
graphics, but each program has the thing its best at)
"Quentin Holmes" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> Ok, I know that my question is very vague and probably lots of other
> But i have taken the tour of Fireworks and it seems to be a prototyping
> for the most part. It talks a lot about integrating all the different
> but does't Dreamweaver do that anyway?
> Is it just a really good layout tool?
> What does it give you that Dreamweaver does not? Because you still need to
> up in Dreamweaver anyway correct?
> Can you use Spry in Fireworks?
> Just heard from a friend who was talking to a web developer and they said
> Flash was on the way out and you should use Fireworks. Which doesn't make
> sense to me at all. They are not even close to being the same thing.
> If anyone could please give me some insight on this stuff i would be very
> appreciative i am looking to jump in but kind of lost at the moment.
On 14 Nov 2007 in macromedia.fireworks, Quentin Holmes wrote:
> If anyone could please give me some insight on this stuff i would be
> very appreciative i am looking to jump in but kind of lost at the
This article might offer some insight:
Thank you very much for the info. It answered many of my questions.
Now i just have to jump in.
Quentin Holmes wrote:
> Thank you very much for the info. It answered many of my questions.
I'm glad the article was useful to you. I started writing a new
"re-visited" version since that article was basically written before
Macromedia was acquired by Adobe and for older versions of the
applications I was comparing. All of them have improved since then but
the core points of my article have not changed. Fireworks for me is
still the most compelling choice for Web designers because of the
flexibility of its core vector toolset and its Web centric focus.
Anyway, if you have any questions about Fireworks, there are many
knowledgeable users in here that can help.
Now I'll touch on two points you brought up in your original post. The
difference between Dreamweaver and Fireworks is that Fireworks is
primarily a graphic design application. With it you create visual
mockups you can then slice, optimize and export. With a graphic
application you have the flexibility to design the visuals unencumbered
by the constraints of implementation in code (HTML/CSS). This comes
later and this is where Dreamweaver comes in for me.
Fireworks can export complete pages with images and code but this is
really not its strength. Fireworks does not have any concept of a
flexible layout or what are background graphics versus in page
foreground graphics so its exported code is rigid, inneficient and has
little to no semantic value IMO. I personally never use it.
Furthermore, he process of marking up a document in HTML is a question
of logical structuring and giving content as much semantic meaning as
possible with the limited number of tags HTML provides (paragraphs,
lists, headers, etc). For a site to be successful in search engines just
to give that one example, the code has to be carefully crafted in a
manner that is simply impossible to do in Fireworks or any other graphic
application I know of. This process should ideally not be concerned with
the visuals at all and a dedicated Web authoring application like
Dreamweaver should be used. Then CSS is used to style the content and
give it visual form and only the minimal number of graphics absolutely
necessary to recreate the visual mockup should be sliced and exported
In my workflow which is similar to most professionals (at least one
person shops like mine), I prefer to design the visuals first
graphically in Fireworks (with occasional help from Illustrator and
Photoshop for specific elements) then create the document structure
strongly believe that it is equally less than ideal to either use
Fireworks to create a site's code than it is to use Dreamweaver to
visually "design" a site.
Most larger Web design studios have specialists that do both phases
separately and they use the most appropriate tools available to them.
Many freelancers that have to wear all hats like I do are still heavily
specialized in one aspects and will use one tool for everything. Pure
designers may create visually stunning sites but with really fragile and
inneficient underlying code while developers may use Dreamweaver to both
"design" the site. This may produce highly optimized, semantic and valid
code but oftentimes, these sites look very plain and uninspiring visually.
So in short, I strongly believe in using the right tool for the job and
Fireworks is a great design application but terrible at producing code.
Dreamweaver in the other hand will create much better code (if the
developer using it is competent) but it is a less than ideal design tool
because it cannot create visuals beyond the limitations of plain HTML
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