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Yeah, it's unfortunate; you have to remember that Fireworks was designed for bitmap output (for web and screen) and hasn't been developed much beyond that concept.
I'd suggest giving Aaron Beall's Export commands a try, as they include an ‘Export SVG’ option:
John Dunning recently released an SVG panel to allow for importing SVGs into Fireworks:
Thanks, I'll give Aaron's export commands a try, as you suggest (and will report back for the forum). Boy this would be a huge help.
And thanks for your prompt response! I've never used this kind of forum before, so didn't know what to expect.
HALLELUJAH! I downloaded and installed Aaron's "Export SVG" extension and was able to save my graphic successfully as an SVG file! Only two things didn't translate: text which was attached to a path, and a gradient. But for my purposes, that wasn't a huge deal. The laser cutter for whom I was creating this vector file asked me to just detach the font from the path, convert the text itself to paths, and provide the path I wanted to attach the text to and then she would re-attach it. There was only one gradient, and it just translated as a flat fill, but that was fine too because I was able to explain what I wanted to achieve in the laser etch (which I was just trying to simulate with a gradient), so I didn't need that either. What I DID need were accurate placement of colored lines to denote where to cut and where to etch.
FYI (for any other forum readers using this), I have Mac OSX 10.6.8 and Fireworks CS5.
Also FYI, there is a free vector graphics app called "Inkscape" which I used to open up and confirm the SVG files were openable, and seemed correct (with the exceptions stated above). I am a 100% Mac person, and alas Inkscape has a very "PC" user interface, so I much prefer using Fireworks to make my vector graphics. But I'm fine using it to proof and see that my SVG files saved from Fireworks worked. ;-)
I am not an expert in any of this, but I wanted to share what worked for me, in case it helps anyone else!