2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2009 6:31 AM by Junaid Atari

    Fireworks Limitations for Photoshop Users

    A. Wayne Webb

      This little bit of reading might be of interest to those more accustomed to the interactivity that used to exist between Photoshop and Image Ready.  This comes directly from the Fireworks manual.


    • Individual layer masks convert to Fireworks object masks. Group masks are unsupported.

    • Clipping masks convert to object masks, but their appearance changes slightly. To maintain appearance but lose editability, select the Clipping Masks preference.

    • Blending modes for layers convert to blending modes for Fireworks objects, if corresponding modes exist.

    • Layer effects are retained by default. If you prefer to convert these effects to corresponding Live Filters, select the Layer Effects preference. Note, however, that similar effects and filters might differ slightly in appearance.

    • The first alpha channel in the Channels palette converts to transparent areas in the Fireworks image. Fireworks does not support additional Photoshop alpha channels.

    • All Photoshop color depths and modes convert to 8-bit RGB.

    • Adjustment layers are unsupported.


      The help manual should have made clarifications.  Especially if your were forced to use Fireworks.  I speak to those having used a Photoshop to Image Ready workflow for all those glorious years when a task was easier.


      1.  Say good bye to your Group Masks.  Object masks are not as powerful, or useful, as layer masks are in Photoshop.

      2.  The appearances of clipping masks change drastically.  Do not even attempt to use an image if you have a clipping image

           and expect it to be exported for use as a web graphic.  Fireworks muddles the final image with blurry edges.

      3.  In any case where your Photoshop image uses blending modes expect that Fireworks will not have the corresponding mode.

           Do expect the results to be not as clear as in the original image.

      4.  Layer effects ARE NOT retained, they are MERGED into the layer.  Open a Photoshop created image using layer effects (drop
           shadow, stroke, etc.).  Your effects have become merged into the latter.  Never, never save your PSD or TIF file from within Fireworks.
           You will lose all editability, FOREVER!

      5.  Fireworks Live Filters are a sorry, sorry instance of the powerful layer effects of Photoshop.  Each and every instance tried to date has
           shown Fireworks' iteration of filters to be different from those in use in Photoshop.

      6.  If you use your own patterns in Photoshop say good-bye to them.  Fireworks gives you no way to use your own.  Only a limited
           subset of those pre-packaged with Photoshop.

      6.  Since Fireworks does not support adjustment layers, masks, paths, etc., then what happened to cross program support and
           interactivity which Adobe praises?


      Why in tarnation does Fireworks support metadata in a web graphic?  Yes, the PNG file format allows for this.  Export a TIF or PSD containing metadata information from Photoshop to a PNG file.  Look at the file in Bridge.  It has no information.  If you do export a set of images using a batch operation you will find that some of the new PNG files cannot contain metadata.


      View the generated PNGs in Bridge.  Apply a metadata template.  You will find that some of the files will not accept the template.  You will have to individually re-export the image.  The reason I mention this normal Photoshop to Bridge workflow is because Fireworks' Help is touting it without explaining that not in all cases does it work.


      If you are coming over from Macromedia then you are used to a what was once an extremely good program.  Say good-bye to it.  If you were used to Image Ready — Good Luck!  At least it never crashed for no reason.  If you are new to Adobe then expect limited 60 day support and a company looking only at your bank account.


      Adobe needs to go ahead and kill this app and include its best features into Photoshop as they have done in the past.  Then get back to allowing prototyping in Photoshop and web graphic generation as an export feature as it once was!  I don't need two prototyping programs.  What I do need is a simple, easy method of getting my Photoshop designs to the web.