7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2010 1:31 AM by Eivind Molster

    Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data

    Jim Gasperini Level 1

      In Visio I have a footer on my wireframe pages that includes text symbols referencing data about the file (document name, last edited) and also the number of the page. These symbols automatically update as the data changes. I can do something similar in InDesign and Word.

      I cannot seem to find a way to do this in Fireworks. Perhaps I just don't know what the feature is called?


        • 1. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
          Jim_Babbage Level 4

          Check out the shapes panel. Look for the File info auto shape and the time stamp auto shape.


          Jim Babbage

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
            Jim Gasperini Level 1

            Thanks, Jim. That does seem to be 2/3 of an answer, though I wish Fireworks handled this better.


            It does look possible to insert "auto shapes" that can reference the name of the file and the time it was saved. I say "looks possible" because after half an hour of experiencing the funkiest behavior I have seen in an Adobe product in many years, I am going to leave it to the morning when I will have a clearer head for dealing with bad UI and Javascript error messages.


            There must be a better term to use for this, in the menu, than "Auto Shapes." In Adobe-land "auto" usually means that the application has an algorithm that, if you so command, will attempt to "auto"matically correct color, alignment, etc. I passed right by Auto Shapes, thinking that Fireworks was offering to do something automatic to the arrangement or other condition of my shapes.


            I was looking for something more like this, from InDesign:


                 Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number.


            How to automatically insert Page Numbers is the remaining 1/3 of the answer I was looking for. I am beginning to sense that the way Fireworks uses "pages" may not lend itself to this.


            I am trying to transition away from Visio to Fireworks for wireframe work. Many of the ways Visio handles "pages" are clumsy and annoying, and alas the beta of Visio 2010 seems not to address this deficiency at all. In Visio it is easy, though, to print out pages with sequential numbers, just as you can in Word and InDesign.


            Fireworks focuses on the design of Web pages, which are rarely if ever presented in numbered sequences. At the wireframe stage, however, there should be a way to number the pages of your .pdfs or hard copy. Is there one, that I have somehow missed?



            • 3. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
              Jim_Babbage Level 4

              I use those two auto shapes all the time and don't have any problems with them. Did you not find them? You drag and drop them from the shapes panel  Pages are auto numbered within the Pages panel, I do not believe those numbers are carried over to a PDF though.

              • 4. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
                Jim Gasperini Level 1

                Yes, as I said in my last post, I did find the Auto Shapes, and as I also explained, wasted a couple hours attempting to use them. In the cold light of day, they look even worse than they did in the evening. I cannot begin to list all the ways they are buggy and unusable.


                An example: when I drop in the File Info Auto Shape, the text portions show up in a small box on top of a larger box that stretches from one end of the canvas to the other. If I attempt to reduce the size of the big box, the text shrinks.


                The default seems to be white text against dark gray fill, which is not what I want. I selected the text with the text tool (it usually takes a dozen tries to get the shape to understand that I have switched tools) and changed the text to gray. Then I selected the shape with the pointer, and tried to remove the fill (selected "none" in the drop-down.) The entire shape disappeared--the fill seems to not only obliterate the text, but make it impossible to select the object. To get it back I had to go back in the history to a step before. If I fill with white, then I have this long white object stretching across the canvas, which makes it impossible to use in association with other objects.


                I have the Pages panel open, and cannot see any way to accomplish auto-numbering there. The upper right corner drop-down gives me options for New Page, Delete Page Thumbnail Options etc. but nothing about numbering. Right-clicking a page brings up the same options. Icons along the bottom allow give me shortcuts to seeing a list of pages, deleting a page and creating a new page.


                I had hoped to use my current project to experiment with Fireworks for building wireframes, but since I can't accomplish the first couple things I tried to do, I'm going to have to go back to Visio. Visio is awkward and frustrating, but Fireworks seems even more so. Alas.

                • 5. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
                  Jim_Babbage Level 4

                  Apologies, but you weren't particularly clear on the problems you were having in your prior post, so I was just making sure you actually found the shapes.


                  You didn't ask about customizing the shapes either. If you had, we might have been able to save you the time. Auto shapes have very specific editable on-canvas features. The rest is controlled under the hood by JavaScript. It's quite likely that - had you opened the JS file - you could have made some of those edits. That's the cool thing about these shapes. You CAN change things.


                  I don't pretend to be a JS guru, but when I opened the JSF file, I was able to find the variables for changing font color, size, fill color and whether the text automatically expands to fill the box, in few minutes.


                  On the canvas, I can use the Subselection tool to change the width of the box and its fill, as well as the size of the text block.  I can use the customize command for the shape itself to place each piece of information on a separate line.Will you get a warning message when you resize the rectangle? Yes, because you are altering the base parameters of an object controlled by JS. Does it have a negative impact on  the shape? No.


                  As for autonumbering of Pages, I isaid that this is an automatic feature in FW. You have no control over it in the current version and as I said, I do not beleive the numbering is carried over to a PDF. Beside each page name you will see a 2 digit number - that is what I was referring to.


                  If you do not manually name your pages, FW will also name them onthe sequence in which they were created, Page 1, Page 2 etc. FW will NOT change that name if you change the order of the pages; it sill only update the sequence number.


                  As you said yourself, you are new to Fireworks. Don't throw in the towel because of one negative experience, which could have been resolved with more knowledge of the software, or additional questions in the forum. And remember that Fireworks is not just a wireframing tool; it is also a design tool.


                  Message was edited by: Jim_Babbage

                  • 6. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
                    Jim Gasperini Level 1

                    Thanks, Jim, for the clarifications. I have marked this question as "answered" because I have learned that I cannot use Fireworks the way I would like, to number wireframe pages in a way suitable for presentation. This is a deficiency in the product, but at least I know the answer.


                    It is also a deficiency that the only way to customize Autoshapes is by manually modifying them with Javascript. As a user of several Adobe products, I have become accustomed to far better attention to user experience issues. If Adobe assumed Photoshop and InDesign users needed to be adept at Javascript in order to accomplish basic tasks, and that they would be willing to spend their time figuring out undocumented features by resorting to discussion forums, some competitor would have long ago put Adobe out of business.


                    I am sorry that Fireworks is not ready for prime time, at least for wireframe purposes. I will look forward to seeing if the CS5 version is any better.


                    • 7. Re: Text symbol for automatic insertion of file and page data
                      Eivind Molster

                      Hi, even though this is 'answered' I'll try with a follow-up question:


                      I use the "file info" auto shape and think it works ok, but if i create a new page some where in the structure the file info is not automatically updated, and the consequence is that the page number is wrong...


                      Do I have to manually update this? Either by deleting it and dragging in a new one? or use the "change format" dialog (which also updates the info) Both solutions are not very effective if you reach a two-digit number of pages...