Hi, we are web developers creating mostly dynamic CMS based websites. We have been using Illustrator for designing our layout comps to send to the client for approval and drive the template design process. We only generate the actual graphics needed for the site from these files, we don't try to convert our comps into actual code (we just match the look with our templates using PHP & CSS).
But Illustrator has always been one of our most frustrating programs to use. It just has a tendency to be buggy (you have to nudge your slices down 1 pixel to export properly), or just plain counter-intuitive. And we have been using it for MANY years (we also do print and environmental graphics).
But when I've experimented with Fireworks to see if it would be a better solution (it SHOULD be), there were always a couple glaring features missing that would make it hard to use. The last one I tried was a demo of CS4.
- Does Fireworks finally use the same type engine as Illustrator and Indesign?
- Does it support styles so you can apply certain type styling, say to headlines, and have them be globally editable?
It's such a drag to have to manually update the text formatting in 20 different places when you want to try a larger font size or something for your headings. We then use these styles as a basis for our main CSS styles.
- Does Fireworks finally use the color swatches feature of Illustrator and InDesign?
- Can you create global swatches with (heaven forbid) some sort of name that makes sense (like the hex/rgb value) and have all objects with those colors be updatable by editing the swatch?
I can't understand how people could actually use those tiny little swatches with no indication of what actual color each was.
THANKS! If these two areas have been addressed, Fireworks might actually be a viable option for creating comps over Illustrator as it should be.
Fireworks has been using the same Text Engine as Illustrator since CS4.
It doesn't create styles the same way one would with MSWord or probably Indesign. It's a graphics app primarily. That said, you can create graphic styles which - when using the redefine styles tool - you can update any text in the same page that has the same style applied.
Fireworks now supports ASE files. They can be imported as a swatch set and you can also generate ASE files from Fireworks.
FW has had the ability to find and replace color values in text and vectors for many versions, but not from the Swatch panel. You cannot name individual swatches in the Swatches panel, but in the color fill panel you can see the hex value of a selected object and even copy the value to the clipboard.
I recommend you reading the article written by Bruce Bowman: