In Fireworks CS5 when I create a slice in a symbol and export it the resultant image is corrupted. Anybody know a workaround for this? It makes symbols fairly useless.The first image below is when the slice is created outside of a symbol and the 2nd is when it is created inside a symbol.
Symbols are far from useless. The basic fact that you can reuse a symbol multiple times, and update all instances of that symbol with one edit, make it a very powerful feature. Slices are intended for optimizing graphics for the web, and for exporting multiple states which appear beneath that slice.
We don't have much context of what you're doing here, without seeing the full design. If you are creating buttons, consider using the button symbol, which is specifically design to be a self-contained, multi-state graphic with a linked slice.
Did a bit more digging into symbols. It looks like creating slices within either graphic or button symbols is a bad idea. With button symbols if you create a slice within it, it will only export a GIF regardless of the export format of the slice and the slice name is ignored.
For multi-state symbols the way forward seems to be to use button symbols. When you drag the button symbol into a document a slice is automatically applied to it, you just need to name it and set it's export settings. Only states with content are exported. I initially avoided button symbols because I thought you had to have content for 4 states. If you slice a multi-state graphic symbol only the first state will be exported so they're not very useful for multi-state graphics.