Thursday, June 28, 2018

Adobe Fireworks - Photo Editor - Photo Editing Software

Macromedia Fireworks 8 Tutorials: How to Design, Edit, Export images & remove Background - 37 Firework Tools & how to use them

Adobe Fireworks - Photo Editor

Fireworks 8 is a very powerful photo editing software that was formerly owned by Macromedia before Macromedia as and all it's products was sold out in Stock to the almighty Adobe in 2005 for a whooping $3.5 Billion, as at that time, Macromedia's popular products where Flash used for animating web pages and the well known Dreamweaver used for website development. To me this was a great move by Adobe as well as Macromedia, but along the line immediately after this move, there was a sharp fall of Adobe's shares but fast forward to today, it was still a great move. You can read more on the Acquisition here on New York Times:

Adobe Buys Macromedia for $3.4 Billion

There are many photo editing Software like Photoshop and CorelDraw but I tend to see every Tool compatible for their own diverse functions in their own way, though the level at which you are Experienced in using the tool also matters but in a more general context, I see these Photo editing Software in this light:

1. Photoshop: 

Adobe Fireworks - Photo Editor - Photo Editing Software

For Image editing and manipulation patterning to Photography of human pictures, Animals, Places, Portraits, Photo painting, Character creation etc.

2. CorelDraw: 

Adobe Fireworks - Photo Editor - best free photo editor

For Image Editing and designing patterning to Business Cards, Flyers, Banner, Complimentary Card, Letterhead, Rollup stand banner and other prints, etc.

3. Fireworks: 

best photo editing software

For Image Designing, Editing and Manipulation related to Web Designing, UI / UX, lightweight images used for website Navigation, placeholders etc.

Don’t get me wrong that one cannot use these tools for other functions or reasons whatsoever, they can, this all depends on their Experience and proficiency in using those tools and what they started out with, for me when I started out designing web pages back in the 90’s where there was heavy use of images on webpages, I started with Fireworks 8 and then I guess it was still a Macromedia product and one of the reasons I prefer this was because it gave me the Opportunity to export lightweight JPEG or PNG images from my works and overall it was simple and easy to use, very Intuitive interface and a well descriptive ribbon or Navigation Menu, even without being taught, glancing through the Navigation Menu of the Macromedia Fireworks Photo editing Software, you will still be able to do certain things by yourself with one or two attempts.

How to create a new Image file on Macromedia Fireworks 8

After you might have successfully installed a copy of the Macromedia Fireworks Photo Editing Software, the next thing you will want to do will be to create a new image file, maybe for a Logo, Business Card, Letterhead, Flyer or just about anything that you may think of, so to achieve this you will launch the App and once the app is successfully launched, you will see an interface like the one below;

Create new - edit pictures

You then click on Fireworks File under Create New

free online photo editor

That will bring up a new Window with the properties of the intended new image that you are about to create starting from the Canvas size, now let us take a closer look at this properties.


That is the width of the Image in pixel, Inches or Centimeters, you can choose anyone depending on what is suitable for you, in my case most of the time I always go with Inches.


That is the height (Top to Bottom) size of the image in pixel, Inches and Centimeters too, same way you can use what’s okay for you, like I made mentioned earlier, I understand Inches more and it’s more like popularly used in images than centimeters, so go for what works for you.

NOTE: The bigger the width or the height of the Image, the higher the Canvas Size of the image which in turns determines the size of the image file when exported in Megabyte (MB).


Form the beginning I was always confused about this Resolution of a thing but with time I was able to wrap my head around it properly but then I realized that this resolution of a thing is a more important component in CorelDraw than it is down here, because when I tamper with the Resolution in CorelDraw, I tend to see the effect wide and clear like right away but in Fireworks, it tend to not really matter except for the Image composition.

Canvas Color: 

Canvas Color - free photo editing software

For every image you intend to design or create, you will have to determine the Color of the image and that’s where the Canvas color section comes in. There are many options to choose at this point ranging from White, Transparent or custom which gives you’re the option to choose any color of your choice from a Color pallet of thousands of Colors

Custom color - free photo editor

After you are done with making your preference, you click on the Okay button to begin your Design, this will take you to the Work area / Dashboard where all your design work will take place.

Understanding the Features and using the Functions of the Tools Menu in Macromedia Fireworks

After you have successfully arrived at your dashboard, you will see your work area with either a white background, Transparent background or custom colored background, depending on what you had selected, in my own case I did use a transparent background. On your arrival on the whole interface, you will observe 6 major component sets in the interface and I will go through each and every one of them one after the other starting from the Tools Menu.

Fireworks workarea - how to edit photos

1. Tools Menu: 

The tools Menu is the left sidebar Menu that runs from the Top to the Bottom of the Fireworks User Interface and the tools available are;

Tools Menu - image editor

A. Select: 

Like the name implies, the select tool set contains Tools with Features that allows you to select Images, properties and layers on the work area and the interface at large.

Select and Select Behind Tool - online image editor

What is Pointer Tool in Fireworks and how to use it.

I. Pointer Tool: 

This tool is more like the mouse on your system and it is the default tool that is selected after your work area opens, it is used to point and select things on the Interface. While on other tools and you want to switch back or select this tool again, you can press V or 0 which is a shortcut key to activating the Select tool. NOTE: There are 2 types of Select Tools, the ordinary and default Select Tool and the Select behind Tool, which allows you to select an image behind just like the name implies.

II. Subselection Tool: 

Subselection Tool - online photo editor

Just like the Selection tool but the subselection tool is white in color as opposed to the Selection Tool which is black and the Subselection Tool is used to select and manipulate layers of an Image and to activate or switch back to the Subselection Tool while on other Tools, you will press A or 1 on your Keyboard. The Subselection Tool has only one type as opposed to the Selection Tool which is 2 in one and has a tiny drop-down icon to use and switch between the two of them.

What is Scale Tool in Fireworks and how to use it.

III. Scale Tool: 

Like the name implies, the Scale Tool is used in scaling an Image from one size or Dimension to the other. The Scale Tool is 3 in one as opposed to the Subselection Tool that was 2 in one and can be switched to by pressing Q.

Scale Tool - photo background editor

Noticed that the Scale Tool at this point is not selectable nor clickable? That is because certain tools cannot be activated when there is no image currently on the work area or Selected, sometimes there could be an image on the Work area but while it is not highlighted or selected, certain tools will become gray and Inactive, as a matter of fact, sometimes even when an Image is on the Work area, certain Tools will still not be active if the Tool is not application to such image type. In the Triplet family of the Scale Tool, we also have;

Skew Tool: 

The Skew Tool from the Scaling Family allows you to Scale or rotate an image in a 360 degrees angle to position it in whatever way you wish. NOTE: Some of these Tools can have more than one capabilities, experience and practices teaches you more on this diverse capabilities, I might not know all the capabilities that a Particular tool have and will only talk about the ones I know which might suffice for your basic needs, but I always advice everyone to go for more and not settle for less, explore, try something new and you could discover the next powerful capabilities of a particular Tool.

Distort Tool: 

The Distort Tool is used to shape or distort an image to any shape, format or angle, you can design virtually any structure of an image using the distort tool, a simple example of what you can achieve with the distort tool in combination with other tools is drawing / designing a Diamond shaped image.

Distort Tool - photo editor

Distort Tool in Action (Before);

Distort Tool - photo editor app

Distort Tool in action (After);

Distort Tool - photo effects

What is Crop Tool in Fireworks and how to use it.

IV. Crop Tool: 

crop tool - photoshop online

A very popular Tool even on smartphones and low level Image Editing Software like default Microsoft paint that comes pre-installed on our PC’s back in the days of Windows XP. The Crop Tool is a very important tool even available on most if not all Smartphones today, it allows you crop or cut out some unwanted areas of your image. Like the Subselection and the Scale Tool, the Crop Tool is 2 in one and to switch to it at any point in time, by pressing the C on your Keyboard can be a time saver as compared to dragging your mouse down the position and then clicking on it.

Export Area Tool: 

This is the twin brother of the Crop tool and it is basically used to export or save a particular area of your cropped image

B. Bitmap Menu: 

Bitmap menu - picture editor

This is the Second Tool Set after the Select Tool set and this Tool set contains way may tools than the Select Tool set. We are going to discuss about each and every one of this Tools, one after the other, and also look at how they can be used to design, manipulate and edit your images.

What is Marquee Tool in Fireworks and how to use it.

I. Marquee Tool: 

Marquee Tool - professional photo editor

I tend to use this tool most of the time when designing, the marquee tool unlike the marquee we use as a tag in HTML, allows you to kind of cut out certain areas in an image, it acts like a multi-functional or multi-angled knife that one can use to cut out even the center part of an image leaving the other parts, something cropping cannot achieve. The shortcut key to activating the Marquee Tool while working on Fireworks is M and like the others, the marquee tool has a twin brother Oval marquee tool.

Oval Marquee Tool: 

Oval Marquee tool - Photo Editor

As the name implies, the Oval Marquee tool allows you perform the marquee task on an image but this time around with an Oval angle, shape and precision, sometimes you might want to cut out a certain area of an image but you want it to be rounded instead of the normal square, that’s where the oval marquee tool comes into a perfect play.

What is Laso Tool in Fireworks and how to use it.

NOTE: You will observed that Tools grouped together in the same Toolset are always performing task close to each other or rather their functions, features and capabilities are closely related as you will begin to observe that more In this new Toolset, Laso Tool. I call this pattern Toolset Grouping.

I. Laso Tool: 

Laso Tool - Photo Editor

So the Laso Tool is basically used for cropping out a certain area of an image just like the Marquee tool but with a different approach and or behavior to achieving that, the Laso tool allows you to select the area you intend to crop in lines of joints and stopping points one after the other until you connect the first joint to the last joint. There are times you want to use the Marquee tool to crop or cut out an area of a particular image but the marquee isn’t just the right tool because you have to take extra care and also follow the lines to get things right, that’s exactly how the Laso tools fits in and becomes a life saver for you.

Pressing L while on the Fireworks Interface activates the Laso Tool, meanwhile the Laso Tool has a brother too called the Polygon Laso Tool.

Polygon Laso Tool: 

Polygon Laso Tool in Action

Now that you already know what the Laso Tool is, adding the word Polygon to it gives you a simple clue as to what makes this its brother different from it. The Polygon Laso tool works just like the Laso tool but with a polygon-like line or connectors when mapping the areas you intend to cut, it gives you some sought of straight lines when mapping whilst the Laso tool follows your hands with a rounded angled connectors. With the basic Laso tool you are more like drawing and anywhere you take the mouse to is what you will end up getting as the mapped out laso.

What is Magic Wand Tool in Fireworks and how to use it.

Magic Wand Tool

NOTE: You will observed that Tools grouped together in the same Toolset are always performing task close to each other or rather their functions, features and capabilities are closely related as you will begin to observe that more In this new Toolset, Laso Tool. I call this pattern Toolset Grouping.

II. Magic Wand Tool: 

Magic Wand Tool in Action

Magic Wand Tool in Action (Before)

Magic Wand Tool in Action After

Magic Wand Tool in action (After)

The magic Wand Tool is used to select the background of an entire image area for delete, something the crop tool nor the Laso tool can do, let’s assume that you have several icons arranged on a background and you want to get all those Icons as a standalone image on their own, the perfect tool to achieve this task will be the Magic Wand tool, it will allow you to select all the background and then delete it by pressing the Delete button on your keyboard. Pressing the W key on your keyboard while on the Fireworks user interface will select the Magic wand tool for use. The Magic wand tool is a single tool and has no siblings or associate tool.

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