Fireworks CS3 to be released soon – New Features Reviewed here

Fireworks CS3 release reviewEvery knows that Adobe bought Macromedia a while back. Web Designers in the know have always preferred Fireworks as a graphics and photo editing tool over Photoshop. Alot of Web Designers aren’t actually We Designers though, they are Graphics designers, who have had to adapt to web design. And they were taught in schools (since until recently there were no web design degrees) how to use Photoshop. Therefore they don’t even know about Fireworks usually. It’s one of the reasons you shouldn’t hire Graphic Designers to design web sites.

It’s true you can use Photoshop to make web pages. It’s true, they’re a couple things that Photoshop can do that Fireworks can’t. But there are so many things that Fireworks can do that any graphic editing software should do, that once Designers learn Fireworks, they never go back.

Anyway, the point of this article isn’t to rag on Photoshop (but if one knows both software the comparisons are inevitable, sorry Adobe fans, Photoshop sucks), but rather to say we’re all glad Adobe hasn’t killed off Fireworks!

I looked through Adobe’s web site (what a mess!) to find the “new” features of the latest version of Fireworks, called Fireworks CS3. Sadly they went all republican and most of what they are saying is new Fireworks already did, let’s hope they haven’t broken these features. The few things that are actually new are pretty self explanatory:

  • Adobe Bridge integration
  • This is a software interface to adobe resold and far overpriced stock photography. Don’t bother you can get the same stuff cheaper from the people who sell it orginally or even better, try

That’s it, that’s the only actual new feature, and given its spammy nature I feel dirty calling it a “feature”.

Here’s what they say is new but actually already exists in Fireworks:

  • New Mac and Windows® OS support
  • They already is a Mac version and a Windows Version, plus you can run Windows on a Mac nowadays . . .
  • Hierarchical layer organization
    • Already exists, kinda makes you wonder if they even looked at Fireworks.
  • Intelligent scaling
    • Already exists and far outperforms Photoshop. In Photoshop you can’t scale an object to an exact numerical size (like 200×200 pixels) you have to drag handles and guess at the size, or you rulers and guides, squint and have a better guess at the size. Both of which you could do in Fireworks , if you wanted to for some reason.
  • Multipage support
    • Already exists, kinda makes you wonder if they even looked at Fireworks.
  • RIA layout prototyping
    • Already exsists, we call it “Export” in Fireworks, it’s save for web or “Save As” in Photoshop.
  • Customizable assets
    • Already exist in Fireworks, you can add or remove any asset from the assets panel.
  • Photoshop blend modes
    • We don’t call them “Photoshop Blend Modes” but ya you can do all that already.
  • Adobe Flash® and Dreamweaver® integration
    • Well, duh! All Macromedia products in Macromedia Studio worked very, very well together.
  • Rapidly Prototype and Design for the Web
    • They mean it’s faster (and less likey to crash your computer), than Photoshop.
    • Always has been!

    So save your money, don’t get Photoshop, it’ll only slow you and your computer down and cost you lots and lots o’ money!

    Here’s some screenshots that go with some of the comments below:

    Fireworks Screen shot

    Photoshop Screenshot

    Adobe Bridge Screenshot


    1. Um, you shouldn’t make the assumption that they haven’t killed Fireworks. If they added half the bloat to it that infects other Adobe products it’s as good as dead. And since Corel now owns Paint Shop Pro its latest version is beyond bloat right into Vista Territory– requires major hardware upgrade just to run the sucker.

    2. Well said, and tip of the hat on the comments…
      Fireworks rules!!!

    3. Fireworks does rule!

      And Bj is right, Adobe could really screw up Fireworks badly. When you think it about they have great motivation to. I was surprised at first that they haven’t. But maybe they have one of those “sneaky” plans, where instead of discontinuing it in a straitforward manner, they just ruin the software so that no one will buy it.

    4. If you don’t know how to use Photoshop you shouldn’t comment on it! Saying that you don’t have pixel level control in the world’s foremost pixel based program shows your ignorance. You can resize anything in photoshop by pixels, by percentages, by inches, by centimeters, by nearly all measurement categories known to man. I suggest you buy a book and learn about what you don’t understand before you make a comment on it. It appears you learned how to use the transform command but never delved into image size, or canvas size, or looked at any of the readily available displays on screen when using the program, if you truly ever have! Furthermore, adobe bridge has nothing to do with stock photos, that would be Adobe Stock Photos. Do yourself a favor and learn about what you are posting about before you pollute the web with inaccuacies based on your ignorance.

    5. It’s true if do a major overhaul to the Photoshop design environment you can get Photoshop to show a “properties” box, for a particular object. You can also click on an object, pause for a moment and then click again. However most Photoshop users are ignorant Mac users like yourself, who just can’t do that kinda thing. This just demonstrates the whole idiocy behind their interface design, thanks for pointing it out.

      You are partially right about “Bridge” in that you are repeating what Adobe says about it. The problem with that though is that there is absolutely no need for a separate program that “explores” a computers files. The Operating system does that already – even on a Mac. The only reason it exists is obviously to hawk Adobe Stock Photos (see screenshot)

      “…the world’s foremost pixel based program” come on dude, the only thing they are the “world foremost” is marketing.

      Photoshop is overly expensive, poorly performing bloatware that spies on you. It sucks when compared to any other pro level graphics editing software. Always has.

      Here’s another nice article comparing these two applications:

    6. Hi there. In response to #2:


      If you simply had your Info Palette open, you’d see the coordinates and size of your current selection.

      In fact, this offers a more broad range of measurement ability since simply measuring from the top left corner of the document is actually very rare in the process of web development. Usually you want to measure the coordinates something in relation to its container, for example.

      If you want to rag on Photoshop, learn the software – it only takes one second to show the Info palette, not to mention that once it’s open, it stays there, offering a bunch of information including color values of whatever pixel your cursor is over.

      Working on websites professionally for the last 3 years (with around 14 years of Photoshop usage, no I am not exaggerating, I started using Photoshop before it had Layers), I can confidently say it’s not as screwed up and crippled as you portray.

      Oh, and yes, Photoshop IS the world’s foremost raster editing software. Care to offer your suggestion on what you believe is superior? If you want to sway peoples’ opinions with your statements, try to maintain credibility instead of just dismissing what people say.

      “It sucks when compared to any other pro level graphics editing software.” What, GIMP? Paint Shop Pro? There’s a reason even high school kids continue to pirate new versions of Photoshop and not PSP or whatever software you’re imagining when you say this.

      “However most Photoshop users are ignorant Mac users like yourself”. Enjoy my Windows Photoshop CS3 screenshot. 😛

    7. Andrew: Not trying to start a blog war here but some of the things you said just weren’t true.
      1- I don’t know what makes you think I’m trying to sway peoples opinions, I’m not, just giving info, let them do with it as they will.

      2- the info palette only sometimes shows the info about size. When it does it’s in inches even though it’s a pixel based image. See Screenshot #4 above.

      3-I’m not surprised with all your expierence that you didn’t know there is a better way to get the size of an object in Photoshop. I’m not surprised because it’s not documented and you have to stand on one leg and do a little dance to get it to work.
      –3A- You have to set up your design environment to Auto select the layer when click and show the bounding box. Then when you click on a layer, it’ll select a layer, THEN click on it again. Now it’ll show the positioning and size info in pixels, SOMETIMES. Other times it shows this info in percents!

      4- The info palette does not show the objects position in reference to other objects, as far as I know PS just doesn’t do that. (Yes Fireworks does , but only if the objects are grouped together.)
      –4A- In fact the info palette isn’t very helpful at all, true it shows you color info but to copy this color info, you’d have to write it down because it only shows the color info of the pixel under the pointer, so you can’t select it to copy it, nor can you change it there, so really, what the point? It’s just another reason why they call PS “Bloatware” That’s a lot of system resources to do that with no benefit.

      Responses to opinions:

      Photoshop is NOT the world foremost raster editing software out there. It’s just the most expensive and popular.

      The reason high school kids steal it is because A- They don’t know any better, it’s just the one they’ve heard of. B- A major part of Adobe success is all the focus they place on marketing to schools (instead of software development). C- It’s the easiest to crack (download demo, remove time counting file, bam! full version for free!

      What do I believe is superior? Just about all the software you mention w/ Fireworks (any version vs the comparable PS version), being the one that’s the best (mostly because I haven’t used the others as much and don’t know them as well.

    8. I have been reading about photoshop compared with fireworks, and it sounds like many web designers prefer fireworks to photoshop, but I haven’t come across anyone who blindly disses photoshop, because when it comes to editing graphics and photos, it is the best out there, and many other programs just try to stay on top of the features offered by photoshop. Everything in PS is customizable, and it’s not that hard to get it work the way you want.

      That having been said, I am looking forward to learning Fireworks, and using it for doing web mock-ups. From what I understand, it is not really a Photoshop competitor at all, because it’s such a different program. This is just what I have read; like I said, I am looking forward to learning for myself.

      It really does sound like you’re just a Photoshop hater, Texx. PS has its place, regardless of its price or Adobe’s practices. So many people use it and love it, but when it comes down to it, it wasn’t made for web design. It was made for photo-related stuff, and basic graphic design stuff. But it is SO good at what it does. I’m willing to stick with Fireworks if it proves to be superior for web design, but I doubt I’ll ever find anything to make me simply shelve Photoshop.

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