Author:

Michel is a freelance Web designer, illustrator and photographer. He is also editor at Smashing Magazine and is very passionate about Adobe Fireworks, HTML/CSS, Web Standards and the smell of good coffee. When not designing websites, he can often be found reading articles about design, riding his bicycle or simply looking at the clouds in the sky. Want to know more? You can check his personal blog or Twitter.

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The Present And Future Of Adobe Fireworks

Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last few months, you’ve already heard the news that Adobe is feature-freezing Fireworks. And Adobe is not offering a replacement tool for Fireworks users (at least, not for now.) What does this mean for you if you use (and rely on) Fireworks to design user interfaces and screens? What are your options?

The Present And Future Of Adobe Fireworks

In this article, we’ll take a close look at Adobe Fireworks, explaining why it is a unique and powerful design tool, how we can continue to use it effectively, and what our alternatives are for the future.

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The Power of Adobe Fireworks: What Can You Achieve With It?

Our recent article covering the new features of Adobe Fireworks CS5 provoked a very interesting and intense debate. But because comments ranged from "Fireworks is the best tool for screen design!" to "What exactly is Fireworks?", we thought that another article on this topic might be very useful to Smashing Magazine readers.

Firefox logo, by Jon Hicks

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However, this time the article will not focus so much on the tool itself, but rather on what can be achieved with it, and more specifically — what can be achieved with its visual/graphic design capabilities. We also hope that the following showcase of inspiring illustrations, created entirely in Fireworks, will not only be interesting to our readers, but will also help put an end to the common misconception that Fireworks is mostly a prototyping tool – and – that for "serious" design you must switch to other tools, namely Photoshop or Illustrator.

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Adobe Fireworks: Is It Worth Switching to CS5?

Adobe Fireworks is the Swiss Army knife for many developers and Web, UX, UI and graphic designers. The application is known for its versatility, excellent blend of vector and bitmap tools and powerful built-in wireframing and prototyping options. Also, according to the SoDA 2010 Digital Marketing Outlook survey, Fireworks has become an important tool for many digital agencies.

It now has the same standing as other core Adobe products, such as Flash, Flex and Dreamweaver (to the question "Which technical skill sets, if any, will you look to hire or contract in 2010?", approx. 12% of the survey respondents replied "Fireworks", and to the question "Which tools/products will you or your organization use in 2010?", more than 44% of the survey respondents replied that they will be using Fireworks).

The Property Inspector Panel in Fireworks CS5

None of the official Adobe pages actually answer the question that so many design professionals are asking in the first place: is Fireworks CS5 really better? Will it save you time and effort? Are the new features worth the upgrade price? This article gives detailed answers to these questions. We'll present a neat list of Fireworks CS5's new features and improved workflows, along with examples of how they will make your work much more efficient.

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