Fireworks vs. Photoshop
Couple of years back when I started web designing after college I used photoshop as most designers do. I worked hard to learn everything about photoshop through video tutorials, blogs etc. Few months later I came to know about fireworks. I used it and it was easier to use than photoshop, plus it is designed for Web designers for prototyping and creating website/UI mockups.
According to Adobe
Adobe Photoshop CS4 delivers features for working with 3D imagery, motion-based content, and advanced image analysis.
Rapidly prototype websites and application interfaces with Adobe Fireworks CS4 software. Create and optimize images for the web more quickly and accurately than ever before with an enhanced toolset.
I think Adobe clearly explains their idea behind these programs. One is for images and other is for web. Now we have to decide what we want to work on. Images or Web. Photoshop or Fireworks.
Just be careful about choosing your program because it’s difficult to switch later on. However I made early switch – after using photoshop for 6 months I switched to fireworks.
Depends upon your style
Fireworks or Photoshop? I would say, it depends. If you are a serious web designer, go for Fireworks. If you are graphics designer, Photoshop is the best. Photoshop is all about graphics and photos. Fireworks is about web and UI design.
Your style matters while choosing one of these programs. For more complex and fancy graphics people prefer photoshop. While fireworks let you do the job easily and quickly, and gives you time to concentrate on other more important parts of web design i.e. typography, markup, CSS and usability.
Good web design is not about just stunning graphics rather its more about effective and ease to use interfaces.
Fireworks is easy to use and learn
Fireworks has every essential feature to create simple, clean and impressive mockups in short time. Properties window is a big plus. It helps you to move your graphics and design elements easily and quickly. While photoshop can take you further and let you spend more time trying with fancy filters and image manipulations.
Why I use Fireworks for Web designing?
Being a web designer I’ve used both firworks and photoshop. I found fireworks better for web designing. However for working on images and graphics I launch photoshop.
Some features of fireworks which sets it apart from photoshop as a web designer’s tool:
- Pages: This is great feature for managing various different pages in single png file. It also offers master page, incase we have some elements that we want to be common across all of our pages, can be put into master page.
- Symbols: Fireworks helps us to create any Re-usable graphic element as a symbol. Means we can create it once and use it again and again. Andy Clarke wrote a post about how he uses fireworks symbols.
- Optimize: A powerful feature for exporting images for Web. Fireworks offers superior file compression than photoshop.
- Web layer: There is a separate web layer on top of other layers where our custom slices are marked. Unlike photoshop one can show/hide our slices and export them with single click.
- Common Library: It offers some basic and most commonly used form elements which helps in fast and accurate prototyping.
- Properties: Property window has clear advantage. Whenever we select any element, property window shows all relevant properties which we can easily manipulate.
- Hotspot Tool: This tool helps to immitate actual link movements or actions. What will happen when you click on certain link or button.
Beyond Fireworks and Photoshop
If you are seriously aiming to design some good, useful websites think more about learning better markup, CSS, grids, typography, usability and accessibility. You want to become a great web designer, right!
For the web designers who are more concerned about Web standards, CSS, grids, typography and like to make every pixel perfect. A design program is just the start and not the end.
Read more on Fireworks
- Designers words about fireworks and photoshop at Digital Web. Comments are interesting.
- Jon Hicks loves fireworks but he has something else to say.
- Boagworld lists 10 reasons why they use fireworks over phot0shop.
- A detailed post about why choose fireworks.
- Rothe explains fireworks slicing feature — a definite edge over photoshop.