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Top 10 Fireworks Public Beta Features

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The Fireworks public beta offers mind-blowing new features and some great improvements over previous Fireworks versions. Jim Babbage escorts us through his 10 faves.
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Adobe continues to develop my favorite web graphics design program, Fireworks, and the program remains an important part of the Adobe family. In the Fireworks public beta, Adobe has focused on positioning Fireworks as a rapid prototyping tool and not just another imaging application.

There's something for everyone—from designer to developer—in this new version. There are way more than 10 new features in the Fireworks public beta, but we'll focus on 10 of the coolest:

  • 9-slice scaling tool
  • Smart Guides
  • Tool tips
  • Measure tool
  • Edit-in-place symbols
  • Live styles
  • Export to PDF
  • Enhanced CSS and HTML workflow
  • Enhanced Photoshop integration
  • New text features

On top of all this, Fireworks shares a common interface with other Adobe apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash.

This article gives you a brief overview of these features as well as an idea of where they'll come in handy in improving your workflow, creativity, or both!

9-Slice Scaling Tool

The benefits of 9-slice scaling are no longer limited to just symbols. Now you can scale any object intelligently on the canvas using the 9-slice scaling tool, which you'll find among the Transform tools (see Figure 1).

Select an object and then choose the 9-slice scaling tool to display 9-slice guides within the selected object. Set your guides as you normally would for this type of scaling; then drag the scaling handles in whichever direction you like (see Figure 2). This feature can save time if you want to resize objects that don't need to become common symbol objects.

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