Improved Compatibility with Other Products
Although you can use Fireworks to create finished artwork for many purposes, the majority of the time you'll probably be combining your Fireworks efforts with your work in other products. Fireworks CS5 has new and improved features for interacting with other Adobe apps in the Creative Suite.
Fireworks and Adobe Swatch Exchange
Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) files can be used in or created by multiple Adobe products: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Kuler. Now Fireworks can create ASE files for use in the other Adobe products. ASE files created with other Creative Suite software also can be imported into the Swatches panel in Fireworks, allowing you to work with color schemes created in other projects.
Fireworks and Flash Catalyst
Adobe Flash Catalyst is a new professional interaction design tool for rapidly creating interactive content without writing code. You can use Flash Catalyst to create interactive portfolios, product guides, site navigation, interfaces for RIAs, and more. Designers use Flash Catalyst to create a functional user experience from static graphics, and then they hand off the project files to developers who use Flash Builder to add functionality and integration with servers and services.
Because Fireworks is optimized to create screen graphics, it's the ideal application to use for designing and producing assets for the Flash platform. Fireworks CS5 supports the latest FXG format (2.0), allowing you to export multiple-page designs or individual objects as editable FXG elements for use in software such as Flash Catalyst CS5, all while maintaining design fidelity.
Fireworks and Illustrator
Another advantage of the new FXG export in Fireworks is that Adobe Illustrator CS5 also supports this format. If you've ever tried saving a Fireworks file as an Illustrator file, no doubt you've been frustrated with the poor version support for this option. Fireworks only saves AI files at the version 8 level, preserving very little of Fireworks' more advanced features. But you can export your Fireworks design as "FXG and Images" for use in Illustrator. FXG-supported vector fill effects are retained as vectors, so your screen-based design could easily be converted into a high-resolution CMYK file for printing, or simply opened in Illustrator for further editing.