Fireworks 2 blasts graphics directly to the Web

Fireworks 2 blasts graphics directly to the Web



Macromedia Fireworks 2 has extensive right-click options'a few too many to be manageable. It excels at creating complex Web graphics yet offers too many choices for beginners.



This $325 art application has good effects for buttons and text but is too complicated for novices

Michael Cheek

GCN Staff


Art designed specifically for Web pages has taken on a life of its own.



Macromedia's Fireworks 2, yet another application for making pages come alive, has a bit more power than Adobe ImageStyler [GCN, March 29, Page 24] but is considerably harder to use than Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000 [GCN, Aug. 9, Page 32].

Fireworks 2 tries to be everything to everyone. Although targeted toward the experienced designer, it will be familiar to any user of other Macromedia software. Fireworks tools even mirror those of other leading art applications.





Box Score ''''
Fireworks 2

Web art application with some Java
scripting


Macromedia Inc.; San Francisco;

tel. 415-252-8000

www.macromedia.com/
software/fireworks/

Price: $235 GSA



+Powerful at creating sophisticated Web graphics

'Too complex and inaccessible to novices



Real-life requirements:

Windows 9x or NT 4.0, Pentium II or faster processor, 64M of RAM, 100M of storage, CD-ROM drive; MacOS 7.5.5 or later version, Apple Macintosh G3, 32M of RAM, 100M of storage, CD-ROM drive



Adobe Systems Inc.'s illustration packages do a little better at Java scripting for such things as simple rollovers, but Fireworks has much better controls. A designer could fashion sophisticated Web graphics with different layers for creative effects plus different frames for animations.

Fireworks has good quick-click effects for buttons and text, although I wish the selections were more extensive and included common clip art and shapes.

It's all that

In its effort to be everything to everyone, Fireworks pops up one of the most extensive menus I have ever seen when the user right-clicks on any object. A novice will feel overwhelmed by the choices.

Fireworks works well, but it needs more focus and greater simplicity even for experienced artists. It's worth a shot, though, when a Web design needs sophisticated art.

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