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Fireworks CS5 Templates, Swatches, Extensibility

Fireworks CS5 has many enhancements to help ease your workflow.

Whatever a designer can do to quick-start a project will free up time that can be spent on the design of the project. FireworksR CS5 has several predesigned templates that you can use to quick-start any project.

Under Document Presets you will find templates for an Air and Desktop application along with other templates for the web, Flash or web banner, iPhone and other mobile screens. In the Mobile folder, you will find many template designs such as a Flash Lite project.

These templates come with placeholder graphics already within the layout. However, some templates have a more generic layout with guidelines for placing your own design elements. For example, you can choose from 4, 8, 12 and 16 Grid layouts and there are also generic wireframe layouts.

Working with type is easier now because of the new AdobeR text engine. For example, you can now select non-contiguous text and text with similar style attributes. Another enhancement is the ability to copy/paste text from a MicrosoftR Office application directly into Fireworks. The new keyboard shortcuts for Kerning and Tracking text allow you to easily make adjustments in increments of 10 and 100 points .

You can keep color consistant between projects by using the same color swatches between PhotoshopR, InDesignR, IllustratorR and Fireworks. Adobe Swatch Exchange files can be imported into the Fireworks Swatches panel and you can create and save your own ASE files.

Many designers prefer to use Fireworks because it is so easily extendable with JavaScript. Click Help Manage Extensions, to open the Adobe Extension Manager CS5 dialog box. There you will find extensions listed by Adobe products including Flash, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Bridge and Fireworks. Click on the Exchange button at the top of the dialog box to go to the online version of Adobe Marketplace and Exchange.

Under the Fireworks section, there are various third-party extensions. For example, the Loremlpsum extension creates random placeholder text automatically generated in the format of paragraphs, list and other text blocks. There are also workflow commands, textures, patterns, effects, filters, path tools, animation, Auto Shapes, Flash panels, automation and more. You can create your own extensions in Fireworks using the History panel to capture the steps in the workflow sequence and add the new extension to the Commands menu.

*Adobe provided a review copy to me free of charge.



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