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Adobe Fireworks CC icon

Final icon of Adobe Fireworks.

Adobe Fireworks, stylized as Fw, was a bitmap and vector graphics editor. It was originally developed by Macromedia, which Adobe acquired in 2005, and aimed at web designers (with features such as: slices, the ability to add hotspots etc). It is designed to integrate easily with other former Macromedia products, such as the popular Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Flash. It was available as a stand-alone product or bundled with Adobe Creative Suites 3 to 6. The last version from Macromedia, Fireworks 8, was previously bundled with Macromedia Studio 8.


Vector and bitmap editing[]

Fireworks is a capable vector editor, like to Adobe Illustrator, but also includes bitmap editing functionality. This is in contrast to the approach used by Photoshop, which is primarily for bitmap graphics with limited vector editing features. In Fireworks 8, a range of Macromedia FreeHand's vector tools were incorporated into the release. Vector objects in Fireworks can be resized with no loss of quality, just as in Adobe Illustrator. Bitmap objects suffer a similar loss in quality whether resized in Fireworks, Adobe ImageReady or Photoshop.

Docked menus[]

As with all Macromedia and Adobe releases as of 2004, menus and even some extensions can be docked in the Fireworks environment. Within the docks, menus can be collapsed and expanded to allow a high level of accessibility as well as convenience. This facilitates a cleaner workspace.


The toolbar in Fireworks contains 34 buttons. Some buttons can be held down to reveal a submenu of variations on each tool. For example, as the dodge and burn tools are used to lighten or darken an image and are similar, they can be found within the same submenu. This system of organization saves a lot of space and is very useful to graphic editors trying to save as much space on-screen as possible.

Pointer tool[]

The Pointer Tool contains a submenu of 2 items. It is represented by a black-filled cursor.

Selection Tools[]

The Selection tool allows the selection of an entire entity within the canvas, or a group of entities by shift clicking multiple items in succession. The Select Behind tool allows the selection of an entity that is below another in the layer order

Subselection tool[]

The Subselection Tool has two main functions. It is represented by a white arrow with a black outline. Objects may be moved by clicking and dragging anywhere in the middle of an object. Clicking on a point or selection handle will resize or skew the object.

Scale tool[]

The Scale Tool contains a submenu of 3 items. It is represented by a box with a diagonal arrow. The tool allows you to resize an entity in the X or Y dimensions, and also allows you to keep the image size in the proper ratio by holding SHIFT while scaling. This tool also allows for rotation of an entity.

Skew Tool[]

The skew tool allows the skewing of images. Distort Tool The distort tool allows you to twist the image and add perspective.

Crop tool[]

The Crop Tool gives you the ability to crop your layout. By using this tool, you can downsize the resolution of your image to any given smaller size.

Slice tools[]

The Slice tool makes it possible to select maps on your layout, and then export them to the format of you preference. When the slice is created, a green layer will be visible on the layout. The slice tool contains two options. It is represented by a Brush overlaying a green layer slice.

The Standard Slice tool makes it possible to select rectangles on your image and then export them. Polygon Slice Tool Same features as the standard slice tool, but makes it possible to create the selection in a polygon format

Product history[]

Development history[]

Fireworks was initially developed at Macromedia's Digital Arts Group (formerly Altsys) in Richardson, Texas. It was created by engineers from the Macromedia FreeHand team and the two software projects often shared resources. The first version was released in 1998 as a successor to Macromedia xRes. It combined the capabilities of raster and vector graphics editing. Market competitors included Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and CorelDRAW.[1]

In 2003, the Texas development staff were laid off or relocated to Macromedia's main office in San Francisco.[1]

Release history[]

After Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems in December 2005,[2] Macromedia Fireworks was renamed Adobe Fireworks. Development of future versions was transitioned to Adobe India.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 R.I.P. FreeHand by Andy Finnell, Safe from the Losing Fight. 2007-05-17.
  2. Adobe Completes Acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe Systems. 2005-12-05. Archived 2005-12-07.

External links[]

Adobe Fireworks
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · MX · MX 2004 · 8 | CS3 · CS4 · CS5 · CS6
Succeeded Adobe ImageReady in Adobe Creative Suite 3.