Welcome to Reviews OnLine: Macromedia Fireworks 4  Product Overview
Fireworks 4

A Powerful Web Tool
by Rick Smith (February 23, 2001)

Feature Overview
Feature: Powerful Pop-Up Menu Creator
Feature: Easier Rollover changes
Feature: Powerful Batch Processing
Feature: Lossless Round Trip edits
Feature: Precise Export Controls
Feature: Selective JPEG compression

The software package that most closely resembles Fireworks 4 is ImageReady 3, which is bundled with Adobe Photoshop 6.

Each program appears to have their own feature sets. Adobe Photoshop started out as a high end photo editor for print work and has been thrust into the world of the Web. ImageReady was a separate product in Adobe's lineup and now is becoming more and more integrated into Photoshop, but this combination requires you to think which tool is needed. If you need to switch back and forth, the file has to be saved and reloaded each time. Each program warns of changes so you won't accidentally work on an old version, but this transfer process takes additional time. You also have to make sure you have enough memory when Photoshop and ImageReady are loaded together.

Fireworks started out with the web in mind and Photoshop already existed when it was created. Photoshop appears to have influenced some of Firework's design, since the layers panel looks similar to Photoshop's layers palette. In fact, these two companies are embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit, with counterclaims, over this "tabbed palette feature".

I have used Photoshop 5.5 (with ImageReady 2.5) for over a year, so it will be interesting to see how Fireworks 4 stacks up in my upcoming review.

Feature: Selective JPEG compression

Copyright 2001 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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