Fireworks CS3: Most Improved

In the new announcements from Adobe of 20 new CS3 products and bundles, the most improved is Fireworks CS3.
In the last update to Macromedia Studio, Fireworks was somewhat orphaned; but not this time around. Fireworks, which already has been very innovative about integrating bitmap and vector graphics, gets to carry that further along and becomes the graphics front-end for not just Dreamweaver but also Flex. This means having Fireworks page layouts delivered directly into Flex as MXML code. Very nice.

But there is a lot more. Tight integration with Photoshop and Illustrator now means not just the ability to read Illustrator pages and layers plus Photoshop layers and smart objects but also the smarts to now deal with pages, and the hierarchical layers that are associated with both filetypes. This appears to be knockout functionality for graphic web developers.

In addition, Fireworks has new layer blend modes borrowed directly from Photoshop plus styles and templates. And the Common Library provides a huge store of templates and ideas for a broad range of development tasks. Fianlly, customizing and automating operations has both javaScript and quick go format.

In short there is lots new and to like in Fireworks CS3 – perhaps a Pheonix like sparkle.

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