Adobe Fireworks CS4 Beta Review
Adobe is at again…illustrating their dedication to the world of design/development and the understanding that if you’re not focusing towards the web in some fashion, you’re going to end up a day late and dollar short in the end. So they bring you Fireworks CS4 Beta. A program that is quickly becoming an all in one design and development application like never seen before.

Fireworks New Features: A Detailed Look

Let’s take a look at the new features being advertised for the new Dreamweaver CS4 Beta. New User Interface Navigate between Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Fireworks with ease. While the new user interface, much like the new Dreamweaver interface, is easy to work with…there was not much that showed an ease of navigation between applications. With the assumption that direct buttons to edit smart objects would be more evident, we struggled to see them. Drag and drop is always an option for navigation. And if you are saving things properly and editing smart objects then it shouldn’t be much of an issue. The interface is still nice, but lacks a certain quality that was hinted at. Score: 6/10

New Interface View

CSS and Images Export Design complete web pages and export complete with images and stylesheets. For developers who prefer to use a design based program and not have to move it over somewhere else to do a large part of the code, this is the feature for you. It’s also great for designers who don’t know code very well and would not consider themselves a developer. Score: 9/10 PDF Export Direct PDF generation from within Fireworks. Another great feature added, no more having to pull up your print menu to create a pdf to send to a client for approval or to send to your senior designer. Export them directly as a pdf. Score: 8/10 Live Style Improvements Update CSS styles live across the board. This is an integrated feature that moves almost towards some of the functioning of Dreamweaver. You can now edit CSS and make the change happen live right from Fireworks. Almost as if Adobe is taking some of Photoshop, some of Illustrator and some of Dreamweaver to create one overall program that meets most of your needs. Score: 8/10 Adobe Type Engine The same engine in Photoshop and Illustrator is now in Fireworks. The type engine probably should have been implemented in the CS3 release, but better late than never. This is the same engine you are already familiar with from Photoshop and Illustrator, so no real new stuff, just new for Fireworks. Score: 6/10 (a little late)

Type Engine

AIR Authoring Create Adobe AIR prototypes ready to deploy in HTML, Flex or Flash. This functions smoothly (the way anything of this type should). And any addition of working with Adobe Air and the implementation and creation of mash-up technology among other social endeavors will boost the necessity of an application like this. Score: 9/10 Once again Adobe seems to have pretty much hit the mark. They have added some great new features to a program that was great when they took it over. It should be interesting to see how the full releases compare to the beta releases. One odd little glitch that was noted was the the image window resizer in the corner does not seem to work. If you’re trying these betas…or planning on trying them…share your experience with us and our readers here. Don’t forget to share it with Adobe, too, though. That way the public can ensure a quality full release and we at CMSWire can let everyone know about it.