Macromedia was bought out by Adobe in 2005, and Macromedia's products now carry the Adobe name. Adobe Fireworks has many similarities to Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop but hasn't been integrated into one of the more popular programs because it has a few advantages over them.
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Vector and Bitmap Integration
Vector and Bitmap integration often is hailed as Fireworks' biggest advantage. While Illustrator (a vector-based program) and Photoshop (a bitmap-based program) both have components of their counterparts, Fireworks is a much more seamless meld of vector and bitmap styles. This integration allows for easier blending of photographs with designs and graphics. Blending the two allows for a quicker and more user-friendly interface when working on projects for the Web.
Another big advantage of Adobe Fireworks is image optimisation. Fireworks is much better than similar programs at preparing pictures and designs for the Web. It's capable of creating the smallest image in terms of KB while often maintaining better image quality than programs such as Photoshop. Fireworks also has a special "pages" interface that mimics pages on a website.
Fireworks is a lot more flexible than other bitmap-editing applications. Its incorporation of vector-based options actually improves many bitmap procedures. Unfortunately, this is a new concept for many people who have experience only with vector or bitmap software. When used as a combination, processes such as masking, become much more efficient and less time consuming. These vector masking paths are also saved, which means repeating the same masking process over and over, as you do with bitmap programs, is not necessary.
Running filters, such as blur, or colour adjustments is done live in Fireworks for both vector and bitmap images. The dual filter functionality is another advantage over programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop. Third-party plug-ins are used more easily than in other programs and, as a result, create more customisable functionality. Although some third-party filters lack live effect capability, thus only applying to vector or bitmap components, the amount of opportunity for innovation leaves Fireworks with a clear advantage.
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