Fireworks MX & MX2004: Fun with Productivity Part 2

Web graphics need to be sliced, diced, optimized, and put back together. In the first article we talked about before the design phase - abusing our Properties panel, and preparing designs using safe sizes. This article covers productivity tips for during and after our design phase, with awesome time-saving shortcuts that work in both Fireworks MX & MX2004, and most likely Fireworks 8. Speaking of Fireworks 8, you may not need that new Image Editing panel after I show how to do all those shortcuts. Cutting down production time may make production a bit more fun, just don't tell your clients!

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Name your objects

I won't spend long on this general rule of thumb in digital design, “always name your layers.” In Fireworks world, naming your layers and objects are the same thing, this goes for web-slice names too. In the screenshot below, I highlight where we name our objects, Slices, and Hotspot areas.

Once you adjust an object or slices' name in the Properties panel, Fireworks will rename it in the Layers panel automatically. Why would some prefer the Properties panel over the Layers panel? Usually you're designing near the Properties panel already and it's a good way to rename an object or Slice if the Layers panel is hidden or collapsed.

Public Service Announcement: Whether you prefer using the Properties panel or the Layers panel, just please name your objects, layers, layer folders, and Slices – for the sake of your work and others who have to use it.

Chris Charlton

Chris CharltonChris, Los Angeles' CSS & ActionScript guru, successfully cannonballed into web development in the late 90's. Always caught up with the latest in Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and XML, Chris authored premium articles for the largest Dreamweaver/Flash community ( and produced WebDevDesign (iTunes featured), a popular Web Design & Development Podcast. Somewhere, Chris finds time to run an authorized Adobe user group focused around open source and Adobe technologies. Being a big community leader, Chris Charlton remains a resident faculty member of the Rich Media Insitute and lends himself to speak at large industry events, like JobStock, NAB, and FITC Hollywood.

Brain cycles from Chris are always Web Standards, Flash Platform, and accessibility.

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