A Special Read on Fireworks MX

Bruce Von Stiers

I just got a book in a few days ago that deals with the new Fireworks program from Macromedia. It is an intense self help book that has a lot of valuable information on how to use the program. The title of the book is Special Edition Using Macromedia Fireworks MX. It was written by Jeffery Bardzell and published by Que Publishing.

The book has 719 pages and comes with a CD-Rom disc that has trial versions of a program that complements Fireworks. The disc also has examples and projects that are covered in the book. The book has 31 chapters and is set up in ten parts, the last being an Appendix. It also has a Glossary and a pretty good Index.

Part I is called Fireworks Foundations. The three chapters in this part are designed to get you familiar with the various parts and pieces of the Fireworks program. You will learn about the Property Inspector and get a run down on the benefits from having it be a part of the program. There is a brief overview of optimizing a graphic and you will learn how to modify the size of your graphic.

Creating Simple Graphics is the title of Part II. Here is where you will begin to do some real work in the program. Learn how to add lines and do some freehand drawing with the Vector Path Tool. The sixth chapter covers adding and working with text. Find out how to add strokes and apply anti-aliasing to text. Don’t know what anti-aliasing is? The book explains it pretty well without getting mired down in techno babble. The seventh chapter covers implementing bitmap graphics. Here you will learn about things like the Magic Wand tool and replicating graphic pixels using the Rubber Stamp tool.

Move on to some more advanced work in Part III, Building Professional Graphics. The chapters here will show how to import Photoshop 7 graphics and work with strokes, fills and gradients to provide some stunning effects. Learn how to get a scanned image imported correctly and what a histogram can do for you.

Later on in the book you will learn about things like combining paths when designing a graphic and using the various tools in the program to provide blended layers for some really cool effects. You will find out what the Library is and how crucial this aspect of the program can be in timesaving and inventory control. The book will show how to create some simple animations in Fireworks and how to design and implement hotspots on your graphic.

Some of the more advanced topics appear at the back part of the book. Here you will learn about optimizing graphics and adding them into Flash or Director. You will find out how to use Fireworks in a HTML document. It is not as easy as it might seem, so Jerry advises you to “master the material in this chapter” in the beginning of chapter 25, Exporting Fireworks HTML.

Que is marketing their Special Edition books as The Only …Book You Need. I’m not sure if that is an accurate assessment of the books in this series. But I do know that this book on Fireworks MX has a ton of information about this great graphics program. Jeffrey writes in a concise, yet easy to understand manner that gets the information conveyed without losing you around the first sharp turn.

Go by your local book retailer and check out a copy of Special Edition Using Macromedia Fireworks MX. If you want a good book that provides all of the essential information for using the Fireworks MX program, then this one will definitely be one to have next to the computer.

For other information about this book, visit the Que Publishing web site at www.quepublishing.com.


© 2002 Bruce E. Von Stiers