Adobe Fireworks is my secret weapon as a web-designer. It has the power of Photoshop but sports an interface and tool-set geared towards rapidly creating multiple versions of pixel-perfect mockups. Two of my favorite features: “Pages” where I can quickly create different versions in one file, and “Styles” where I can save our styles (buttons, dropdowns, etc.) and re-use them over and over again. I still do my finished pixels in Photoshop but the layout, margins, and typesetting is all Fireworks.
I’m a stickler for mockups that look EXACTLY how they will look in the browser. We like working off of pixel-perfect mockups when implementing new features. I don’t waste time making complicated specs and they don’t have to question what they’re building. The new versions of Fireworks (CS4/CS5) have made this impossible to do.
Why Fireworks CS3 is awesome
Fireworks has several text alias options. The one I always choose is “System Anti-Alias.” This will render fonts exactly how that font will look in a web browser.
Why Fireworks CS4 and CS5 are not awesome
When Adobe released Adobe CS4 I was shocked to see that when they updated the text engine, they removed the System Anti-Alias option. It is now actually impossible to get your mockups to duplicate browser text. For me, this was a clear deal-breaker.
Here are all of the alias options that Fireworks CS4/CS5 have:
It’s too bad, because Adobe has updated Fireworks CS4 and CS5 to be faster and more stable. The hardest part now is finding places to acquire Fireworks CS3 legally.