Fireworks 4 Expert Edge

"A Great How-To Book!"

| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product

Title: Fireworks 4 Expert Edge
Jeffrey Bardzell and Lisa Lopuck
Osborne McGraw-Hill
Publication Date:
July 2001
Pages: 416

Fireworks 4 Expert Edge, gives you an inside look at professional design. You gain the "expert edge" with this guide written by designers, for designers! Based on the design of the Habitat for Humanity International Partners Web site, this professional how-to guide follows the entire workflow of an internationally renowned team of designers as they build a high profile, real-world site. You learn the technical and collaborative strategies used by the pros--starting at the beginning and examining each step of the process. The use of JavaScript Command Scripts as a powerful creativity-enhancing tool is explained with clear, easy-to-follow examples that even non-programmers can understand. In the pages of this expert-level instructional guide, you will discover the power and flexibility of Fireworks. The authors also examine the latest features of the software, including pop-up menus, selective JPEG compression, batch processing, and more. By the end of the book, you will know how to integrate Fireworks seamlessly with Flash, Dreamweaver, HTML, and DHTML, and you will see how Fireworks facilitates working in groups. Best of all, you will learn with concrete examples based on real-world projects. Fireworks 4 Expert Edge is written by working professionals who know how to communicate clearly and effectively. Jeffrey Bardzell, co-founder of Flash-Guru and, is a multimedia instructional developer for Indiana University. His publications and presentations include such diverse topics as Flash, e-learning, and education policy. Lisa Lopuck is the founder of eHandsOn, an online learning company that connects students to design experts. She is a best-selling author, and has managed Web development for clients including Microsoft, Sony, Fox, and National Geographic.

User Level
Advanced Beginning to Advanced computer users. The book is not a beginner's book. The authors assume that you understand the basic operations of the program--how to draw a square, how to add a drop-shadow to text, how to draw a slice. The book was written to serve two primary purposes: (1) to serve as a reference and inspiration for intermediate and advanced users; and (2) to provide real-world training to ambitious learners.

Inside you'll find information on the following:

  • Discover the power and flexibility of Fireworks;
  • Examine the latest features, including pop-up menus, selective JPEG compression, batch processing, and more;
  • Learn with concrete examples from real-world projects;
  • Use JavaScript commands as a powerful creativity-enhancing tool;
  • Recreate graphic images with imported Photoshop layers, vector tools, custom color palettes, and more;
  • Integrate Fireworks with Flash, Dreamweaver, HTML, and DHTML;
  • See examples and ideas in 16-page,full-color insert;
  • Master advanced techniques with help from 12 hours of free online training
Product Analysis

How The Book Is Organized

Fireworks 4 Expert Edge consists of: an Introduction; 14 chapters and is divided into three parts. Each chapter is broken down into several parts:

  1. Basic concepts, tasks, and dialogs, to provide an orientation.
  2. Advanced tasks, combinations of features, and real-world ideas.
  3. A step-by-step tutorial, in most cases with an online version hosted by, which exemplifies in project form many of the tasks and features covered in the main chapter.


Introduction: The book begins with a special Introduction which includes an overview of the book.

  Part I: Setting Foundation

Chapters 1 through 3 are in

  • Chapter 1: Fireworks' Place in the Web Design Workflow: Introduces you to: Understanding Vector Graphics; What is Fireworks; How Does Fireworks Compare with Photoshop; Integrating Fireworks Compare with Photoshop and ImageReady; and Integrating Fireworks with Other Programs. There is one online tutorial on: Building a Web Illustration.
  • Chapter 2: Designing Web Graphics: Learn about: Building a Whole Web Page in Fireworks; Basic Vector and Bitmap Building Tools; Organizing Content with Layers and Frames; Building Master Design Templates for Speed and Consistency; and Building a Quick Design Presentation. There is one Real World discussion: Fireworks in Site Development Workflows.
  • Chapter 3: Collaborative Workflow: Introduces you to: The Team-Oriented Design Process; Optimizing the Creative Workflow; and Automating Fireworks. There is one online tutorial on: Creating and Distributing a Master Design Repository.
Part II: Designing Web Graphics

Chapters 4 through 10 focus on image editing to bring you to an intermediate level.

  • Chapter 4: Strategies for Building a Complete Web Page: Looks at: One Page at a Time; Modular Page Design; Preparing Your Page Layout; and Thinking in Pieces. There is one online tutorial on: Building Better Tables with Fireworks and Dreamweaver.
  • Chapter 5: Building Vector Graphics: Covers: Fireworks' Vector Drawing Capabilities; Building Vector Graphics; Working with Color, and Masks, and Effects. There is one Real World discussion on: Illustrating with Fireworks; and one online tutorial on: Building a CD Illustration.
  • Chapter 6: Working with Bitmap Graphics: Offers information on: Fireworks' Bitmap Drawing and Editing Capabilities; Working with Imported Bitmap Graphics; and Working with Selections. There is one online tutorial on: Creating a Textured Packaging Design.
  • Chapter 7: Optimizing Web Graphics: Covers: Authoring vs. Exported Web Graphics; Understanding File Optimization; and Optimizing and Exporting Graphics. There is one online tutorial on: Exporting a Banner.
  • Chapter 8: Optimization: Beyond the Basics: Discusses: Using the Export Wizard; Using the Export Preview; Slicing Graphics for Optimization; Using Selective JPEG Compression; and Exporting a Transparent GIF.
  • Chapter 9: Animating with Fireworks: Provides information on: Frame-by-Frame Animation; Symbols and Instances; Live Animation Effects; and Exporting Animation. There is one online tutorial on: Building an Animated Ad Banner.
  • Chapter 10: Flash Integration: Focuses on What Is Flash; From Fireworks to Flash; and From Flash to Fireworks: Creating Animated GIFs. There is one online tutorial on: Replicating Fireworks Disjoint Rollovers in Flash.
Part III: Applying Effects to Your Images

Chapter 11 through 14 provide more advanced techniques.

  • Chapter 11: Building Interactive Pages: Discusses: Fireworks Web Objects; Adding and Managing Links; Adding JavaScript Behaviors; and Creating Button Symbols. There is one Real World discussion on: Building Custom Pop-Up Menus.
  • Chapter 12: From Fireworks to HTML and Beyond: Covers: Understanding Fireworks HTML; Exporting Fireworks HTML; Importing Fireworks HTML into GUI-Based HTML Editors; and Power User Strategies for Importing and Using Fireworks HTML. There is one online tutorial on: Using Slice Along Guides to Create Entire HTML Pages.
  • Chapter 13: Fireworks and Dreamweaver Integration: Looks at: Dreamweaver and Fireworks Integration Overview; Basic Integration Techniques; Modifying Tables and Other Complex Fireworks Elements; and Advanced Integration Topics. There is one Real World discussion on: Using Fireworks to Build a Front-End for Database-Driven Sites; and one online tutorial on: Creating a DHTML Drag-and-Drop Puzzle.
  • Chapter 14: Automating and Extending Fireworks: Focuses on: What Does "Automating and Extending Fireworks" Mean; Automating Fireworks; and Taking Command of Fireworks. There is one tutorial on: Creating Command Scripts in Fireworks.
Final Comments
Fireworks 4 Expert Edge is a well thought out book that makes learning Fireworks 4 easy and fun. It is packed with illustrations and examples. You can't go wrong with this book.
System Requirements

For running Fireworks 4, you need:


  • Intel Pentium processor (Pentium II recommended)
  • Windows 95/98 or NT version 4.0, 2000, XP or later
  • 64 MB of available RAM
  • 800 x 600, 256-color display (1024 x 768, millions of colors recommended)
  • 80 MB of available hard disk
  • Adobe Type manager Version 4 or later with Type 1 fonts


  • Power Macintosh Processor (G3 or higher recommended)
  • MacOS 8.6, 9.X or OSX
  • 64 MB of available RAM
  • 800 x 600, 256-color display (1024 x768, millions of colors recommended)
  • 80 MB of available hard disk
  • Adobe Type Manager Version 4 or later with Type 1 font
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop 6.0
Web Page Design: Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.0
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