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8 Must-have Fireworks Extensions for Interactive Designers

So of course you've heard of Photoshop - who hasn't? But have you heard of Fireworks? You could be one of those people that have it on your computer because it came in the Adobe Suite you bought - but you have yet to open it. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about it... Fireworks is another software program from Adobe, just like InDesign and Illustrator.

It's a hidden gem that's used to design and rapidly prototype websites and mobile apps. It's ideal for developers and designers of all types--web, mobile, visual, and user experience. If you haven't ventured into Fireworks yet, here are some Fireworks FAQ's to get you started.

Adobe Fireworks extensions are mainly productivity tools. They'll help you use the program more efficiently, and fill in feature gaps.

 

8 Fireworks Extensions I use as an interactive designer:

Used Fonts

Scans and lists all the fonts used in the current Fireworks document. Selecting a font from this list will apply it to the current selection.

Guide

Using guides properly in Fireworks is crucial when you're designing and aligning multiple objects on the canvas to produce a pixel-perfect layout. This panel is filled with tons of commands to enhance productivity. Ideal for designers and developers who use guides all the time.

Lorem Ipsum

Is a random text generator that helps designers quickly add placeholder text to mockups. 

In Fireworks there currently is Lorem Ipsum available: Commands > Text > Lorem Ipsum - but all that does it drop a section of text in a random space in your document. With LoremIpsum command panel, you can generate text in preset styles as paragraphs, words, lists (plain, bulleted, numbered) and characters. You also have flexibility in determing the font, font size, line height (heading) font weight, and font style.

Commands

This panel provides quick access to your favorite Fireworks commands, panels, symbols, auto shapes, textures and patterns. While keyboard shortcuts are useful, you may not want to create a shortcut for every command you use, and the Common Library and Shapes panels don't provide any shortcuts at all. With the Commands panel, you can create a set of toolbar buttons for your frequently used commands and assets so that they're always right at hand.

Favicon

The favicon is the little icon beside your site's name in the favorites list. It's right before the URL in the address bar and the bookmarks folder. Want to create your own? The Export as Favicon command does all the work for you. It creates a favicon file from the current document, which is typically 16px by 16px.

Grids

The Insert Grids commmand makes it easy to create modular grids for laying out web content, similar to the Modular Grid Pattern generator or the 960.gs CSS framework. Just select the desired number of columns, their widths, gutters, and so on, then click OK to insert a visual grid to help lay out your page elements.

Resize Selected Objects

This allows you to make precise, single-pixel adjustments to the size of a selected object without using the Scale tool. It resizes each selected object independently, which the Scale tool cannot do.

Kuler

Adobe Kuler is a web-hosted application for generating color themes that can inspire any project. This panel for Fireworks is your portal to groups of colors, or themes created by an online community of designers. You can use it to browse thousands of themes on Kuler™, and then download some to edit or to include in your own projects. You can also use the Kuler panel to create and save themes, and then share them with the Kuler community by uploading them.

Like what you see? Find more extensions from John Dunning -- the genius behind the majority of the extensions featured above. Also check out this extensive list from Fireworks Zone. 

Did we forget one? Snap! Let us know by leaving a comment.