Adobe Fireworks, formerly known as Macromedia Fireworks before it was acquired by Adobe, is a bitmap and vector graphics editor, in contrast with Adobe Photoshop (Adobe’s more well known image editor, which is a raster graphics editor) and part of their Creative Suite line. This means that their interface is consistent with other Adobe Creative Suite products, like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator; the Mac OS X version has an exclusive capability in that it can either switch from a multiple document interface to a standard viewing mode where the toolbars float freely on the screen unless docked. Fireworks does not only appear similar to Photoshop and other Creative Suite applications, but also understand and support such files, meaning it can open and edit PSD files (Photoshop) and AI files (Illustrator), plus Encapsulated PostScript files, or EPS.
Like most of its cousins, Adobe Fireworks has a hierarchical layer system. Layers are surfaces which can be drawn on, and generally layers are by default transparent. In a hierarchical system, layers are put on top of layers, with the topmost layers obscuring those underneath them, and each layer may comprise other sub-layers as well. Fireworks is also optimized for web output and is thus better in image compression than Photoshop for JPG, GIF, and PNG formats.
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If you have additional information about which types of files Fireworks can process, please do get in touch - we would love hearing from you.
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