Macromedia Fireworks 8 – Understanding the Panels

Don’t understand some of the panels in Macromedia Fireworks 8? Don’t feel bad. If you are new to Fireworks you may be having trouble understanding the panels. So in this guide I will explain the panels in Macromedia Fireworks 8.

When you open Fireworks 8 most of the panels will appear on the right by default but not all of them. You will need to go to Windows and select the panels that you need if it isn’t opened on the right. So let’s take a look at the panels in Macromedia Fireworks 8.

Optimize Panel – In this panel you can manage the settings of the file that you are working on. Like the file size, type, color, or slices. If you’re trying to create an animation in Fireworks 8, you would use the Optimize panel to make your animation.

Layers Panel – In the Layers panel you can work with the layers of a structure. This panel gives you options for creating new layers, creating duplicate layers, and deleting layers. You can work with each individual layer in the Layers panel.

Frames Panel – The Frames panel will also be needed if you are creating animations. This is the panel where you choose your options for the animation like how many times it will loop. You can also duplicate a frame or delete a frame in the Frames panel.

History Panel – In this panel you can see everything that you have done on the document that you are working on. You can copy the steps to the clipboard or you can save the steps that you have made on the document. You can also save certain commands and reuse them.

Styles Panel – This panel has different styles stored in it for quick decorations. For example, if you’re creating a button, you can click on one of the styles and it will apply it to the button. You can make your own styles and save them in the styles panel for future use.

Library Panel – In the library panel you will find the graphic, button, and animation symbols. These symbols can be dragged from the library panel to your document.

URL Panel – In this panel you can save the urls that you use often. That way you don’t need to type in the same urls over and over. Just insert them in the URL panel and click it when you need it. You can only apply the url to slices and hotspots.

Shapes Panel – In the shapes panel you will find shapes that are not in the tools section. You’ll find a clock shape, cog shape, cube, cylinder shape, and more. These shapes come in handy sometimes. Simply click on the shape of your choice and drag it to your document.

Auto Shape Properties Panel – This is a new panel that was added to Fireworks 8. Instead of drawing the shapes using the shapes tool, you can just drop down the “Insert New Auto Shape” and it will insert it for you. You can change the height, width, thickness, roundness, and more in the Auto Shape Properties Panel. I like this new feature. It’s perfect to use if you’re trying to make a particular size shape.

Special Characters Panel – You can quickly insert the special characters in your text with one click in the Special Characters Panel.

Image Editing Panel – In this panel you will find the most common used editing tools. These are the tools that are most often used to edit images.

Mixer Panel – In the mixer panel you can create new colors that aren’t in the swatches panel.

Swatches Panel – In the swatches panel you will find the common colors used. To create your own, go to the Mixer panel.

Info Panel – The Info panel shows you the measurements of a object. It also shows the coordinates of your pointer as you move it across the screen.

Align Panel – This panel is really cool. You can move an object any place on the document by selecting one of the options in the Align Panel. Instead of trying to drag the object to a particular place. Just click on the object and choose an option in the align panel and it will put it there for you.

I hope you better understand the panels in Macromedia Fireworks 8 a little more now. The only way to completely understand Fireworks 8 is play around with it. The more you work with Fireworks 8 the easier it will get.

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