These notes and tutorials are designed for use with Fireworks MX, but much of the content will be applicable with minor variations to other versions.
Fireworks is a program designed to create graphics for the web - not for printing. Fireworks is slightly unusual in that it allows you to create both bitmap and vector images. Most programs allow you to do either one or the other.
Bitmaps record information pixel by pixel and colour by colour. The size of the bitmap is determined by the number of pixels and colours used in the
Here is an image saved as a bitmap, then enlarged. You can see how it pixelates badly when enlarged.
|Original Bitmap||Enlarged Bitmap|
Vector graphics use mathematical formulae to describe the image. They allow for much more precise control and resizing of the image. When you enlarge a vector graphic, you don't get jaggy pixilation of the edges, because the mathematical formula describe the colours whatever size the image is. If you enlarge a bitmap beyond the original size at which it was made, the program has to guess what colours to fill in, and it doesn't always do a good job.
|Original Vector||Enlarged Vector|
Vectors are good for things like text, logos and diagrams. Bitmaps are good for high definition graphics that use a lot of textures and colours like photographs.
Fireworks saves its files in .png format, though you can open and edit most common image formats. You can export your files in many formats.