Finally taking advantage of its acquisition of Macromedia back in 2005, Adobe is set to announce the release of Fireworks CS3. The web graphics app will replace ImageReady and, not surprisingly, has been designed to better integrate with the rest of Adone’s Creative Suite, including Photoshop and Illustrator.
Besides support for sharing objects with the rest of the suite, the editor has pumped with a range of new tools lifted from Photoshop, including drop shadows, glows, overlays and layer blending effects. There’s also album creator that strings photo collections into a slideshow that uses HTML or Flash – even if the user has no experience with either.
While many fans of Fireworks will be relieved that can now combine the app with their other favourite design tools to produce slick web sites, many will argue that this is a program that simply isn’t needed – or at least it shouldn’t be needed. What it amounts to is Adobe canning its web editing tool, ImageReady, which came bundled with Photoshop, and forcing users to purchase a separate app for optimising their programs for the web.
Some might suggest that Fireworks represents a scaled-down version of Photoshop for people that want basic imaging tools without using such a memory-intensive program as Photoshop. If this is the case then what’s the point of Photoshop Elements and why didn’t Adobe choose to just integrate Fireworks into the Photoshop CS3? Ah, yes. Money.
The new version of Fireworks is released as a universal binary along with the rest of the CS3 product line in the spring. If you’ve not played with the program before then grab a download of it from here.