Adobe Fireworks CS6 Classroom in a Book: The official training workbook from Adobe Systems

I read this book on O’Reilley’s Safari Books Online using personal and work laptops along with the Safari Books app on an iPad.

I really like the Adobe Classroom in a Book series and have read many of them. They are great because they are based on real-world use and come with all of the files needed to build the projects used in them.

Back in the day I did the Photoshop Classroom in a Book and completed all of the tutorials, followed every step, and wrote out the answers to the quizzes at the end of each chapter. Since then I pretty much just read through the book and absorb as much as I can, returning to the book when I get stuck in the project I am working on.

I am working with a designer that uses Fireworks to build his web site designs and was completely befuddled by Fireworks. Getting the images I needed to build a demo web site seemed incredibly hard and inefficient. So I grabbed this book and spent a couple of days reading it.

This book did not disappoint, it has already helped me figure out how to get the content out of Fireworks more efficiently. It still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me just how hard it is, but most of that is just how Fireworks functions and I am still not a fan of it. Fireworks is a through-back to the Macromedia days and I don’t feel like it has been updated the way it should be for modern web design. It may be a good tool for designers to build prototypes and designs to show clients, but for the people trying to implement those designs it kinda sucks.

One of the cool features of Fireworks I learned form the book is the creation of CSS3 properties that closely mimic the Live Filters such as drop-shadows, with some tweaking this has worked great for us and really saved a lot of time.

I only have one real complaint about this book, the design used in the tutorials feels very Y2K to me, it is very dated. It is not Web 2.0, responsive, or anything that I would consider "modern."

From the publisher:

Those creative professionals seeking the fastest, easiest, most comprehensive way to learn Adobe Fireworks choose Adobe Fireworks CS6 Classroom in a Book from the Adobe Creative Team. The 14 project-based lessons in this book show readers step-by-step the key techniques for working in Fireworks.

Readers will learn what they need to know to design and mock up Web pages or interfaces for rich Internet applications or tablet apps. In addition readers will learn how to demo a design for a client in real time, export the design as an interactive PDF, and export vector design elements as CSS3-only markup for use in websites. This edition, fully revised for CS6, covers CSS extraction using the CSS Properties panel, jQuery Mobile skinning, and sprite creation. It also includes instruction on working with the Styles panel and several new enhancements to the Properties panel, including the new color selection and gradient editing features. The companion DVD includes lesson files so readers can work along with the book.

I rate this book an 8 out of 10, anyone who needs to or wants to learn Adobe Fireworks can learn a lot from it in a short time.

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