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Foundation Fireworks CS4 (Foundations) 1st ed. Edition
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I have primarily been using Photoshop for all my web design comps, but many of my friends and peers use fireworks for their own work. I heard Fireworks CS4 had some newer features that caught my attention so I looked into them. I was sold and wanted to start using Fireworks.
This book answered many questions I had about certain situations, and also had some great examples that helped my workflow. It may be too basic for a Fireworks veteran, but for a transplant like myself, It was worth the read.
You might find all the info you need about Fireworks on the web, but that holds true for almost anything these days. When I can, I prefer to read a book and learn rather than the screen. Foundation Fireworks CS4 brought me up to speed, taught me some new tricks, and gave me some great ideas for future comp/protyping of websites. I'm happy with this purchase, and Friends of Ed (the publisher) has satisfied my learning needs again.
If you must have this book, pay no more than 5 bucks. Am throwing my copy in the recyling bin now.
What you do get: a basic overview of the graphic tools within Fireworks - not such big news for people already familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator.
What you don't get: helpful basic information about how to use Fireworks as a Web Tool - not even how to create a button. Sure, they give you an overview, but this is so vaguely described that one would not be able to do it, unless they already knew how to do it... They do go into great detail about how to apply effects, filter, gradients etc to a button, but what about how to actually create one?
However, even with this variability between the different chapters, there are plenty of "gems" hidden in this book. I've used Fireworks for many months, and I still didn't completely understand how some of the different tools worked until I saw some of the excellent examples in this book. One problem with Fireworks is that some very important features are often hidden within extensions in the Commands menu, or hidden in some far-off panel that needs to be enabled. This book helped me discover some of those hidden gems within Fireworks.
This is not intended to be a Fireworks reference book. But as a stroll through various features of Fireworks (especially those features that make it unique compared to Photoshop or Illustrator), it was a pleasant journey. Reading this book while Fireworks is open so you can try some of the interesting examples will help you better appreciate the features that the authors are trying to highlight. If you just read the book without trying the examples, you will be missing much of the fun.
One downside with this book is that the various images were obviously intended to be published in color, but they are only in black-and-white in this book. If you look at the sample images at the top of the back cover, you can see how some of the images were intended to be shown. By printing these images in black-and-white, many of the examples loose a lot of their value. Another reason to be trying the examples within Fireworks yourself to see how they really look. If the images had been printed in color, I probably would have rated this a 4 instead of a 3.