Macromedia Fireworks MX (Training from the Source) Paperback – 3 Jul 2002
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About the Author
Patti Schulze is the founder and president of Digital Training & Designs (www.digitrain.com), a Macromedia, Apple, Quark, and Adobe Authorized Training Center in Dallas, Texas. Patti has created many Web sites: from recommending the hardware, installing the software, and developing databases and e-commerce functionality, to designing the graphics and coding the HTML. She speaks at Web conferences on topics such as Designing with Dreamweaver and Creating User Interactivity. She is the author of Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 Fireworks 4 Studio: Training from the Source, also from Macromedia Press. Patti is an avid cyclist, participating in both road and mountain biking events. Recently she completed a 55-mile cross-country mountain bike ride in Moab, Utah and a 113-mile ride in Tucson, Arizona.
Top Customer Reviews
Well worth and investment if the package is available and training budget is tight.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I looked at soooo many Fireworks books - this book is by far the best place to start. Unlike other books I've searched through - it contains a good balance of pictures to guide you and text to train you.
Since I didn't have this info until I received the book, I thought posting it may be helpful:
Lesson 1 - Bitmap Editing
Lesson 2 - Using Vector Tools
Lesson 3 - Working with Layers
Lesson 4 - Adding Text
Lesson 5 - Advanced Techniques (Combining, duplicating, gradients, opacity, intersect, crop, transformations)
Lesson 6 - Creatig Buttons
Lesson 7 - Creating Slices & Hotspots
Lesson 8 - Optimizing & Exporting
Lesson 9 - Creating GIF Animations
Lesson 10 - Masking & Pop-Up Menus
Lesson 11 - Integrating with Dreamweaver (extensive, but basic)
This offering in the Training From The Source series covers the basics any user would need to get started using Fireworks MX. But there are problems; in some of the exercises, not all necessary steps are covered. For example: in the chapter on creating a template based on a home page, the user is instructed to delete layer elements down to the basic header design, to add other elements and keep the look consistent .... but the authors neglected to mention deleting the slices, which would cause a problem when new slices needed to be created. There were also problems with the tutorial files in the final chapter; When prompted to export the files to Dreamweaver, Fireworks MX experienced an unexpected quit ..... this happened on two different Macs. One gets the impression that not all materials in these publications get preflighted extensively.
These complaints aside, this title will provide an adequately comprehensive introduction to the realm of Macromedia ..... though possibly a frustrating one at times for the newbie. Hopefully Macromedia will see fit to make corrected materials available so the lessons can be completed without too much confusion.
For an intermediate to advanced user who has already used other Graphics tools from Adobe or used previous versions of Macromedia's Fireworks, this book may suffice in getting started and creating some nice graphics. I am giving the book the benefit of doubt as I am NOT an advanced user and can't strike the book down without positive proof.
So why is this book so difficult to learn from (for a beginner)? I found two main reasons -
The first is that the book seems to seriously omit some important steps that a beginner is definitely not going to know about. You can imagine the disastrous results that follow - frustration to name one.
The second is that the writing style is very difficult to follow. One has to really concentrate in trying to figure out what the author is saying and even then there are no guarantees.
My basic experiences with this book in a nutshell - I was cropping some images and picked up the book to see if I can read a few chapters to learn how to use the Cropping tool and the Lasso tool. I easily succeeded in using the Cropping tool after reading the page a second time, but I had a difficult time using the Lasso tool by just following the instructions. I eventually got it right but these are some of the simplest actions a User performs in a Graphics package like Fireworks MX and it shouldn't have been that difficult for a book to explain.
What choices does one have? Unfortunately, not many. I am continuing my search for a better book and I will write a review on it when I find one. In the meanwhile, I feel stuck having to rely on this difficult book.
One last piece of advice, do read a general book on designing web graphics before learning a specific Graphics package. A great example is 'Designing Web Graphics' by Lynda Weinman. It is an excellent book to read before learning how to use a Graphics tool like Fireworks MX. There is a tremendous amount of wisdom in this book that beginners can't ignore. It is a book I see myself referring for a long time to come. Good luck!
This introduction should adequately prepare you for more advanced books, such as "Playing with Fire", a book on advanced design using Fireworks.
That said, I thought this book was a very good introduction to Freehand. I do not recommend it as a reference tool or if you want to learn only one or two things quickly -- the steps and lessons are sequential.
Although this book can be kept in your library as a very decent reference, my recommendation is that if you want to learn Fireworks from scratch, then get this book and buy another if you want something around to continually reference.
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