Fireworks vs. Photoshop CS6

I’ve been designing websites in Fireworks for 1 year now and I feel very comfortable working with it. I tried designing a site in Photoshop CS5 about a week ago and it wasn’t such a pleasant experience. Don’t get me wrong, I could design the site, but the way Photoshop worked was very different and uproductive for me.

The thing is… I don’t want to do only web design. I see myself in the future designing web pages, creating UIs, even editing photos. That’s why I think I should be learning Photoshop.

I didn’t try the latest version of Photoshop. Is it better for web design?
Even if it isn’t, should I learn Photoshop just because it’s the industry’s standard? And because I plan on doing other things than web design? Or should I stick with Fireworks and learn when I need to Illustrator for print, Photoshop for photos, etc. ?

I use Fireworks as my main app for all kinds of UI work in addition to main graphics, websites and other pixel related designs. Most UI work I do is for high-end customers.

Just the way you can control the vectors, add pixel perfect shades etc, plus selecting objects, using pages etc. makes Fireworks the most excellent tool for UX/UI designs.

I have been very frustrated with the buggy releases by Adobe, especially Fireworks who has gotten the shortest stick in the Adobe family. It not being full 64bit until CS6 has been both highly annoying and frustrating for professional work. I have played with the idea of switching to Photoshop, but even CS6 lacks the control I need.

Hope this helps a bit in your decision as what to go for when it comes to UI designs,


Well I’ve used Fireworks in the past and now I am suing Photoshop…
Photoshop is by fare more versatile and more powerful… Some thinks you can do faster in Fireworks and if you want to paint and draw your dreams the Photoshop is the tool…

My word is not the law…just my humble opinion…


I’ve been using Fireworks last 5 months and… for me until Photoshop doesn’t implement real vectors and real useful selector, instead of lose time grouping folders… I can’t come back to it.


I was just complaining about PSD the other day. All the web graphics from graphic river are psds, but I work mainly in Fireworks. The difference in just a few things makes a BIG difference in work flow. In Fireworks, if I was mocking up a site and wanted to slap a button in there, I just drag around the whole thing and group it, then copy and paste it onto my design.

In photoshop, if that button is on a page of other buttons, but all I want is one, I’ve got to make sure to deal with the folder and I can’t simply select parts or layers by clicking them. If I want to save out JUST that object, I’ve got to either delete all the other layer folders and crop it, or I have to make a new window and then drag the folder to the other document and save it.

Part of this is that I got so used to the layers in Fireworks that it’s just hard to switch back. It’s SO FREEING being able to see an item and click on it and move it or work on it. The layers in PSD feel antiquated in how they work.

Then there’s the clunky vector tool that you have to apply layer styles to in order to work with. Again, it feels antiquated in how it works. Sure, I could work and work in psd and get used to it, but I can mock stuff up in Fireworks so much faster. I can deal with multiple objects faster. I can design a series of sliders for a website and put them each on a different page.

Even the slice tool feels easier to deal with (shape overlays, not just a bunch of dotted lines around the document).

PSD feels like a photo editor that added some web tools. Fireworks feels like it was created specifically to make stuff for screen/web exporting and slicing, etc.

I personally don’t WANT to use PSD the way I use Fireworks because it simply doesn’t work the same way. It would slow me down.

All that to say, you use what is comfortable to you. You may find using PSD is frustrating, or you might love it. I’m really hoping the PSD import in FW CS6 is better than CS5 though, because right now if someone gives me a PSD file I have to do all kinds of work to get thing into FW without losing the look.

Ah, probably one HUGE feature of Fireworks is the fact that his default file format is png. And that is so good because you pretty much hit Save… and you can use that png in your files for testing or whatever. You don’t need to export it. It’s cool because this way you can deal with only one file… and only at the end you can save the file as flatened png, to cut the filesize. :slight_smile:
Anyhow… at the end it’s a matter of choice. For what I do I think Fireworks is perfect. …I need to download the new one to see the new wonders. :slight_smile:

It’s a whole year since this topic has been discussed last time. Has anything changed so far? What is your preferred tool for web design: Fireworks, Illustrator or Photoshop? Which one is best to simulate responsiveness?

Just trying to choose which of these apps to start learning. The purpose is to develop WP-themes for sale.

Note: Arguments like “I find Photoshop a better choise since I’ve got used to it for the last ten years” don’t work for me. Objective opinions would be highly appreciated. :slight_smile: Thank you in advance.

Adobe has officially discontinued Fireworks so I think we are done with this discussion. Photoshop won! :wink:

Well, I was trying to choose between Illustrator and Fireworks. After I have seen Lynda’s video corses about Photoshop and Illustrator for web-design there is no doubt that Illustrator is a better choice for me to create responsive design. Even James Williamson from Lynda [dot] com uses it although he used to work in Photoshop. Responsive design emerged and this made him change his mind.

As a Fireworks designer, I’ve found CS6 to be great. I can usually export my designs to PSD with only minor changes needed. That being said, since they are no longer developing new versions I will have to move on eventually. It appears they are trying to push their “Edge” series as the product that fills the void. I looked into it and it appears to be a bit like Dreamweaver+Fireworks, in that it’s actually more of a CSS editor/WYSIWYG editor, but definitely better than the old crappy ones. That should be interesting, and may serve to make it easier/more efficient to create actually.

I have tried both Fireworks and Photoshop and I must say Fireworks is way more useful for building UI’s. Photoshop’s power is built with photos in mind and even thought they improved their pixel-perfect-compatibility in the last CS6 version, it is still very slow to work with it creating UI’s. My suggestion is to keep Fireworks for interfaces (apps, websites), Photoshop for photographs and Illustrator for graphics (icons, logos, posters, flyers).