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Fireworks Anti-Aliasing

 2:31 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else noticed how terrible the text anti-aliasing in Fireworks is? When using small font sizes even the crisp anti-aliasing renders the text unreadable. The other settings work well for huge text, but that's it. Am I missing something? Is there something in the preferences that changes the anti-aliasing method? If not this is a huge problem for a program that is meant for web graphics. It's hard to believe I may have to go back to Paint Shop Pro because of this.....


Alternative Future

 2:51 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello and welcome to WebMasterWorld jfred1979,

Fireworks does seem to have a limit on how small text can go before loosing it, it can be brought down as far as 10pts using crisp ant-alias along with the expansion of the AV (not a graphics person though, so am unsure on the meaning of AV).

Hopefully someone else might have a better idea than me.



 5:15 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would try playing with the settings a little more - and remember that some fonts just plain looks crappy too small.

I use photoshop and fireworks - if I want something to look really good I go with photoshop hands down. I mainly use Fireworks for cropping and optimizing images - just cause it loads so much faster.


 6:24 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

remember that some fonts just plain looks crappy too small.

Yep. If adjusting your anti-alising settings to 'crisp' doesn't work, you might try a different font. At small sizes, enough of the subtle differences between fonts are lost that "most legible" is really the primary concern. I've found Verdana usually works well, although I sometimes have to adjust letter spacing individually.


 8:15 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I understand that some fonts don't work well at small sizes but I'm comparing the same fonts rendered in Fireworks and Paint Shop Pro, and most of them look fine in PSP but terrible in Fireworks. This is a pity because am really beginning to enjoy working in Fireworks. I may just end up going to PSP whenever I want to edit text and import it into Fireworks! What a pain in the ass.....


 8:22 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

why not try photoshop?


 8:22 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think I will try photoshop, can fireworks and photoshop files be transfered keeping the layer structure intact?


 8:27 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you already have PSP, and you say PSP works well, why use photoshop OR fireworks? I can't imagine why you'd need three different graphics programs cluttering up your hard drive...


 7:17 pm on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't like working in PSP all that much, Fireworks is more pleasant to use and I can generally get things done much quicker.


 7:36 pm on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would say if you only wanted to use one - definatly go with Photoshop - I really can't think of a convincing argument why you would choose any other program over it.

Although I use Photoshop and Fireworks - and you can open a .psd file in fireworks and layers will be intact - altough you might run into problems if you have layer styles attached.

I use them both but for different tasks - like if I need to make a really fine selection or cut an object out of a picture - no way I'm using anything but Photoshop - the others just arn't as high of quality - IMHO that is.


 5:33 pm on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would say if you only wanted to use one - definatly go with Photoshop - I really can't think of a convincing argument why you would choose any other program over it.

Well, there's the price issue. PSP is a great choice for someone starting out who can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on one program.

But that said, Photoshop is the only one I use. ;) Especially now that they are starting to have some decent vector tools for it.


 11:55 pm on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)


A way to do small type (used by many top professionals) is to NOT use anti-aliasing on as much type as possible at 10pt or below. Also if possible, choose one of the system fonts Arial, Veranda or Tahoma.

If you look at the type on this very WW page it is crisp and clear precisely because it is 'as is' without anti-aliasing.

Anti-aliasing was designed for use with larger font sizes and line weights; yes, this rule does apply to thin line weights --- don't anti-alias these either.


 12:54 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you think the anti-aliasing is poor in MX, just be glad you are not using an older version like FW2. I vaguely remember saying "whoa!" or something similar upon upgrading. Still, most of my text/font headaches happen in graphic programs by Macromedia, which finally spurred a shopping spree over at Adobe. If money is not a factor, ditto the other recommendations for Photoshop, although in some cases you can get different results by starting in Illustrator, too.


 9:11 pm on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've decided to go with the suggestion of many and not use anti-aliasing on the page I'm working on, I realized I've been spending way too much time on this and even though I prefer the look of the anti-aliased text from PSP it's just too much hassle to keep moving from one program to the other. I am still a little suprised at the way Fireworks handles this, I would have expected it be a little better in this area given that it's designed for web graphics. How are the web specific features in Photoshop? Does it allow image slicing? One of the things I really like about Fireworks is the way it handles symbols which makes changing buttons and rollovers a snap.


 9:33 pm on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

ya fireworks is great for turning graphics into webpages and slicing up images - especially if you also use dreamweaver. You can slide back and forth between programs like silk.

Photoshop in my opinion still has the best image slicing tool of the main graphics programs out there. You just click the slice tool and drag out your slice. The nice thing is you can then go and adjust the slices numericaly and name them too. Once you get used to it - its almost too easy!

This brings up another point though - optimizing file size of images - again I'm gonna kiss adobes A$$ - photoshop is much much more powerful then fireworks. You will be able to get a smaller file size with less distortion using photoshop.


 9:39 pm on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Photoshop comes bundled with ImageReady, which handles slicing like a dream. If you drag line guides into your image in Photoshop, when you move to ImageReady, you can automatically create slices according to your guide marks.

Word of caution though... don't use the automatically-generated rollover code from ImageReady. It's hugely bloated (then again, so is FW's auto code, or anyone else's for that matter).

But for handling slicing and optimization, ImageReady and PS's Save for Web feature do a great job.


 8:12 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think I'll have to take another look at Photoshop. Last time I checked it out was a while ago and I remember it didn't look great for web then (limited vector support was a major concern. One other feature I really like in Fireworks is how you can add effects (drop shadows, etc) and not have them permament, it will recalculate all the effects so you can turn them on and off. Anything like this in Photoshop?


 8:15 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Layer Styles in photoshop allows you to apply a variety of effects to individual layers in the image and then turn their visibility on or off, or edit the effects an unlimited number of times, or turn them off (delete them, as it were) entirely.

The History palette (if you set it to the max 99 steps memory) also allows you to back up through your editing steps if need be.



 4:30 pm on Apr 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

I reckon fireworks was used for the MSN emoticons. It has a great degree of power and in general working with vectors in fireworks is a treat. But text antialiasing is extremely crummy at low sizes, in that it doesn't have the type support that psp has. Any hinting is lost in fireworks type, meaning that it looks identical to when you convert text to single shape in psp.

Since psp's handling of text is obviously superior, we can only hope macromedia get the idea...


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