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