Exploring the Path Scrubber Tools in Fireworks

I often get asked how to use the Path Scrubber tools and find myself forgetting how to use them properly since I often use a tablet to control the various elements for sensitive strokes. The trick is to go into the Stroke’s Advanced Options and add pressure and other options. You’ll discover unique combinations with all the options once you start to experiment with creating custom strokes.

Understanding the Path Scrubber tools:

  1. Create a new document
  2. Using the Vector Path tool (P), create a stroke on the canvas.

    Note: The tool’s effect works better when applied to strokes larger than 4pts and only on pressure sensitive strokes such as:

    • Air Brush
    • Line tool
    • Bamboo
    • Calligraphy
    • Pencil
  3. Select the stroke and go to:

    Property Inspector > Stroke type > Stroke Options > Advanced…

  4. Move the “Edit Stroke” panel to the side of the stroke you created on the canvas which will allow you to tweak the appearance real-time.
  5. Add 76% for the pressure and 100% for speed or adjust how you see fit, click Ok when you’re finished modifying the stroke’s appearance.
  6. Before closing the Stroke Options pop up panel, save the stroke style by clicking the “Save” icon in the lower-right corner. You might accidentally change the stroke so this way you can select the stroke anytime without re-creating it. (At least this happens to me when using the tablet on occasions. :S )
  7. Select the [+] additive or [-] subtractive scrubber tool and brush or tap around on the stroke

Tip: By default, the scrubber tools do not have a keyboard shortcut. Add the key "7" to both scrubber tools in "Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts…" to flip back and forth while scrubbing the paths to create a more realistic stroke effect.