Scale3/Scale9 Components for Fireworks?

Oh this soooo rocks!! If you havent seen Senocular’s Scale3/Scale9 extension for Fireworks, then by all means download the PNG now, open it in Fireworks and maniplulate the components yourself to see how much time this can save you when prototyping applications or re-usable site layout elements. (You only need to install the extension if you want to create your own custom components.)

Why am I excited about this?

Have you ever had to make mock designs with elements that you had to:

  1. Select the bitmap (Lets say its an OSX form submit button)
  2. Cut it up into 3 bitmaps. (Left corner, Middle, Right Corner)
  3. Use the arrow keys to nudge the corners out so the word "Please Click me" fits on the button
  4. Scale the middle slice horizontally so it meets the left and right corners with no gaps. Nice! That just took 1-2 minutes!

Now open the PNG file, grab a control node on a button and slide it to the right.

What do you think? Was that faster? Any suggestions to improve?

Can you imagine the possibilities this can have with prototyping site layouts, flash apps, or anything like custom containers/rectangles where the corners need to stay intact? I’ve used the components a couple times already and sped the process up by 90%, however, when you need to create a custom component, it might take some time, but you only need to do it once!