by Bruce Bowman


October 21, 2009

[edit: We’ve announced that we’re doing a Fireworks CS4 update/bug fix release for Mac OS X to fix all of these issues.]
Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard has been in the market for almost 2 months now, so it is time for a follow-up on our compatibility. The good news is that we haven’t found anything yet that should prevent you from using Fireworks CS4 with Snow Leopard. There are three known issues that we’ll discuss in this post.
First, if you haven’t already, you should update to the latest version of Fireworks CS4 by using our 10.0.3 Updater. It is available via the Adobe Update Manager and on
Crash on Quit issue
There’s only one issue that we’re seeing reported broadly and consistently, and that is that Fireworks CS4 may crash when you select File > Quit or Command-Q. Thanks to crash reports submitted by users, we have an idea of how common this is, and also, what the problem is. This crash only happens on some Snow Leopard installations where Fireworks CS4 is running.
If you are one of the people experiencing this issue, then we want to reassure you that it is not a harmful crash. Our engineers have found the offending code, and determined that all unsaved documents can be safely saved before the code that causes the crash executes.
The code that is causing this crash has been in the product since we first released Fireworks CS3, and did not cause crashes until it was executed on (some, but not all) Snow Leopard installations. It is conceivable that if you’re using Fireworks CS3 on Snow Leopard that you may also experience this crash, although we have not been able to cause that to happen in our tests.
We’ll continue to monitor these crash reports to determine if we can find a workaround, and to understand how common the crash is for our customers [edit: as Snow Leopard continues to proliferate]. At this time, we have no planned update release to fix this since it is harmless and causes no data loss. We regret any inconvenience this causes.
“Fireworks cannot run……” error message on launch
If you are one of the few people that are experiencing this problem, search your system using Spotlight for a file named “Song.dfont”. If you have this font, then temporarily remove it from the “/Library/Fonts/” folder and launch Fireworks CS4. If the problem goes away, then your font may have become corrupted.
Hang when selecting the Text tool
This issue is happening less frequently than the crash on quit issue above, but also seems new and unique to customers using Fireworks CS4 on Snow Leopard. On some Snow Leopard installations, customers may experience a hang (a spinning beachball cursor that goes forever) when selecting the Text tool and manipulating text. Fortunately we have determined that this is caused by a corrupted GlobalResources file, and we have a simple fix for this issue. Follow these steps to resolve the problem:

  • Quit all running applications. A restart is not a bad idea, but may not be necessary.

  • Navigate to “/Applications/Adobe Fireworks CS4/Required/” folder.

  • Rename the file, “GlobalResources” to something like “GlobalResources_original”.

  • Now download a new version of this file and place it in the same location.

  • You should now be able to use Fireworks CS4 without experiencing this problem.

CAUTION: This solution needs to be used ONLY when you are experiencing the beachball cursor hangs when selecting the text tool. The other issue of crash on exit will not be solved by this file replacement technique.
A TechNote about this issue can be found at:
If you are experiencing other problems using Fireworks CS4 on Snow Leopard, please let us know. Be sure to submit any Crash Reports because we look at everyone of these and they’re very valuable in helping us find the issues and to understand how common an issue is. Also, please report your issue using our online Bug and Feature Request form.
Bruce Bowman
Fireworks product manager
twitter: @brucebowman

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  • By anonymous coward - 2:29 PM on October 21, 2009  

    i look forward to ‘crash on quit’ in FW CS5, seeing as how it’s not very important to *you*.

  • By Chris - 3:32 PM on October 23, 2009  

    Re: Crash on Quit:
    The problem is reported “broadly and consistently” *and* you know what the problem is, but since it doesn’t cause damage it’s not worth fixing? That sounds like a product with no support to me. I WANT to like FireWorks but it just doesn’t feel up to par with Illustrator and if you’re not going to bother fixing tiny bugs like crashing on quit, I don’t have much hope for it.

  • By Frank Stewart - 11:34 AM on October 27, 2009  

    I am having the “Fireworks cannot run……” error message on launch. I searched for the Song.dfont and did not find it on my system. I have an open support tickets and I am growing very angry that I cannot use Fireworks CS4.
    Snow Leopard came pre-installed in my brand new MacBook and I need someone to help me. I need to use Fireworks – not to mention I paid for it.

  • By Geoff - 7:49 AM on October 30, 2009  

    I’m so proud to be running “fully supported on Snow Leopard” software that crashes on quit, with no planned update to fix the issue.
    I feel like telling the whole world how awesome Adobe is, and can’t wait to buy CS5. In fact, I hope Snow Leopard starts giving me kernel panics when I shut down.
    Seriously, the “our paying customers don’t really need software that quits without spawning a crash report” attitude has finally pushed me over the edge. Adios, Adobe.

  • By Spirit - 11:59 AM on October 30, 2009  

    This is not acceptable.

  • By Rob Welsh - 9:09 AM on November 2, 2009  

    Yeah I have to say I agree. Adobe software is far from cheap and I’m afraid with the type of attitude shown in the above post, I now know where I stand and I’ll therefore be seeking alternatives ASAP. Adios, Adobe.

  • By bill Jacobson Consulting - 2:47 AM on November 3, 2009  

    What are Alternatives to Fireworks and Dreamweaver ( which also crashes on quit) and unexpectedly every time I use it?

  • By Shrin - 5:43 PM on November 3, 2009  

    How could you be waiting “…to understand how common the crash is..” when you also say that the bug is being reported “broadly and consistently”?? How stupid do you think we are?!?

  • By fillyouin - 12:42 PM on November 10, 2009  

    What an absolute disgrace – you are the product manager for a market leading product and you announce that after several months of people griping about crashes, that you know what the problem is, but don’t consider it harmful enough (i.e. important) enough to fix it.
    Not only that buy you’ve had test/dev versions of snow leopard for several months prior to this, so really this problem has been in existence for somewhere approaching 6 months.
    so in 6-8 months when you announce your “latest and greatest” CS5, you’ll expect people to pay through the nose and upgrade? Me thinks not –
    people pay a premium for excellence – a good product, with good support. So far you have delivered an untested, sub-par product and next to no support (bar the very lame posts from your techs on various sites asking for us to submit the crash reports – which as most of the posts indicate, this is being done more than daily anyway).
    Absolute disgrace. You really need to get a new management structure in place and quick.

  • By peter - 10:20 PM on November 13, 2009  

    Fireworks cannot run – good one. Search for Song.dfont – why not search for 4711.ebodasihcsiloof –
    cs4 master on a mac is banana software -> gets eatable in customers fridge. I dont zhink we will buy the next 10 cs5 releases

  • By Peter Labrow - 1:22 AM on November 14, 2009  

    This is disgusting. You may not think it’s important, but you’re not trying to use Fireworks every day to earn a living. It doesn’t just crash when you exit, it crashes for no reason, when nothing is happening, all the time. I have lost count of how many crash reports I have submitted – you guys have no idea about customer service. (I had one very rare crash from Quark, I submitted a crash report and had someone calling me within 2 hours, without me asking for it!!) This is a significant issue affecting a significant number of users, you know what’s causing it, you’ve stated that CS4 is fully supported in Snow Leopard – FIX IT AND STOP AVOIDING THE ISSUE. End of story. Yes, this is an angry rant. Your software is VERY EXPENSIVE even as an upgrade and customers deserve that the supported software works without issues that happen EVERY DAY SEVERAL TIMES A DAY. Get your act together. (And don’t even get me started on your lame on-line store/account which states that my CS4 product is still not in stock when I have had it for over a year, and doesn’t even list all the things I’ve bought from you. Not good enough.) I now use Coda for web development instead of Dreamweaver, Quark instead of InDesign and would be more than happy to find an alternative to Fireworks – but it’s such a unique piece of software, ideal for web design. It just needs to work.

  • By jchap - 6:57 AM on November 18, 2009  

    There’s another one of my applications that also “crashes on quit”: Life Balance by Llamagraphics. Command+Q “crashes” it every time.
    I can understand why you guys and gals at Adobe aren’t giving this high priority, because it doesn’t really result in any data loss. But you have to admit, it’s kind of like your car horn giving you a nasty razz every time you turn off the ignition. Sure, it’s harmless, and it doesn’t hurt anybody. But it doesn’t add to the user experience, either. In fact, it detracts from it.
    Quality products are products that make people feel good. People that feel good are in turn productive. Shame on you, Adobe, for not knowing and putting into practice this essential fact. You’re treating this whole software development business like an assembly line, and your paying customers are starting to see that Adobe is cutting corners instead of building fine quality into their products. We’ve paid up the nose for Adobe products because they give us the creative options we need. We don’t need the razz at the end.
    Either your programmers know what is going on and can fix it, or they can’t. It’s easy for anyone to make excuses, but that doesn’t improve your paying customer’s outlook on your product.

  • By Vajra - 8:50 PM on November 23, 2009  

    Fireworks CS4 and 10.6
    Hang when selecting the Text tool
    the fix (new GlobalResources made sure its unix and removed preffs) worked once then after a shut down beach ball again fixed worked again but not after the 3rd shut down! Now what

  • By accessoire - 12:51 AM on November 26, 2009  

    Dear Fireworks team,
    I’d like to know if there will be a beta for Fireworks CS5 available on Adobe Labs somewhen?
    I would really like to know what to expect for CS5. I’m exploring Fireworks CS4 right now and I would like to prepare for a fluid workflow between all Adobe apps. Can you give us any hints about Illustrator import/export and Photoshop import (adjustment layers mainly)?

  • By Andrew Wheeler - 10:08 AM on December 2, 2009  

    “At this time, we have no planned update release to fix this since it is harmless and causes no data loss.”
    With all due respect, this is a very lazy response to the problem.
    You claim to produce the best, most word class software in the market – and yet glaring bugs in the software are not addressed, or even road mapped to be fixed.
    The software is NOT fit for purpose to run on snow leopard, period. Just because I can save my work before the crash does not mean its ‘ok’ and to be swept under the carpet.
    I would expect a response like this from a small time open source project, but £200’s worth of software from Adobe?
    I would appreciate your comments so we can work through these (and other) bugs. You can email me direct:
    Best Regards,
    Andrew Wheeler
    TBO Media
    (Running Fireworks CS4 + SL 10.6.2)

  • By Kristopher - 1:50 PM on December 3, 2009  

    The fact that an update has still not been issued for this level of a software product, I find this completely, utterly unacceptable. If Adobe’s solution is to upgrade to CS5, I will be even more infuriated.
    I hope this is the end of the road for Adobe and Adobe products. That lack of support and innovation and timeliness is truly disappointing.

  • By jefferis peterson - 11:24 AM on December 4, 2009  

    First of all, this crash on quit has been happening to me since CS3 on the Mac and Prior to Leopard. Since upgrading to Leopard and CS4 now ALL adobe apps crash on quit. ALL of them. Extension Manager & FW every time, DW and Pshop some of the time. I’ve sent 500 crash reports for 2 years. Nice to know it is only a “snow leopard” issue

  • By jefferis peterson - 11:49 AM on December 4, 2009  

    I’ve posted a bug report. FW CS4 loses knowledge of which window is active when choosing export:

  • By Nick Lo - 4:46 AM on December 7, 2009  

    We bought our copies of Fireworks CS4 in November 2008 and can confirm that “This crash only happens on some Snow Leopard installations where Fireworks CS4 is running.” isn’t the case as it has been crashing this way well before we installed Snow Leopard. Also it’s much more consistent than “Fireworks CS4 may crash” instead it almost always crashes.
    I can only echo the dissatisfaction of the other comments to this post. I think the bottom line is that I no longer trust the software. We’ve given up on so much Adobe software with only Photoshop CS3 and Fireworks CS4 remaining. Watching for alternatives has become a necessary and regular activity.

  • By Sarthak Singhal - 9:21 PM on December 7, 2009  

    Thank you for that excellent screencast. We are aware of this issue and are actively looking into them.

  • By Steven - 9:09 PM on December 12, 2009  

    I’m actually installing CS4 on my other MacBook right now (I have to post from this computer since Safari can’t be open during the installation) and I found this blog because I was considering installing Fireworks — but after reading this post, I’ve decided that Fireworks is just another Device Central… unchecked.
    A product with such glaring bugs shouldn’t even be installed on a Mac running OS X Snow Leopard, it just dirties up the user experience.
    Ps, Il, and Fl still gotta be there though… at least they don’t crash every time I quit.

  • By mike s - 7:07 AM on December 14, 2009  

    As ever, I am astounded by your lack of a sense of quality. If I did my job with the cavalier attitude about fixing software as you do, I’d be fired.
    What’s wrong with fixing your software for the scores of people who have paid good money (which goes to your salaries) for it?

  • By mike s - 7:10 AM on December 14, 2009  

    BTW, we have bought 4 copies of Creative Suite 4, to use fireworks cs4. NONE of our designers use CS4 now, we all have reverted to CS3. This is because it CONSISTENTLY crashes on files with lots of pages. NO FIX has ever been posted, it seems that you Just don’t care

  • By DJ - 8:53 PM on December 14, 2009  

    To their credit, it did take Adobe longer than I expected to ruin Fireworks.

  • By Shaun B - 7:39 AM on December 29, 2009  

    This is an unacceptable answer. Fixes to widespread problems should be offered as free updates, not passed off with ‘you’ll have to upgrade to the new version’ …
    I doubt Adobe will be offering free CS5 upgrades to all the users who experience this problem.
    This is the sort of response I would expect from Microsoft, not Adobe.

  • By LM - 12:31 PM on January 15, 2010  

    Wow!!! I’ve been having soooo (easily a dozen a day) many crashes and I’ve been fighting with Adobe’s tech support just about every single week since July 2009!!! I had no idea that this blog existed until now. I have submitted 30+ screen grabs and uploaded .log files repeatedly and even begged for help from Adobe to address the crashing I’ve been having on my PC systems (32 and 64 bit).
    Oddly, my requests for help keep ending with partial replies of non-solutions, or Adobe literally claiming they’ve contacted me when they clearly haven’t (cel phone records don’t lie and I only have one number and one e-mail), or worse yet, they’ve even been playing this game where they decided to start a new Case ID, and then archive my old case which just causes massive delays and extra unnecessary problems (it took me awhile to realize that this was something Adobe support was doing to *hide* my single complain and make it appear as if I were calling with a new issue each month… as if the old issue was fixed or just went away!).
    What an amazingly piss-poor release CS4 Fireworks is. And how shameful it appears Adobe is handling it. I’ve lost thousands of dollars on 2 jobs that I just couldn’t deliver b/c of this amazingly bad piece of software.
    Man, I’m sorry, but I use real high-end 3D software like Maya – which is really dense technology — and from my perspective this Adobe stuff is proving itself un-worthy of professional use, right? It’s just pro-sumer software and supported by such a crappy support that it would be criminal if it weren’t free. I feel your pain folks. I truly do. I’ve poored so many WASTED MAN-HOURS into trying to make something of this software – only to loose it due to it’s bugs and poor design and poor support. 2009 has been the year I discovered that both Microsoft and Adobe just need to step aside and let meaningful and progressive change take over with a new a successor. They’re too big for their own good, and ours; despite all their educated staff, resources, money and technology, they just don’t get it and seemingly can’t get it; at least not enough to somehow, pull it together.
    Any recommendations for people like me who’d really rather now be using software that, um, *works*. Preferably from a technology company who actually believes your (my) time is valuable, not to mention the money?

  • By Lenny Smith - 3:02 PM on January 17, 2010  

    I’m sorry to say but Fireworks CS4 is the most buggy, sloppy and poorly developed piece of crap in it’s history.
    It’s *almost* unusable!!
    I have to save my file every minute because I’m scared of losing work when it crashes, which it inevitably does at least 3 or 4 times a day (in an 8 hour work day). However, saving a file with multiple pages takes about 1 minute to save with a hang and a spinning beachball (OSX) every single time, it’s ridiculously slow.
    As soon as a decent alternative comes out, you guys are screwed!! Everyone will jump ship in a heartbeat!
    We’re all tired of your plethora or bugs, your 100 gimmick features that no one uses and your bloated price.
    Be warned, there is only a certain amount of time you can treat your customers like crap and give them shitty software before it comes back to haunt you.

  • By Dave Miller - 6:39 AM on January 21, 2010  

    I have to agree with Lenny Smith – Fireworks CS4 on my mac is so slow and keeps crashing. It’s a really stressful user experience, and at the price and coming from a large professional software company – I expect it to work. Can you please do something to (1) make it run faster (2) make it more stable. Very disappointing!

  • By Reza Yazdi - 6:47 AM on January 21, 2010  

    Hey ADOBE !!!!!! if you guys dont get your act together I am taking my business elsewhere. Fireworks on OSX sucks sucks sucks sucks !!!!!!!!!!!!!! and i have been using it for years to earn a living. but if you guys are too cool to make a good product , I am leaving ….

  • By Dave Miller - 11:36 AM on January 21, 2010  

    I’ve had nothing back from Adobe, I reckon they don’t care. I don’t know how they stand legally on this – selling something they know doesn’t work?

  • By Michael Lovatt - 11:42 AM on January 25, 2010  

    Well the GlobalResources file switch has sorted out my worst problem the text tool crashes, so thank god for that. However I still get crashes on quit which is annoying, and overall it is very sluggish. The CSS export functionality (which I was very excited about) is totally bug ridden, and only half works, sometimes. Come on Adobe get on the ball, I’ve been a customer of your since the early 90’s, most of us are professional users who depend your software daily, its not acceptable. The program probably needs a whole rewrite.

  • By David Radisic - 12:56 AM on February 2, 2010  

    I can understand why Adobe think this is a bug not worth fixing as it after all during a quit, unexpectedly quiting message is of no importance I just report and continue what I was doing.
    Now most times that I switch between Fireworks and dreamweaver and try to open or upload a file in Dreamweaver I get the beach ball and Dreamweaver hangs. I have to force quit and restart again.
    I have found that anything I do after restarting that Dreamweaver crashes again, so now I restart Dreamweaver, open the website I am working on and quit manually, once it has closed I reopen Dreamweaver and all seems to work fine.
    Possibly this is due to working on an external firewire drive, I don’t know, that is why we have the Adobe support teams who are there to solve these problems.
    Looking forward to your support and answers.
    If this is not resolved in CS4 then I will not be purchasing CS5 or any other Adobe products in the future. Why are we having these problems considering how much we paid for the software?

  • By Christopher Tilley - 8:51 PM on February 3, 2010  

    I actually made the jump back to Windows because of this. Steve you can thank Adobe for that.
    Adobe products work great in Windows 7 with only minor bugs……which haven’t been fixed yet…….can’t figure that one out.
    Good luck rewriting in cocoa you dinosaurs.

  • By Julian - 2:40 PM on February 7, 2010  

    I would also like to add my dissatisfaction with Adobe fireworks on a Mac. It’s been buggy for ever and one patch for Fireworks in 2 years? This is just very frustrating for us people that have spent thousands of dollars on you buggy products. I hope you get you *hit together.

  • By Ben Frain - 9:14 AM on February 11, 2010  

    An absolutely disgraceful attitude. It should be a matter of company pride that the quitting on exit is fixed. Adobe, you should be ashamed.

  • By Josh H - 8:52 AM on February 13, 2010  

    First, this statement offends me as a customer and others (see above)…
    “At this time, we have no planned update release to fix this since it is harmless and causes no data loss. We regret any inconvenience this causes.”
    (It’s obvious that you don’t “regret the inconvenience” it causes us, otherwise you’d try to make it right.)
    The fact that these constant and consistent crashes drive your customers nuts on a daily basis AND you know what the problem is but won’t fix it, infuriates me and obviously others. You show no respect or understanding for the money and time we’ve invested in your software.
    Then, you’re gonna tell us everything is fixed in CS5 and tell us to upgrade from CS4, spending more money. We shouldn’t have to pay to have these things FIXED. If you’re not going to fix them until CS5 then we should get Fireworks CS5 for free since you sold us incomplete and buggy beta software known as Fireworks CS4. We’ve put the time in, sending you all the crash reports and descriptions of what happened, with not a word back. We deserve better than this.
    You have a chance now to make this right before losing (what used to be loyal) customers for good. Show us you can make it right.

  • By Zeb - 4:18 AM on February 14, 2010  

    The so called Fireworks text selection fix does not work i have tried and tried still it will not stop FW’s from hanging….. A very disappointed owner

  • By Brendon - 1:14 AM on February 15, 2010  

    Try buying the full Web Dev Suite – in NZ dollars, then you will know how peeved I am at spending a couple of THOUSAND dollars and hearing this sort of response! I don’t know any other software company that has this sort of attitude – “yeh, its a bug, so what? we’re not going to fix it, we’re too busy spending your money you paid us for this buggy software.”
    Its criminal, seriously. Bring back Macromedia, at least they provided support with FREE updates.

  • By Mary Lou Nye - 9:59 AM on February 17, 2010  

    I am having the hanging beach ball problem in CS3. Is there a fix for that. It is making Fireworks totally unusable.

  • By Kevin Jackson - 8:27 PM on February 18, 2010  

    Having the crash on quit problem on my Macs as well. I do find it curious that if the same behavior were to happen on a PC Microsoft would be shouldering all of the blame. Curious way of looking at the world.

  • By Tunc - 3:55 AM on March 2, 2010  

    We need to congratulate Adobe for becoming as same level as Microsoft now!

  • By Brian - 7:47 AM on March 3, 2010  

    To those of you peeved about all the money you’ve wasted — stop giving your hard-earned cash to this lazy, indifferent company.
    Every single piece of software I use is licensed and paid for EXCEPT for Adobe products — I GLADLY AND PROUDLY pirate every single version, and will continue to do so until Adobe shows some sort of commitment to its current customers.
    When they show me that they care, that they listen and are dedicated to releasing stable software, I will GLADLY and ENTHUSIASTICALLY pay for every copy I use.
    As I write this I’m staring at a Fireworks window with a document I spent about an hour on, that won’t save or do anything — it’s completely lost.
    And while it sucks and technically costs me money in lost productivity, I do take comfort in knowing that instead of handing some criminal $400 for this miserable piece of garbage, I voiced my opinion by showing as much indifference toward their means of making a living as they would show me if I were a paying customer.

  • By James R - 4:43 PM on March 11, 2010  

    After midnight and I’m starting a project due in the morning for the third time today after several random Frieworks crashes, Flash crash and a one system freeze. This is on a clean install of CS4 with latest patches to software and OS. It crashes on save, on text changes, even when I’m not doing anything. No other piece of software I use crashes at all. It is beyond belief that serious FLAWS in CS are not fixed in point updates and users expected to shell out for the next release in the hope it ends the 2 years of hair loss they endured trying to work with CS4. If this the future under the Adobe monopoly, I never thought I’d say it but MS Expression suite is starting look attractive.

  • By Brendon - 1:33 PM on March 15, 2010  

    Apparently – its going to be fixed.
    Why its taken so long, who knows.

  • By Paul Ingraham - 1:52 PM on March 16, 2010  

    The instability of FW CS4 on Snow Leopard, still after so many months, is really just appalling. I don’t know how anyone on the Fireworks team can sleep at night. I could dial my own perfectionism down 90% and still have higher standards than they are exhibiting.

  • By Bill - 4:46 PM on March 19, 2010  

    I am seeing a lawer !!

  • By john - 4:50 PM on March 19, 2010  

    yep sounds good – think class action is only way

  • By Danielle - 1:20 AM on April 15, 2010  

    The quit on exit does not inspire confidence but I have far more pressing issues with Fireworks – its handling of text is terrible – from constantly jumping out of the text boxes to crashes from just changing text colour, and no integration with loading fonts through suitcase. These issues mar what is an extremely good program. Will there be progress on these issues in CS4?