FOTD 13: Fireworks 8 – Image Editing Panel

Fireworks 8 got some very nice updates this release, and several of them are in the form of new SWF-based panels that either extend, or consolidate groups of functionality in Fireworks around key tasks. Today I’m going to shine a flashlight on the new Image Editing Panel in Fireworks 8- which is basically a handy centralized location for all the functions you’ll need the most when editing digital photos, design comps and other bitmap images. Let’s take a look.

image_editing_panel.jpg
The new Image Editing Panel

You can bring up the Image Editing Panel (if it’s not already displayed in your ‘panel stack’) by choosing “Window > Image Editing”. Across the top you’ll find 7 icons, from left to right they are:

  • Red Eye Removal Tool
  • Crop Tool
  • Rotate
    (functionally the same as the crop tool, which serves both purposes)
  • Blur Tool
  • Sharpen Tool
  • Dodge Tool
  • Burn Tool

As you’d expect, these icons simply allow you quick access to the most common tools used during image editing. But there’s a lot more hidden in the ‘subsection menus’ beneath the icons. Let’s step through these next.Transform ToolsThese tools apply the following commands to a selected object:

  • Free Transform
  • Scale
  • Skew
  • Distort
  • Free Rotate

Transform CommandsThe Transform Commands menu lets you apply the following commands to selected objects:

  • Numeric Transform
  • Rotate 180 Degrees
  • Rotate 90 Degrees CW (Clockwise)
  • Rotate 90 Degrees CCW (Counter-Clockwise)
  • Flip Horizontal
  • Flip Vertical
  • Remove Transformations

Adjust ColorYou can apply the following filters to a selected object from within the Adjust Color menu:

  • Auto Levels
  • Brightness/Contrast
  • Curves…
  • Hue/Saturation…
  • Invert
  • Levels…
  • Convert to Grayscale
  • Convert to Sepia Tone

FiltersSome of the most common filters used in Fireworks can be quickly accessed via the Filters menu:

  • Blur
  • Blur More…
  • Sharpen
  • Sharpen More…
  • Unsharp Mask
  • Add Noise
  • Convert to Alpha
  • Find Edges

View OptionsAnd finally, the View Options menu gives you quick access to some of the more common view options you may want to toggle on/off while editing images:

  • Show/Hide Rulers
  • Show/Hide Grid
  • Snap/Don’t Snap to Grid
  • Edit Grid…

Now of course this panel doesn’t add new functionality in Fireworks, it helps consolidate your options and streamline your workflow- which you’ll find a common theme throughout the new Studio 8 products. Personally speaking, I find the Image Editing panel a great time-saver to have out and floating next to my image – especially when I’m working with a Wacom tablet and stylus – so I have virtually all the options I’ll need close at hand without needing to wander the menus. If you find this type of feature interesting, then by all means leave a comment and let me know- there’s more ‘workflow-centered’ panels like this added to Fireworks 8 that I could talk more about, if you’re interested. See you tomorrow for FOTD #14!