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Applying strokes

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Applying strokes

The two main characteristics of a vector are its fill and stroke. The fill is the area inside the vector path, and the stroke is the border that follows the path itself. We, as we've seen, we can fill a vector shape with quite a range of different characteristics from solid colors to gradient fills, to textures, to patterns. We're going to take a few minutes here to explore the Stroke options for vectors. So I've got a whole series of buttons that have been set up here almost like a style guide that might be handed to the client for approval. I want to make a couple of changes to one of the buttons, specifically my Explore button, the Rollover State.

Applying strokes

The two main characteristics of a vector are its fill and stroke. The fill is the area inside the vector path, and the stroke is the border that follows the path itself. We, as we've seen, we can fill a vector shape with quite a range of different characteristics from solid colors to gradient fills, to textures, to patterns. We're going to take a few minutes here to explore the Stroke options for vectors. So I've got a whole series of buttons that have been set up here almost like a style guide that might be handed to the client for approval. I want to make a couple of changes to one of the buttons, specifically my Explore button, the Rollover State.

So I'm going to make sure that my Subselection tool is chosen. The reason for that is these are all grouped objects, just to give you an example. If I grab my Pointer tool, I select the entire button. But I just want to affect one element withinside of this group. So I'm going to choose my Subselection tool, and I'm going to click on the actual button shape. Now if I take a look down in the Properties panel, I'll see that I have a Linear Fill. That's giving me my white to red fill. But I don't have any stroke on this particular button. I want to add a stroke to make things standout a little bit better.

So I'm going to go ahead and choose a stroke color. Now I can select color from anywhere, not just the color picker. If there's a color on the canvas or inside the application that I would rather use, I can just move my cursor over that color and select it. So I'm going to go over that red star and choose that color. And as soon as I select the color, you'll see it shows up inside the Properties panel. And if I click away from my button, you'll see that the effect has been applied, nice little even red stroke, and that doesn't look too bad. But aside from just adding in the stroke itself, we've also got a lot more control over the stroke.

We can change things like its position. So we can change characteristics like the stroke's alignment to the shape. So we can pop that stroke on the inside. We can pop it in the middle, or on the outside. The default tends to be the Middle. But really it comes down to you determining which most suits your end goals. So I'm going to go with the inside, and we'll take a look, and that looks not too bad. So aside from changing the position of the stroke, we can also change the actual size of the stroke. We can make it thicker or thinner. Our lowest number obviously is 1, but we can certainly make it thicker if we want.

We've got options here to change Stroke category. There're quite a few different ones to pick from. Now at a 1-Pixel brush and a 1-Pixel size, we're not going to see too much difference, regardless of what stroke we pick. Some of the strokes may be a little harder to see when they're set at 1-Pixel. So we're going to keep things the way they are for the time being at 1-Pixel Soft. Now just because we're working with a single pixel doesn't mean we're out of options. I can go ahead and choose to Edit the Stroke and change some of its categories. So I'm going to go down to the bottom of my stroke area in the Properties panel and choose Edit Stroke.

I'll just move this window out of the way a bit. This is actually new to Fireworks CS5, the ability to access the Stroke Options Right from the Properties panel makes it a lot easier to get to these things, because it's used to take a bit of drilling down to find this panel. So all I'm going to do here is I'm going to change my Dash settings, which currently are set to None. I'm going to go with a Single Dash. I just want things to look a little bit different. I can see down below a preview of what that stroke is going to look like. I can change the value, for example, change it from Off 2 to Off 4.

If I tab away from that, you'll see I get a little more spacing, and it might be a little more noticeable here actually on my canvas. Once I've got something that I like, I can just click OK. I'll just deselect the stroke again so you can see what we've got. So here we've got that nice little dashed border all the way around. Now, if I've spent a bit of time putting together the stroke as a custom setting, I may want to hang on to this for future use. I've got other buttons here to deal with after all. So after I've created my custom stroke, I can go down and choose to Save that Custom Stroke. So I'll click on the Save icon.

We get our little Save Stroke dialog box coming up, and we get a chance to name this. So I'm going to call this explore_dash and click OK. Now, where does that get saved exactly? Well, let's take a look. In our Stroke Categories, you'll see it's showing up in the main button, but the Stroke itself gets saved inside the same category folder as the original stroke. So in this case, we are dealing with pencil stroke. You'll see there we've got Pixel Hard, Pixel Soft, Colored Pencil, explore_dash and Graphite. So that's where that particular stroke has been saved.

So anytime I want, I can go and grab any other vector shape. Well let's go, and grab this circle around my Explore star here and change that to Pencil explore_dash and just like that, instant dash, notice it takes on the color characteristics of that particular object as well, which is nice a little bonus feature. So there you've got a couple of ways to actually work with strokes, creating new strokes, saving the strokes and just in case you get tired of it, you don't want it anymore, you've also got the option to delete the custom stroke. Click on that little Trashcan.

You get a little warning box from Fireworks saying, are you sure you want to do this? If you click OK, it'll be removed from the Stroke Categories. It'll still show up though inside the Stroke Category button until you change things around them. One last thing before we wrap up. You can also apply strokes to text. Now I've got this Explore text out here in the bottom of my button list. I'm going to select that. We still have the options in here for Stroke. You'll see, inside the Properties panel, there's that little Stroke icon, and I can go ahead, select that color value, and I can pick a color again. I can do it from the Color Picker or from the canvas.

I think this time I will go and grab it from my Canvas as well. As soon as you select a color, you will see the stroke gets applied to the actual text. This tends to work better with large bold text, maybe if you're doing text for design purposes only. For small text, the result usually isn't that desirable, but it's worth knowing that you have the option of applying it, and you can certainly experiment with the color and even, again, experiment with Stroke Categories when you're working with text. Strokes can help to define an edge for a shape, for better separation from a background, or if a stroke is applied to text, it can act as a highlight to outline the text and make it stand out more.

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This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29558 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. What is Fireworks?
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 1h 27m
    1. Creating and opening documents
      7m 36s
    2. Understanding the interface
      9m 43s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 18s
    4. Setting up rulers, guides, and grids
      10m 7s
    5. Using tooltips and Smart Guides
      5m 40s
    6. Working with panels
      9m 29s
    7. Working with pages
      8m 59s
    8. Working with layers
      13m 13s
    9. Working with states
      4m 35s
    10. Using the Properties panel
      4m 38s
    11. Using the Preferences panel
      7m 34s
  3. 52m 39s
    1. Understanding the Fireworks PNG format
      2m 11s
    2. Saving and exporting files
      5m 11s
    3. Importing files
      5m 34s
    4. Opening Photoshop files
      6m 7s
    5. Opening Illustrator files
      3m 58s
    6. Exporting a single file
      9m 57s
    7. Using the Image Preview window
      1m 52s
    8. Using the Export Area tool
      3m 10s
    9. Creating PDF files
      4m 16s
    10. Saving Photoshop files
      5m 48s
    11. Using Fireworks files for Illustrator
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding bitmaps
      1m 32s
    2. Resizing images
      3m 48s
    3. Using the selection tools
      8m 0s
    4. Using the drawing tools
      8m 19s
    5. Retouching with the corrective tools: Rubber Stamp
      12m 16s
    6. Using the bitmap effects tools: Blur, Sharpen, and Replace Color
      7m 33s
    7. Using more bitmap effects tools: Dodge and Burn
      7m 1s
    8. Improving images using the Levels filter
      8m 15s
    9. Creating a bitmap mask with a selection
      6m 2s
  5. 1h 10m
    1. Looking at the vector toolset
      6m 53s
    2. Using the Pen tool
      7m 32s
    3. Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools
      4m 35s
    4. Filling shapes with patterns and live filters
      3m 17s
    5. Using Auto Shapes
      7m 24s
    6. Using shapes as image elements
      4m 16s
    7. Scaling shapes
      5m 28s
    8. Masking objects with vector shapes
      7m 13s
    9. Applying strokes
      5m 52s
    10. Using Vector Path and Path Scrubber
      6m 9s
    11. Using the Compound Shape tool
      7m 40s
    12. Using Snap to Pixel
      2m 15s
    13. Using Gradient Dither
      1m 46s
  6. 51m 18s
    1. Understanding symbols
      5m 41s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      13m 11s
    3. Creating button symbols
      10m 22s
    4. Creating animation symbols
      5m 4s
    5. Sharing symbols with the Common Library
      1m 37s
    6. Editing the instance of a symbol
      3m 46s
    7. Adding component symbols to a design
      8m 46s
    8. Exporting and importing symbols
      2m 51s
  7. 17m 34s
    1. Creating GIF animations
      9m 31s
    2. Animating with Twist and Fade
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a tweened animation
      4m 16s
  8. 26m 46s
    1. Using text in Fireworks
      7m 19s
    2. Understanding text properties
      3m 14s
    3. Adding text in a path
      4m 43s
    4. Adding text to a path
      4m 31s
    5. Using text as a mask
      3m 35s
    6. Maintaining crisp text in web images
      3m 24s
  9. 28m 35s
    1. Having fun with filters
      8m 44s
    2. Working with Styles
      4m 10s
    3. Using Blend Modes
      4m 40s
    4. Converting bitmap selections to paths
      3m 50s
    5. Working with Adobe Swatch Exchange files
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Kuler panel for color inspiration
      4m 38s
  10. 1h 14m
    1. Understanding the web toolset
      1m 51s
    2. Creating hotspots
      6m 22s
    3. Using the Slice tool
      8m 57s
    4. Using a master page
      5m 20s
    5. Sharing layers across pages
      4m 49s
    6. Sharing web layers across pages
      3m 30s
    7. Using HTML component symbols
      3m 15s
    8. Creating choices and showing design options to clients
      7m 7s
    9. Importing pages
      2m 47s
    10. Previewing the mockup
      4m 17s
    11. Using HTML prototyping
      5m 22s
    12. Improving the workflow
      20m 30s
  11. 33m 19s
    1. Optimizing images for export, part 1
      15m 36s
    2. Optimizing images for export, part 2
      13m 36s
    3. Generating a CSS-based layout
      4m 7s
  12. 22m 20s
    1. Integrating Fireworks, FXG, and Flash Catalyst
      3m 56s
    2. Integrating Fireworks and Flash
      3m 46s
    3. Using roundtrip editing between Dreamweaver and Fireworks
      5m 52s
    4. Copying and pasting objects to Dreamweaver
      2m 57s
    5. Integrating Fireworks and Device Central
      4m 13s
    6. Working with Bridge
      1m 36s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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