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Fireworks 8 Essential Training with Abigail Rudner is a video-based tutorial designed for beginning to intermediate Fireworks users who need to design and export static, animated, and interactive graphics for the Web. This tutorial begins with an overview of the Fireworks 8 interface, then advances to cover topics such as working with vector tools, manipulating bitmap images, image optimization and exporting methods, as well as integration with Dreamweaver 8 and Flash 8. Exercise files accompany the training videos, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
It's time to talk about one more feature before we leave the Vector Drawing Tools chapter, and that is working with rulers, guides, and grid. I'm going to choose File>New, and create a new file that is 400 by 400, 72 pixels per inch, and white. I'm going to show you a few things about guides and grids. First of all, the way that grids look is different than they were looking in past versions of Fireworks.
The grid color is lighter and it is created from dotted lines that are gray instead of a solid line. Under View>Guides is where you can show your guides. And under View>Grid is where you can show your grid. Now I have already shown the grid by choosing View>Grid>Show Grid. I can turn it off by clicking this again, View>Grid>Show Grid, and now it's back on again. Under View>Grid>Edit Grid, I can change the color of the grid.
I can change the width of the grid squares; I can make them larger or smaller. I'll make them a bit larger; I'll make them 50 pixels. And you can see if I click Okay now, I don't have to have a grid that is squares, it can be rectangles. Again, View>Grid>Edit Grid, I'll make my grid darker again, so in case you can't see it. I can choose whether I want my objects to snap to the grid or not. Sometimes you can use the snapping to help you quickly align elements inside of a design, other times snapping can be annoying, so you may want to turn this on and off as you need it.
I'll change this to 50 by 50 pixels, and click Okay. And so here's my new fancy grid and it fits nicely inside of my 400 pixel per inch width and height document. Let me show you what snapping will do. I'm going to create a rectangle, it's a black rectangle, and when I move this rectangle you can see that I can get it away from the line if I want to. However, if I choose View>Grid, and turn Snap to Grid on, now when I move this object I can very easily get it to line up right with the grid edges, and you can feel it, it's kind of a kinesthetic experience.
You can feel the object snapping up into the corner. Sometimes you'll want things to snap, other times you'll want to turn off snapping. Okay, so that's the grid. Now, View>Guides, well, guides are not as helpful without rulers, so I'm going to turn on rulers. And by turning on rulers I get two rulers: one at the top of my document window, and one to the left side. Now I could just look at this selected object and see that it's 83 wide by 88 pixels, but the nice thing about the ruler is that it has this origin point.
And when you click in this upper left hand corner you can move this cross-hair and begin your zero at a particular place or object in your document; you can measure widths and heights this way. Now my zero point is starting here where I reset it. So you can click and drag and place this zero point, or the beginning of your ruler, into a new position. To reset the ruler you can double click in the upper left hand corner. I'm going to do that, and you can see that now my zero is repositioned at the upper left hand corner, or the origin of the document.
Another thing that you can do with rulers is drag out guides. Guides can be extremely helpful in designing. Guides are dropped into your document by clicking inside the ruler and dragging down into the canvas. Now you'll notice if I click a guide and use it just to see where the edge of something is and then move it into the gray area, not inside my document, it just disappears. So it's very important to realize that if your cursor, or your handle, is not within the document, notice I might want this green line, this green guide, inside my document, but if I don't have the cursor inside the document when I drop it, it won't stay in.
See I have the guide inside the document, but the cursor is to the left, outside the document, and when I release, no guide. So try that out. Also, the vertical ruler works the same as the horizontal ruler; you can drag out guides, you can just use guides to check alignment. By keeping the cursor outside in the gray area, and when you release, your guide will not drop into your artwork. Under View>Guides again, snapping is on in this case. You can turn it off.
Now it's off. View>Guides, and editing guides allows you to change their color, you can show or hide guides, snap to guides, you can lock guides if you want. If you are done with these particular guides, you could drag them out of your document one at a time. I'll do that in a second here, I'll re-demo that. But to wipe them all out in fell swoop, click the Clear All button and click Okay. Now again, if I drag in a guide I can actually move it out individually by clicking on it again.
So I can move a shape and then go back to a guide and move a guide just like that. Going back one more time into Guides, and >Edit Guides. Whoops, I think I just locked them, but that's okay. >Edit Guides, you can see I inadvertently locked my guides. I'm going to click off locking. This guide area below the horizontal line is an aspect of guides that pertains to working with the web layer in Fireworks, which we will go over in detail. But in the meantime, what you're going to see later is a special type of a guide called a Slice Guide, and it will be red.
I'll point that out to you when we get into that chapter. But just like guides and grids, you can change the color. I can change the slice guide to magenta if I want. Going to change it back to red. And you can show or hide your guides, whether they're slice guides or regular guides that can be shown or hidden. Going to click Okay. So this may be a section you'll want to refer to again later when you get into working with your own more complex documents. But I wanted to give you a quick review on what you can do with guides, how you can control them, and clear them, and work with rulers.
That's it for now.
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