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Using Auto Shapes

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using Auto Shapes

AutoShapes are special vector shapes. They are not just a vector path, but they are controlled by JavaScript to make it easy to edit the shape onscreen. Now, you'll find AutoShapes in a couple different of locations in Fireworks. Over here in the Vector tools set, if you click on the rectangle, you'll see a whole series of shapes Arrows, Beveled Rectangles, Doughnuts, Measuring tools, Rounded Rectangles and so on, all located down below that dividing line. These are all different AutoShapes. The other place you'll find AutoShapes is over in the AutoShapes panel. We'll double-click on that, and you'll see we have a whole range of other different shapes inside of this panel as well.

Using Auto Shapes

AutoShapes are special vector shapes. They are not just a vector path, but they are controlled by JavaScript to make it easy to edit the shape onscreen. Now, you'll find AutoShapes in a couple different of locations in Fireworks. Over here in the Vector tools set, if you click on the rectangle, you'll see a whole series of shapes Arrows, Beveled Rectangles, Doughnuts, Measuring tools, Rounded Rectangles and so on, all located down below that dividing line. These are all different AutoShapes. The other place you'll find AutoShapes is over in the AutoShapes panel. We'll double-click on that, and you'll see we have a whole range of other different shapes inside of this panel as well.

These are all stock assets of Fireworks. So we are going to work with AutoShape from my Vector tools. We're also going to be working with some AutoShapes from the AutoShapes panel. We'll start with the Tools panel. And what I want to do is I want to add a star shape to my little tag. So I am going to go down to the very bottom here to find my Star. And the great thing about this is you don't have to do a lot of preset. It's basically going to draw, when I click and drag, a star shape for me automatically, just like that. When I let go the mouse, it'll fill with whatever color was currently selected in the Properties panel. I am going to zoom in a little bit.

Sometimes when you are working with a small shape like this, it makes it easier to zoom in, so you can actually reposition things. So I am just going to reposition this, and I want to make a couple of changes to this. You notice these little yellow diamonds in different places. Well, these control different components of the star. I can, first of all, change the number of points. Now, I want a five-pointed star here. Just to show you what I mean, you can go all the way down to a triangle, all the way up to like a sun burst, if you want to just by dragging that one slider. Now think about this for a minute. We've looked at the Pen tool.

We've looked at the Free Form tool and the Reshape tool. Adding a bunch of extra points to create a custom shape, a multi pointed star, for example, while it isn't impossible, it's going to take you bit a time. So this really does save you a lot of time. I can change the radius of the star. I can even change the outer radius as well. I can do whatever I want with this thing. It's all controlled programmatically. And I can even make the stars' points rounder if I want by controlling that diamond there. And I am going to select my Scale tool so I can just rotate my star around a little bit, pop it in the middle and double-click, maybe make that quite so narrow.

There we go. And I am going to change the color as well. I'd like to have this white. So really quickly, you can drop in these AutoShapes, customize them a little bit, and it saves you a lot of time from having to build the entire shape from scratch. Now, that's one example. I want to show you some other examples that are, to me, kind of fall more under the productivity side of Fireworks than the creative site, but they're very handy tools in and of themselves. I am going to switch over to my mockup_index.png file. And I am going to zoom out. I press Control+Minus a few times so I can see a little bit more of my design.

And actually, there is my tag, again, right there. But what I want to do here is I want to add in some of the kind of neat productivity features that we see inside of the AutoShapes panel. Now, the first one I am going to work with is one called the Annotation AutoShape, and you'll see it right here. It's at the top of the list, and this is a kind of a neat little feature. If you're working on a team for design, you may have questions about something you're working on, or you may have questions about something somebody else did. And if you're passing files back and forth, what better way to ask questions than to include your questions in the file itself, and this is where the Annotation AutoShape comes in really handy.

So I am going to move this onto my canvas. I am going to bring it over here. And I'll zoom in a little bit so we can see things a bit better. And it's a little tiny icon to begin with. If you look really closely, you'll see a little diamond in there once you select it. Click on the diamond, you'll get a little bubble showing. So I am going to resize this bubble, and I am going to reposition things a little bit. We are at a fairly zoomed out range here. So you don't really see the text too well. So I'll zoom in a little bit more. There we go. That's better. And I am just going to go ahead and grab my Sub Selection tool, click on the text that's in there, and if I double -click, I get my Text Editing tool.

So I am going to change this default information to something a little more useful. And the question is going to be, Are the monthly special logos too small? There we go. There is my question. And I'll just grab my Pointer tool. Now, one little thing about the AutoShapes is that if you're going and editing inside the shape, sometimes you'll get a message from Fireworks saying that we've edited subelement of the AutoShape. And this is a pretty typical message you'll get, especially with the annotate shape. You're not actually hurting anything in this case.

So you can just say OK. And if we click back on our shape, you can see all the control buttons are still there. I think I'll make my shape a little bit smaller again. And if I want to, I can just click on the Annotation button again, and it will just bring it down to one specific little tiny icon. I think I'll move that over, just so it's sort of in the right general area. I can leave it open. I can close it down. Really, it's up to me. So I'll just keep it open for now so we can see it. So that's one of the shapes. Now, the other one that I find really helpful is the File Info.

Again, this is just a neat thing. You're not thinking of it as a shape per se, but it's actually a nice little production tool. And again, we are dealing with a fairly large file here. So I am zooming out just to show you how it would apply this. If you, again, take a look in the AutoShapes panel, you'll see an icon in the third row, over on the right, and this is the File Info AutoShape, and it's a pretty cool little feature. I am just going to click and drag it. I am not even going to worry about where I drag it. Now, watch what happens. Fireworks automatically pushes it down to the bottom of the canvas, which is pretty cool. I am going to zoom in a little bit here, so I can see this a little bit better.

And what you see is a whole range of information about this specific file: the file name, the dimensions, the resolution, how many pages were in the file, how many layers, how many states when it was created right down to the date and time, what platform it was created on and what software it was used to create it. That's a really handy little AutoShape, because you can just drop this in the bottom of any design you are working on, and you've got all the basic information about the file right at your fingertips. Now that in itself is kind of neat, but what's really cool about this is you can actually edit this information.

You can customize it. So I am going to click on the shape itself. You'll see one little diamond that says Change Format. If I click on that, we get this little JavaScript dialog box. And I mentioned earlier that AutoShapes are controlled by JavaScript. Well, here's an example of the kind of things you'll find inside the script itself. We basically have a legend of all the different things I can add to my document info, and the way they should be written out. There is always a %L okay? For example, for layers there is a comma and then %F for States. And if you take a look right after the States, you'll see a backslash and an R.

Now, that is not part of your set of categories up here. What that does is it gives you a line break. So you notice that my information drops into two lines. If I take that line break out, just delete it like so, add a space between when I think I will add a comma just to make sure we don't end up with any weirdness going on, and I click OK, notice that my information now spreads across one single line inside the AutoShapes. So that's pretty cool. So I could break this into multiple lines just by adding that backslash on the R, or I can bring it down to one single line if I want to.

So now, you have seen a few different AutoShapes. As you can tell, they're a lot more than the ones we were looking at, found inside both the Vector tools and also inside the AutoShapes panel. They're there to play with, experiment with. By all means, give them a try, have some fun with them and see how they can fit into your workflow.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29555 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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