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Using the Properties panel

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using the Properties panel

The Properties panel is an essential panel when using Fireworks. It's context-sensitive, displaying properties for selected objects on the canvas or selected tools from the Tools panel. Let's take a look at what I mean by this whole context-sensitive thing. I've got a couple of files open - and feel free to open these yourself. They are in the Chapter 1 folder, mockup_index.png and logo_final.png. Now in the mockup file here, we have a lot of bitmap elements. We've got a background photo here of two people looking off into the sunset. We've got a whole range of other different elements inside of here.

Using the Properties panel

The Properties panel is an essential panel when using Fireworks. It's context-sensitive, displaying properties for selected objects on the canvas or selected tools from the Tools panel. Let's take a look at what I mean by this whole context-sensitive thing. I've got a couple of files open - and feel free to open these yourself. They are in the Chapter 1 folder, mockup_index.png and logo_final.png. Now in the mockup file here, we have a lot of bitmap elements. We've got a background photo here of two people looking off into the sunset. We've got a whole range of other different elements inside of here.

So, I'm going to go ahead and select that background photo. If I take a look down in the Properties panel, you'll see that we have just a little bit of information here, not a lot, because this is a bitmap image. So, we see the name that we were using in the Layers panel, in this case, I've called it photo. We see the Width and Height, and we also see its X and Y coordinates. We can also go ahead and adjust things like Transparency if we want. We can adjust the Opacity. Maybe take it down to about 80%, so they start to fade into the background a little bit.

Bring it back up to 100% there. We can add live filters if we want to, as well, to create editable special effects, or we can change the Blend mode. We're not going to do that in this case, but Blend modes basically give you the opportunity to blend the colors of the uppermost image, the selected object, with the colors of the objects that are below it. Now, if we take a look a little bit lower here into our text area, just going to select the heading, Explore our world your way. Now here, we have a piece of text selected. You notice we have a whole lot more going on in the Properties panel.

We've got the ability here, again, to do things like name the text for the Layers panel. We've got our Width and Height or X and Y coordinates. But we've also got the ability here to change so many different text options. We can change the Font family. We can change the Font style. We can change things like the Size, the Color, and the Alignment. There are quite a few different things that are available for editing just by clicking on that particular text object. I'm going to switch over to my logo_final. This is a vector graphic.

You'll see as I move my cursor through the design, different areas highlight for me. So I can go ahead. I'll grab that sunburst in the background there. In this case, here we have Attributes inside the Properties panel that controls the vector. So again, we've got the usual. We can name it. In this case, it's called Path, so I think I'll just select that and call it Sunburst. Here we go! I can also change the Width and Height or X and Y coordinates. I have lots of other controls for vectors from changing the Fill, the Stroke, and again, things like Opacity and the applying filters and so on, to it.

So I get lots of different control through this Properties panel. It's a panel that I pretty much always have opened. In case you want to maximize your real estate though, you have an option here to reduce the size of the Properties panel. You can see right beside the word Properties, a little double-headed triangle or up and down arrow. So if I click on that, I collapse the Properties panel down to half its own height. Click on it again. I can drop it down to just a tab. So I can free up a little more real estate if I need it. Now if I click on a third time, I go back up to the full height.

Like the panels over on the right-hand side, the Properties panel can be undocked. I can grab it and drag it off of its fixed position and let go. It will be a floating panel at this point. I can move it around. I can reposition. I can collapse it down to an icon with a name if I want to, just whatever works for me in that sense. I tend to not float the Properties panel to be quite honest. It's a big panel and no matter where I put it, it's always in the way of something. So I'm going to bring it back. I'm going to expand it again and bring it back into my base location here and just slide the two of them around so the property shows up over on the left-hand side.

So there you have a little quick overview of the Properties panel. So you see we can alter different elements existing inside of our design. But as I mentioned earlier, the Properties panel also has controls for tools. So if I go into my Tools panel here, and now let's see. I'll grab my Marquee tool. I select that. You see I've got options here for controlling the style of the Marquee, whether it's Normal, Fixed Ratio or Fixed Size. I can change the Edge of the Marquee from Hard to Anti-alias to Feather. I can also use something called Live marquee, where I can sort of, on the fly, adjust the Marquee Edge while I'm making a selection.

Each one of my tools has a different set of controls. So as I click on each one of these, you'll see I'm getting different options inside of the Properties panel. So there you have it! The Properties panel is a really important component of Fireworks. It gives you some really fine-tuned or fine-grained control over objects on the canvas or over the tools in your Tools panel. We'll be working a lot with the Properties panel throughout this entire course.

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This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29509 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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