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Where possible, I try to use as many tools as I can, that are at my disposal, to get my work done in the most efficient manner possible. Now, of course, I sometimes will create a lot of design work inside of Illustrator, but I can also use Fireworks as well. In fact, Fireworks has some really interesting features. In fact, there are some shape drawing tools that exist inside of Fireworks that are not inside of Illustrator at all. In fact, you may find it easier that sometimes you can draw shapes inside of Fireworks and then bring them back into Illustrator than it might be to actually to draw them from scratch inside of Illustrator.
Let's take a look at what I mean. I'm here inside of Fireworks, and I'm going to create a new document. Make it about 300 x 250. It doesn't really make a difference what size. I just want to have some kind of document open on my screen. You can see that if you look at the Tool panel, there are some Shape tools that come with Fireworks. For example, there's the Rectangle tool, the Ellipse, and Polygon tool, but there's also a whole bunch of customized shape tools, Arrow tools, an Arrow Line tool, Beveled Rectangle, Doughnut shapes, for example, and Rounded Rectangle. You know that, specifically in web design, a lot of the look that you see out there are, shapes that have these rounded edges, or rounded rectangles.
Now, Illustrator does have a Rounded Rectangle tool, and Illustrator also has the ability to apply a rounded corner effect to any shape. However, there's no easy way to specify which corners you want to have rounded on a rectangle. One of the nice things about Fireworks is that there is a really cool function, with the Rounded Rectangle tool, that allows you to round only specific corners of a rectangle. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to take the Rounded Rectangle tool here and just simply click and drag out this rectangle. Notice that you have these gold diamonds that appear on the areas.
Now, if I hold down my Option key on a Mac, or Alt on Windows, you can see that those gold diamonds turn red. If I click and drag on them, I'm only adjusting the rounded edges on just that one corner. So, if I take this right now and drag it out this way, and drag this out this way, I get a rectangle, basically, that has a corner and a corner on these ends but rounded corners on these ends. Well, I can now use this inside of Illustrator, simply by taking it, copying it, switching over to Illustrator - let me create a new document, I'll create a new web-based document and click OK - and then I'll paste it.
But you'll notice that right away I have an image, because if I look up now at my Control panel, I'll see that what really got pasted now into Illustrator is an embedded image. This is actually pixels, and not a vector shape. But don't worry. The whole reason why I'm showing you this tutorial is because there is a way to get around this. There is a way to get vectors from Fireworks into Illustrator, and let me show you how. I'm going to delete this object right now. I'm going to switch back to Fireworks. Instead of simply copying this object, I'm going to go to the Edit menu, and I'm going to choose Copy as Vectors.
What's interesting is that you'll actually get a dialog box here that says, "You can now use Edit > Copy to get full appearance and improved editability when copying objects to paste into Adobe applications such as Adobe Flash." Well, interestingly enough, this does not make it easier to actually copy and paste artwork into Illustrator, as we've just seen. So, I actually now chose Edit, and then I want it to copy as vectors. Now I'm going to click OK. I can choose, by the way, that option to not show that dialog box again. But now when I switch back to Illustrator and I paste, I'm pasting the vector version of that artwork, and you can see that right now it is indeed a path, and it does have the corners just where that I wanted.
So, many times, you can actually go back into Fireworks, draw a shape, get some of those really nice customized shapes that you have now inside of Fireworks, and then simply copy and paste them back as vectors right into Illustrator.
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