How to Create Bitmap Graphics with Fireworks CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The Adobe Fireworks Creative Suite 5 bitmap tools include Blur, Brush, Eraser, Lasso, Magic Wand, Marquee, Pencil, and Rubber Stamp. Using these tools you can create bitmap graphics.

If you don’t see the Tools panel, choose Window→Tools.

Select Pixels

The selection tools let you grab hold of pixels. You use the Marquee tool, for example, to select a section of pixels that you want to move, clone, or change in some way. To experiment with the Marquee tool, follow these steps:

  1. Choose File→New to create a new Fireworks document.

    The New dialog box appears.

  2. Type 500 in both the Width and Height text boxes; leave Canvas set to White; then click OK.

    A new, blank document opens.

  3. Use the Marquee tool to click and drag in the workspace from top left to bottom right to create a rectangular marquee.

  4. Choose File→Swatches to open the Swatches panel.

  5. Click any color you want to use for the fill of your selection.

  6. Click the Paint Bucket tool (in the Colors section of the Tools panel) and then click inside the selection marquee to fill it with your selected color.

You’ve successfully created a bitmap graphic in Fireworks.

Move pixels

Use the Marquee tool to move the pixels to another location. If you’re a Photoshop user, notice that the Marquee tool works just like the selection tools in Photoshop.

To move the graphic you just selected, follow these steps:

  1. With the Marquee tool, click and drag over the bottom of your bitmap rectangle.

  2. Select the Pointer tool and then drag the marquee down.


Change pixel appearance

If you’ve followed along, you know how to select and move pixels and you’re ready to change the way selected pixels appear. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Select→Deselect or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D (Windows) or Command+D (Mac), to make sure you have no active selections.

  2. Hold down the Marquee tool to select the hidden Oval tool.

  3. While holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key, click and drag from the center of the rectangle you created.

    Many shortcuts you use in Illustrator and Photoshop also work in Fireworks — but not all. Finding compatible shortcuts is sort of hit-or-miss when you’re in the beginning stage with Fireworks. For details, choose Help→Fireworks Help and select Preferences and Keyboard Shortcuts from the list of topics on the left side of the Help window.


  4. To feather (soften) the edges of the selection, choose Feather from the Edge drop-down list in the Properties panel and set a feathering value (10 pixels is the default) in the combo box to the right of the Edge drop-down list.

  5. Press Ctrl+X (Windows) or Command+X (Mac) to delete your feather selection.

Use additional bitmap tools

Many bitmap tools are available for you to use in Fireworks, and here are some of these additional tools:

  • Brush: The Brush tool lets you paint just like you would in Photoshop, and you can mix it up with the selection tools to create interesting artwork.

  • Editing tools: Because you’re working with pixels, you can edit those pixels rather easily. Choose a tool:

    • Pencil: Use the Pencil tool to add detail.

    • Blur: The Blur tool softens edges.

    • Eraser: The Eraser tool eliminates pixels.

  • Rubber Stamp: The Rubber Stamp tool is similar to the one in Photoshop, and you use it the same way. Simply Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) a bitmap source that you want to clone; then release the Alt or Option key and start painting somewhere else in the image area. The source is re-created or cloned as you paint with the Rubber Stamp tool.