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Macromedia updates design tool

The company says Fireworks 2.0 is integrated with much of the functions of its design tool Dreamweaver 2.0.

Macromedia today said it is set to release the latest version of its graphic design tool for the Web, Fireworks 2.0, scheduled to ship by early March.

Fireworks 2.0 is integrated with much of the functionality of its Web design tool Dreamweaver 2.0, which shipped in December.

The latest version that comes out of Macromedia's Web products development division comes with a number of enhancements since the product was first released, as follows:

• A locked-in color feature that allows users to manipulate images and reduce file sizes, while never altering the color.

• A wizard that helps the user design within a particular file size.

• Additional color possibilities with a new dithering feature that creates more "Web safe" color options.

The new product uses many of the conventional wizard and WYSISYG ("what you see is what you get") user interfaces that are included in comparable packages and has added more ease-of-use features, according to Macromedia.

Fireworks 2.0 will be available in both Windows and Macintosh platforms. It is priced at $199; users of the previous version can purchase upgrades for $129. Macromedia also will offer the tool bundled with Dreamweaver, available in the Dreamweaver Fireworks Studio package for $399.