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Web graphics to see Fireworks

Macromedia introduces low-cost software designed to unify the production environment for creating and optimizing graphics for the Web.

Macromedia introduced low-cost software designed to unify the production environment for creating and optimizing graphics for the Web.

Company executives are touting Fireworks as software that simplifies Internet image creation for designers who now use several applications to lay out text, compose text and bitmap images, and then optimize the GIF size. The change back and forth causes chronic complaint among graphics professionals.

Other Web-focused features include the ability to "slice" an image for faster downloading and then export the component graphics and the HTML table for reassembly in the viewer's browser. Fireworks also has a built-in "image map layer" to simplify assignment of URL links, and a button generation feature which produces up, down, rollover, and hit states for button graphics.

Because it's limited to Internet graphics, Fireworks is able to undercut the combined price of image creation and image compression software. Fireworks will sell for $299, while Photoshop and Debabelizer together can easily cost some $800. Fireworks images would not be exportable to traditional print and motion picture media, however.

Fireworks is due to ship this summer for Windows NT, Windows 95, and the Macintosh PowerPC platforms.