May 1st, 2010

35 comments

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Bugs in Fireworks CS5?!

I have long been a huge fan of the graphics program Adobe Fireworks, despite the lack of support it gets from its owner, and the bugs which plagued the last version. The new version has just been announced, so I just downloaded the trial of Fireworks CS5. I am considering purchasing it, despite the slightly ridiculous increase in price.

There are none of the new features I hoped for: especially custom brushes, or the ability to make tables, rather than lining up hundreds of text boxes, have not arrived. We have recieved a few tweaks here and there, but mostly we have been promised 900 bug fixes, stability improvements and better speed.

I can cope with that. Fireworks CS4 without the terrible text bugs will be fine thanks.

So I just started playing around, and decided to resize some text. I. Can. Not. BELIEVE that I just got the exact same bug that plagued CS4 – Ctrl+T resize of text, causing crazy distortions. Picture on the right.

This is on a brand new file, not imported from anywhere else, just a blank file, with two text boxes and Ctrl+T. Absolute fail.

Adobe, what the hell is going on?

Update:

Just to clarify to any Adobe tech people, this is on Fireworks CS5 installed on Windows XP, with 2gig ram (its having no trouble running it). The error is reproducible simply by creating a new file, creating a text box, and then resizing it using Free Transform (Ctrl+T), and dragging the corner arrow, which should be “scale with constrained proportions”.

Seriously, I absolutely demand a response to this. It just isn’t on! Us PC users still haven’t had the promised patch for CS4 yet, and now CS5 is causing the same problems! I have replicated the error in another file, visible below. You can also download the raw bug.PNG file here.

There are 35 Responses to “Bugs in Fireworks CS5?!”

  1. Why are you using Scale Tool for resizing a text block? Why not simply increase text size??

    And yes, I see the bug myself, but there’s an easy workaround: convert the text block to a Symbol (F8), then resize the block using Scale Tool. No problems! :)

    Another good idea is to not use Area Text for your text block that you plan to resize. Enter the text editing mode (double-click inside the text block) and then double-click top-right corner (white dot). Then you can also resize your text without any problems! :)

    Just some hints…

    Comment by Michel on May 2, 2010 at 9:41 am
  2. Yeah, CS5 is seeming more and more like a marketing release to generate more revenue for Adobe through all these new serviced-based applications like Business Catalyst and Live Review. All the design tools seem to only have had a few “shock and awe” widgets added to them in order to fool us into thinking they’re new versions, but they’re not.

    They keep touting native 64-bit applications… but CS4 came with an extremely buggy, almost unusable 64-bit version of Photoshop, so we basically paid to beta-test that. After Effects similarly had 64-bit technology being rolled into it, so those two apps aren’t really that new. It really to me, only seems like Premiere got the major “new-version” overhaul.

    Everything else just had some things welded on to it. Adobe is too worried about revenue and growth and are forgetting about the bread-and-butter products.

    Comment by Ross Newton on May 2, 2010 at 9:50 am
  3. PS More in my original post about Fireworks.

    Comment by Michel on May 2, 2010 at 9:51 am
  4. @Michel Because increasing text size is 3 steps to do the same thing –
    1. change textsize,
    2. resize box to make sure it fits in same way,
    3. check that the newly resized thing is exactly the size you want
    That is not time efficient.

    Regarding the symbol thing, yeh, I could do that, but its three steps again:
    1. convert to symbol
    2. resize
    3. convert back

    The white box won’t rescale, it just resizes the text box.

    Ultimately, I agree there are workarounds, but they are workarounds for a bug that *definitely* should not be there.

    There are many valid reasons for using the scale tool on text. The most important is that it is quick and easy.

    But in some situations, its the best tool for the job too. For example: http://allaboutchris.org/w/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/example.png
    Imagine you have made that in text, and then need to resize all three boxes, at once, in proportion to each other. Scale tool is the answer, and converting it to symbol every time is a poor man’s solution.

    Comment by Chris on May 2, 2010 at 11:16 am

  5. Chris:

    @Michel Because increasing text size is 3 steps to do the same thing –
    1. change textsize,
    2. resize box to make sure it fits in same way,
    3. check that the newly resized thing is exactly the size you want
    That is not time efficient.
    Regarding the symbol thing, yeh, I could do that, but its three steps again:
    1. convert to symbol
    2. resize
    3. convert back
    The white box won’t rescale, it just resizes the text box.
    Ultimately, I agree there are workarounds, but they are workarounds for a bug that *definitely* should not be there.
    There are many valid reasons for using the scale tool on text. The most important is that it is quick and easy.
    But in some situations, its the best tool for the job too. For example: http://allaboutchris.org/w/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/example.png
    Imagine you have made that in text, and then need to resize all three boxes, at once, in proportion to each other. Scale tool is the answer, and converting it to symbol every time is a poor man’s solution.

    Well, as I said, in some situation the bug/problem does not occur. You don’t have to use Convert to Symbol to fix the issue. Just convert the text block from Area Text to Point Text. How to do this? When in text editing mode (cursor blinking inside text block), just double-click top-right white dot (corner). Then, if needed, use line breaks to re-adjust text on a few lines. After that, you can easily scale the text with the Scale Tool and the bug will not show anymore! I think that text block that is in Area Text mode will show the bug but in Point Text will not…

    I rarely use Scale Tool for text objects so I did not meet the bug…

    If the issue is important to you, please you the Adobe bugform – the Fireworks Team will get your message! :)

    https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

    Comment by Michel on May 2, 2010 at 11:58 am
  6. Again, that’s not a realistic fix – point text doesn’t allow natural word wrapping – its useless for UI mockups that you want to play around with.

    I have contacted Adobe multiple times about this error in CS4. Since they haven’t fixed it yet, I’m not sure if its worth bothering again.

    Already had someone else on twitter saying they are having the same problems – Adobe just aren’t listening!

    Comment by Chris on May 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm
  7. Hi Chris,
    I have not yet upgraded to CS5, (using CS4) but if the so called bug is still there, that is too bad. But, the truth is, I rarely encounter the bug since I either scale my type with the point size slider or convert my type to symbol. It’s VERY EASY to edit the type once it is converted to symbol, just double click on it, edit it and the double click on the canvas to exit symbol mode. I typically only use the “Transform” Command/Control T option on single lines of text (Headlines/Banners) so I rarely encounter this issue. When I’m dealing with Text blocks, those are typically just place holders for the text that I will be entering in Dreamweaver.

    You have to realize the Fireworks shines as a web design and rapid prototyping tool. Both InDesign and Illustrator can handle scaling of text blocks better than Fireworks because they are publishing tools, and have been built that way for a long time. While Fireworks, in my opinion is a true Swiss Army Knife, I do still bounce back and forth from apps in the Adobe CS Suite if I need a particular feature/strength that the current software lacks.
    Again, it is frustrating, but not, in my opinion a game changer. I still think Fireworks is one of the best Adobe apps and am glad to see it included in CS5. And, no, I do not work for Adobe, either. Just a big FanBoy. 😉

    Comment by Michael C on May 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm
  8. No, I do understand, but there are just a lot of occasions where it is totally appropriate to be scaling text in Fireworks under the web design and rapid prototyping banner.

    For example, designing a site, and the client says “No, let’s make all this stuff bigger, and all this stuff smaller”. Work of a moment to Ctrl+T and resize it all, keeping it all in proportion with itself. Yes, there are workarounds, but these take slightly longer – yes, just moments, but this is meant to be a *rapid* prototyping tool.

    I agree that it’s not a game changer, Fireworks is still the best, but I just hate unnecessary extra clicks and workarounds for a problem that didn’t ever occur when I started using Fireworks MX 2003. Why should I have to work harder when Adobe already made me pay through the nose for the software?

    Comment by Chris on May 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm
  9. I agree that this can be a frustrating issue if scaling a text box is your common workflow. I don’t go that route so it’s not something I ever picked up on, to be honest.

    I believe in early versions of FW, prior to Adobe taking over, the old type rendering engine would allow for the kind of scaling you are talking about. I could be wrong, though. At any rate, ATE was added to FW for better integration with PS and AI, due to the huge number of complaints Adobe (and Macromedia for that matter) had received. Plus it makes business sense to have one Type Engine to to maintain, rather than two.

    So I think this may be an Adobe Type Engine issue, not specifically an FW issue. I tried the same thing in Photoshop and got the same results – and PS is even more of a bear to work with when using text – IMO anyway. Illustrator does the same thing. (I’m not much of an AI user, so maybe there’s a setting that I missed in that app.)

    Comment by Jim Babbage on May 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm
  10. I agree PS sucks for working with any real amount of text. But I’ve never had an issue doing Free Transform on it.

    Could I get a screenshot of it dying in PS? I will submit all these problems to Adobe.

    Gotta admit that using Free Transform is the most intuitive and time efficient way of doing it though? Resize a picture, Ctrl+T. Resize a shape, Ctrl+T. Resize text…

    Adobe don’t recommend manual editing image x and y attributes for resizing images. Why any different for text?

    Comment by Chris on May 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm
  11. I uploaded a twitter pic.

    And like I said, I don’t disagree with you. My point was that it doesn’t appear to be an FW only issue. If I drag a control handle in PS or AI to just widen or deepen(?) the text box, I get the same distortion you’ve described in FW.

    Now if I hold down Shift in PS and drag for proportional scaling, I get a proportionately larger text block with no distortion. That is not so in Fireworks. So there is a an inconsistency in that regard. At the same point, holding Shift is not required in FW for proportionate scaling.

    I can resize the text block (not size of font) pretty easily using the W and H values in the Properties panel. I can even do so proportionately. The text does not get distorted. Then it’s just a matter of altering font size if I want.

    Again though, if this workflow you are using is really important, I urge you and anyone else to report it. The more common the error is, the more likely it will be addressed.

    Comment by Jim Babbage on May 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm

  12. Chris:

    No, I do understand, but there are just a lot of occasions where it is totally appropriate to be scaling text in Fireworks under the web design and rapid prototyping banner.
    For example, designing a site, and the client says “No, let’s make all this stuff bigger, and all this stuff smaller”. Work of a moment to Ctrl+T and resize it all, keeping it all in proportion with itself. Yes, there are workarounds, but these take slightly longer – yes, just moments, but this is meant to be a *rapid* prototyping tool.
    I agree that it’s not a game changer, Fireworks is still the best, but I just hate unnecessary extra clicks and workarounds for a problem that didn’t ever occur when I started using Fireworks MX 2003. Why should I have to work harder when Adobe already made me pay through the nose for the software?

    Well, if bug exists in ATE engine (and not in Fw specifically), then really I see it really easy to do like this:

    1) Select the text block.
    2) Type new text size in text “Size” field, enter, DONE!

    Yes, different from Scale Tool but actually as easy as the Scale Tool, IMHO. And no bug. And still, even if you take this bug into account, Fw is still much easier to use than Ai/Ps for Web/screen design!! :)

    Comment by Michel on May 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm
  13. There’s no bug there. Just remember to hold down the shift or control key while you drag the corner. Works every time.

    Comment by Linda Nicholls on May 3, 2010 at 4:29 am
  14. @Linda I don’t agree that there’s no bug there. The reason I don’t agree is because I get the bug when I’m holding Shift. Or indeed, when I’m holding Control. Or no key at all. It is a bug.

    A lot of people are replying saying you shouldn’t use Free Transform on text. I massively disagree – do you use it as well Linda? Its clearly better than manually changing values in Property Inspector…

    Comment by Chris on May 3, 2010 at 11:12 am
  15. I disagree that Fireworks is much easier than Illustrator for web.

    It used to be, mainly because Illustrator was incapable of creating pixel perfect graphics. But CS5 adds that features. And I find it easier to deal with Illustrator’s slightly more complicated work flow, than to deal with the bugs and crashed in Fireworks.

    As far as I can see, FW CS5 has hardly anything new, some bug fixes, but many bugs still remain, I wonder if more than a handful of developers are working on Fireworks.

    I’m going to look for other options, sticking with FW CS4 in the meantime. Refuse to keep paying for beta quality software.

    Comment by Arpan on May 4, 2010 at 12:31 am
  16. @Arpan. Agree, the bugs are annoying, but the workflow does rule. So far, CS5 has been a lot less buggy than CS4 – especially the original unpatched CS4!

    I think the advantages over Illustrator are mainly the exporting option in FW for exporting web optimised images, and slices being more useable than artboards for exporting hundreds of images. Plus, obviously, better bitmap tools.

    Comment by Chris on May 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  17. @Michel Disagree that changing text size as good as scale – having to resize it a few times to get it the right size is slower – and what when you have multiple text boxes? Scale does them all at once, in proportion to each other, text resize will take ages, and you are not guaranteed the exact same ratios.

    However, totally agree that, even taking this bug into account, Fw still smacks anything else out there! :) indeed!

    Comment by Chris on May 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm
  18. Chris,

    I think your accusations are going a bit too far. I am able to replicate this as well, but I don’t think it’s a bug. Fireworks CS5 allows you to resize the box to a certain extent without the text warping, but if you try stretching too much it will distort the text.

    Do what you should be doing and increasing the text size and dragging the corners of the text box and not using the free transform tool on a text box without converting it to a symbol first.

    I think Fireworks CS5 is a awesome release, best so far actually. It’s fast and you can work so fluid like, it is way faster than CS3 / CS4 and I’ve not encountered any bugs.

    If you want to discuss bugs, try Dreamweaver CS5 32 bit on Windows XP and then you’ll have something to complain about.

    Comment by Dwayne on May 5, 2010 at 5:12 am
  19. @Dwayne I’ve explained in these replies why I think Free Transform is the best option. However, I still agree FW CS5 is looking awesome.

    However, very intrigued to hear about the DW bugs. Tell me more!

    Comment by Chris on May 5, 2010 at 10:07 am
  20. I have to say I agree with the folks who say you shouldn’t use the transform tool on text. :-) I don’t find that it interrupts my work flow to enter a number in the property inspector and then press Enter.

    Comment by Linda Nicholls on May 6, 2010 at 11:58 am
  21. the text in FW does not need scale tool at all as it has the best text editing mode in my opinion. It has its own PI for text which you can set font sizes and other formatting and using drag handles around the textbox to increase textarea.

    if you want more automation, please set shortcut keys to increase / decrease font sizes please.

    Please do not complain when there are better workflow already.

    Comment by Linus on May 13, 2010 at 9:48 am
  22. @Linus I am complaining because that’s clearly *not* a better workflow. Read the other comments, and you will see I have explained why that takes longer, is less intuitive, and thus a *worse* workflow than resizing text with the Transform tool.

    In the manual for Fireworks, it says that the transform tool is for resizing “objects”. That’s all selectable items, bitmaps, vectors, text. The manual says – “You can transform text blocks in the same ways you can transform other objects. You can scale, rotate, skew, and flip text to create unique text effects“.

    In other words, everyone here who says that its not part of the official Fireworks workflow is wrong. It is, and the manual confirms it.

    Comment by Chris on May 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm
  23. Hi Chris,
    There actually is a pretty simple way to make your text scale the way you want it without adding distortion. I figured it out when the problem started showing up on one graphic I was working on. The trick is to resize the text box itself to make it longer than the text in question before you apply the scale. As long as the scale isn’t wider than the text box then the scale will work normally.

    Comment by Aaron Hawkins on June 1, 2010 at 4:51 am
  24. CTRL+T to resize a text box? Never heard that one before. Change your workflow. You work for them.

    Comment by David on June 30, 2010 at 1:27 am
  25. I’m very aggravated by Fireworks CS5, is a big bag of shit that just keeps crashing and does silly things all the time. I feel like I’m spending more time working ahead of the bugs than doing real work. It’s so frustrating…

    Comment by Luca Candela on September 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm
  26. Fireworks is my most loved graphics application. After many months of testing I think I’ve finally realised the problem.

    For some reason the app performs very poorly on windows xp (sp3) At the office where I work we’re still on XP and well fireworks has been crashing on me so much lately that I was forced to switch to illustrator. (Photoshop handles to nonsensical for me) However at home on my Vista notebook and Win 7 box it performs perfectly fine.

    I think the best thing you can do in the mean time is download fireworks Air backup utility.

    Comment by Matt on December 7, 2010 at 10:13 am
  27. Hello, I’m new to FW, but I’ve just encountered the problem you wrote about, tried the workaround involving conversion to symbol, and discovered something else which might be of help: you can put the text object in a group (it can be the only object) and it will scale correctly. I guess this makes it easier to edit and adjust it than when it’s converted to a symbol, though I’m not sure as I’ve only just begun to learn Fireworks.
    Thanks for writing this post, it helped a lot in making sense of what happened to my text 😉

    Comment by Konrad on December 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm
  28. Yeh, I usually get round it by just selecting something else. If you have two things selected, the text bug doesn’t appear. Enjoy Fireworks – its an excellent tool!

    Comment by Chris on December 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm
  29. While this is annoying, the most fundamental problem for me is absolutely terrible anti aliasing. It just plain sucks.

    I am still using CS4 as this hasnt been addressed in CS5.

    I just dont get why this has been ignored.

    Comment by Steve on March 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm
  30. Not sure I’ve had this issue. I find antialiasing fine. (Still get irritated every time text resizing doesn’t work tho). Do you wanna upload a few examples so I can see what you mean? Intrigued as to what problem you are getting…

    Comment by Chris on March 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm
  31. Just came across this post. Weirdly, I’ve never seen that bug, as I never resize text with the transform tool. But it’s still in CS6, sadly.

    Anyway, about table creation: it’s not built-in, but you might find my Tables extension useful for mocking up tables in FW: http://johndunning.com/fireworks/about/Tables It lays out the elements in the table automatically, making it easy to quickly change column and row padding and borders.

    Comment by John Dunning on April 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm
  32. Thanks, will give that a go.

    How do you survive without the transform tool? What if you want to increase the size of 6 elements at once?

    Comment by Chris on April 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm
  33. I’ve also been frustrated with resizing and antialiasing – searching for help with the latter is what brought me here. Not sure if I’m seeing the same thing(s) as Steve, but in my experience I can frequently see text blocks lose their antialiasing (Fireworks CS5 on a Windows 7 box). The property inspector still shows that it’s there, but the edges are rough, and stay that way even when exporting a flattened version of the image.

    My workaround: chop the text into smaller pieces. Have to use trial and error approach to find a minimum size that works; just now I had to go down to two words for a large title font, while other blocks of text in the same file with a smaller size could be as long as 20 or 30 words before the jaggies showed up.

    Comment by Sky on May 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm
  34. And all these workarounds are fine, but they aren’t what is needed – bugfixes! I’ve bought CS6, will update you all on any improvements there!

    Comment by Chris on May 16, 2012 at 8:26 am
  35. Hello Chris, this bug in CS6 sent me searching for answers, and I found your blog. Agreed, this bug is unforgiveable 3 versions later. I can confirm this fast method of scaling worked fine* in CS3. Now in Cs6 it’s buggy.

    *CS3 had a text box transform bug in that the point size is misreported in the properties inspector.

    Frustrating for sure!

    Keep up the pressure :-)

    Comment by Paul on August 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

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