Since posting this, I’ve been working a lot with FW CS3 and have realized that some of the points I make below are inaccurate. Inline text styling is actually possible in FW. What is not possible, at least from what I can tell, is applying text styles at a level more granular than the text object. So, my love affair with FW CS3 is *not* over – we just needed a little time apart ;)
Thanks again to Alan Musselman at Adobe!
I recently wrote about how I had high hopes for Fireworks CS3, in part because of how the prototyping process had been integrated into the design process, and because of the generally increased integration between former Macromedia products and Adobe products. But alas, after having now worked with the tool for a while, it turns out that, at least for now, FW will not be added to my design toolbox. But why oh why you say? After all, with the new version, it’s so easy to sketch out some ideas, hotlink them together into pages, and post it for discussion (I was able to crank out some simple prototypes literally in minutes.)
Well, as it happens, one seemingly innocuous missing feature spelled the end of my short (but intense) love affair with Fireworks CS3: no inline styling of text boxes. Huh? Why would that be such as big deal? Well, here take a look at this example:
Ok, so this one is pretty crazy-busy, but even so, having this many links on a page is not out of the question. Can you imagine having each of them in their own layer?! FW apparently treats text boxes as the most granularly defined object, so for example if you want to apply a style, you have to apply it to the whole block of text. Considering how critical the ability is to control the style of virtually every character on a page is in the world of modern user interface design, I’m very surprised that FW doesn’t have better support for this, especially considering that old clunkers like Visio have amazing formatting capabilities (clunky to do sometimes, but at least you can do it.) Hopefully, better support for this will be part of a future version of FW. Or, more likely, someone somewhere will figure out a hack for getting around this issue….