Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Trevor Parsons, Peter Silva, Elizabeth White, Rex Morrow, Datical

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

Repurposing Fireworks Web Design Comps for Extra Dollars

Adapt Your Design Comps, Use PowerPoint Design Templates

Have you ever wondered what to do with all those web site design comps - even the ones the clients rejected? Are you looking for new ideas and ways to use your design skills with Fireworks? It's time to break free of the browser and HTML restrictions, unleash your creativity, and let the graphic power of Fireworks take you in a new direction: PowerPoint Design Templates. It only takes a few modifications and enhancements to the original PNG files, export as a PNG, and import into PowerPoint. Even Fireworks-generated button images import into PowerPoint to use as customized bullet points, action buttons, and graphic design elements.

When you create a web site design, you consider several criteria such as monitor resolution, wide format, on-screen color, and navigation between pages. These also apply when you design a PowerPoint presentation. In a PowerPoint presentation the action buttons help navigate from one slide to another and from one presentation to another. You can also add hyperlinks to web sites. As you begin to explore the similarities, you can start to envision that it will take just a few changes to adapt your Fireworks web design comps and turn them into a PowerPoint Design.

Basic Web Site Design Comp
A design comp is a simple layout of a web site page that consists of basic shapes. You start with a canvas sized for a web page, add wire frames (simple basic shapes), develop a color scheme, and add a few basic elements.

Now, let's examine the process to create a simple design comp for a fictitious web site for a plant nursery company called JQ Plants and Gardens:

  1. In Fireworks, start with a new canvas and the appropriate dimensions for a web page.
  2. Now draw some rectangles and other basic shapes to block in your design (see Figure 1).
  3. Develop a color scheme and add color to the basic shapes (see Figure 2).
This basic block approach serves as the basic design comp for the web page. The basic page can be modified for different pages of the site. For example, to create an interesting home page add a graphic to the top and add a 50% Grass texture to the main color block (see Figure 3).

In the next stage of the design comp, add more basic elements such as the corporate logo and the navigation button images (see Figures 4 and 5). Now the design comp is ready to transform to a design for PowerPoint.

Modify and Enhance for On Screen Presentation
At this point in the process, you can add artistic enhancements for the on screen presentation without browser or HMTL restrictions and make some slight modifications to the layout. Be creative and have fun.

  1. Increase the canvas size for a full screen presentation and if needed adjust the placement of the graphic elements. The example canvas size is 1024 by 768 pixels.
  2. Add enhancements such as a changing the solid rectangle for the side bar and the top horizontal rectangle to a gradient with less than 100% opacity.
  3. Add a vertical gradient rectangle that gives it a three dimensional look (see Figures 6 and 7).
Export as PNG
When your design is complete, choose Optimize from the Window menu to prepare your file for the PNG export (see Figure 8). The numbers, 8, 24, and 32 refer to the color bit depth. Generally you would choose either 24 or 32 as most all modern projection systems can display 24bit. The PNG 32 includes the extra color channel to handle transparencies. The PNG export format is a good choice to use with PowerPoint for better presentation performance and the small file size. Now the file is ready to export using the Images only option in the Export dialog window. Be sure to save your original enhanced Fireworks native PNG files if you need to make any changes.

PowerPoint
For the fictitious company, JQ Plants and Gardens, the enhanced design comp for the home page will become the Title Slide template and the other enhanced design comp will become the Slide Template. Please note that the example in this article uses Windows XP PowerPoint 2003.

  1. In PowerPoint, open a Blank Presentation and choose the Slide Master View.
  2. On the Slide Master View Toolbar, click the Insert New Title Master button.
  3. On the Title Slide Master select Background from the Format menu.
  4. In the Background window, select Fill Effects from the pop-up menu (see Figure 9).
  5. On the Picture tab, click select picture and locate the exported PNG file. Click OK. Click Apply.
  6. Make adjustments for the position of the text placeholders.
  7. Repeat the same process for the Slide Master (see Figure 10).
  8. Close the Master Slide view.
When the design is complete, you can save the file as a PowerPoint template (.pot) in the Templates folder. Now the new template will appear in the Apply a design template window of the Task Pane (see Figure 11). Note: If you do not see your design appear (the list is in alphabetical order) either browse to the file or quit the program and restart.

The new template for the fictitious company is now ready to use for an eye catching presentation that has the same look as their web site (see Figures 12 and 13).

As you explore this new direction from Fireworks web design comps to PowerPoint design templates, here are a few additional PowerPoint tips:

  • For Best results use the exported PNG as a background image.
  • Use your button images created in Fireworks for customized bullets and other graphics.
  • To make a bounding box area of an imported PNG graphic transparent, click the opaque area with the Set Transparent tool located on the Picture toolbar.
  • To assign PowerPoint actions over buttons of the imported PNG background image, select a blank action button from the Action Button menu located with the AutoShapes, draw a rectangle over the image, and change the fill and line to none.
  • You can add hyperlinks to both imported graphics and ones created in PowerPoint that to go web pages.
  • Add Fireworks animated GIFs to the presentation.
With these ideas, a few steps, and tips, you can turn those Fireworks web design comps into PowerPoint Design Templates for additional money makers or as an extra bonus for your web site clients. Now, go look for those comps, unleash your creativity with the power of Fireworks, and create unique, one of a kind PowerPoint templates.

More Stories By Joanne Watkins

Joanne Watkins is a featured instructor for Hewlett Packard's Online
Learning Center. She is also an Associate Professor in the Applied Graphic
Design Technology department of Collin Community College and teaches in the
Senior Adult Education Program of the Business Studies Division at
Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas. Her classes include Introduction to
Computer Graphics, Desktop Publishing, Business Presentations, and Web
Design. Her expertise in the major print, graphics, and web software comes
from over 15 years of experience as a free-lance graphic designer and
instructor. While at Macromedia she served as a DevNet technical editor, web
producer, technical support engineer and technical editor for nine
Macromedia Press Books about Fireworks and FreeHand. She can be contacted
at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
With the iCloud scandal seemingly in its past, Apple announced new iPhones, updates to iPad and MacBook as well as news on OSX Yosemite. Although consumers will have to wait to get their hands on some of that new stuff, what they can get is the latest release of iOS 8 that Apple made available for most in-market iPhones and iPads. Originally announced at WWDC (Apple’s annual developers conference) in June, iOS 8 seems to spearhead Apple’s newfound focus upon greater integration of their products into everyday tasks, cross-platform mobility and self-monitoring. Before you update your device, here is a look at some of the new features and things you may want to consider from a mobile security perspective.