Welcome!

Java Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Trevor Parsons, Jason Bloomberg

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
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
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, discussed 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 t...
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 @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. 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.