Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

Programmer's Guide to Fireworks Commands

Getting started with your first command

As with almost any program you work with, there are going to be things you wish you could change, add, improve, or remove. It might be a feature you are used to from another program, or one you have devised on your own. "If only I could run to the developers and tell them my great idea, the program would be perfect," you say. I've often wanted to change things in my favorite software but am usually stuck waiting and hoping it will be fixed in the next version.

Thankfully, sometimes there are alternatives. Extending Fireworks enables you to create new features, tweaks, and modifications. They can be as simple as setting a few preferences or as complex as being an entirely separate application. There are several ways to extend Fireworks but they all work towards the same goal: extending the capabilities of Fireworks and making it work the way you want it to.

This article is intended for someone with an interest in making commands for Fireworks. It is a guide to help anyone who has even a small amount of programming knowledge to learn the procedure for creating commands. The first part of the article explains what commands are, where they are stored, and the different ways you can execute them. It also explains some of the basic concepts and structures of most Fireworks commands. The middle part examines a practical command example and discusses where to look for more help. The last section provides some advice for troubleshooting your commands as well as some information about packaging and distributing them. After completing this article you should have a good idea of what is possible with Fireworks commands and have an understanding of how to create and package them.

Getting Started with Your First Command
The fastest and simplest way to extend Fireworks is by creating commands. These are JavaScript files that give you control over the internal functions of Fireworks, extending the capabilities of the program to suit your needs. You control Fireworks by calling a set of custom JavaScript functions from within your commands using the Fireworks Application Programming Interface (API). Commands work by utilizing the Fireworks API to control the functionality of the program. They tap into all Fireworks tools and features and allow you to control them through code. View the Fireworks 8 API documentation to get a more complete overview of the Fireworks Object Model and the custom JavaScript functions that are built into Fireworks.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what commands are and how they work, it's time to get started making some of your own.

Hello World

The first command you make will simply create a dialog box in Fireworks that says "Hello World!" If you are familiar with JavaScript, then the alert() function is nothing new to you, but you will still learn where to store your custom commands and how to run them. First open Fireworks and create a new document, approximately 500 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall.

Create a new text file in your text editor of choice. Place this Fireworks command in it:

alert("Hello World!");

That's it! Now save the command and you're done.

Saving Your Commands
There are a couple options available for saving a command. If you are on a single-user machine or want everyone who uses your computer in a multiuser environment to be able to access the command, save it into your installation folder's Configuration\Commands subfolder:

(Windows) C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Fireworks 8\Configuration\Commands

(Mac OS) Macintosh HD:Applications:Macromedia:Fireworks 8:Configuration:Commands

If you want to limit access to just to your user name, save it here:

(Windows) C:\Documents and Settings\
<User Name>\Application Data\Macromedia\Fireworks 8\Commands

(Mac OS) Macintosh HD:Users:<User>:

Library:Application Support:Macromedia:Fireworks 8:Commands

Save the file as Hello World.jsf.

Testing Your Commands
After your command is saved, switch to Fireworks to test it. If you go to the Commands pop-up menu, there should be a new entry for the "Hello World" command you just saved. Click on it now to run the command. If you see a message box that says "Hello World!" then the command ran successfully. If you see a message box that says "Can not run the script. An error occurred." that means there is a problem with the script and you should switch back to your text editor and make sure you wrote the code correctly.

There are a couple of other options available for running commands in Fireworks:

  • You can drag and drop .jsf files into Fireworks to run them; just make sure you drop them anywhere except the active document workspace.
  • In Windows you can run commands by setting .jsf files to open with Fireworks (assuming they aren't already set by default). Right-click the "Hello World.jsf" file in the Fireworks 8\Configuration\Commands folder and select Open With from the context menu. A dialog box should open, showing Fireworks as the recommended application. If not, click the Browse button to find Fireworks.exe in your installation folder (usually it's C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Fireworks 8). Make sure to select the option that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." Now simply double-click "Hello World.jsf" to run it on the active Fireworks document.
Using the Fireworks API for Your Second Command
Hello World wasn't all that much fun but at least now you know how to create, save, and run a command. This time let's utilize some more interesting functions in the Fireworks API to make a simple command that contains more Fireworks-specific code.

Hello Universe

Make a new document in your text editor and save it to the commands folder as "Hello Universe.jsf". Copy the following command code:

var dom = fw.getDocumentDOM();
dom.addNewRectangle({left:10, top:10, right: 150, bottom: 45}, .25);
fw.selection[0].pathAttributes.fillColor = "#FF0000";
var stored_selection = new Array(); stored_selection.push(fw.selection[0]);
dom.addNewText({left:25, top:20, right: 140, bottom: 30}, false);
var tr = fw.selection[0].textRuns; tr.textRuns =
[{changedAttrs: {fillColor:"#FFFFFF", size: "16pt"},
characters: "Hello Universe!"}];
fw.selection[0].textRuns = tr;
fw.selection = stored_selection;

The first line of code uses the getDocumentDOM() method of the fw object. You can think of the fw object as a code representation of the Fireworks application itself. It contains the functionality and methods for the common tasks that Fireworks performs, such as Save Document, Save As, Export, and even Quit. The getDocumentDOM() method returns the Document Object Model (DOM) for the active document.

The document's DOM is stored into the dom variable to be used later in the command. The document's DOM can be thought of as a code representation of the active document in Fireworks. Any action you would perform on a document in Fireworks is handled by methods of the document's DOM, such as creating a rectangle, adding a text object, and arranging layers.

More Stories By Dustin DuPree

Dustin DuPree currently attends Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, WI, studying visual communications/multimedia. He also freelances as a web developer and designer. His interests include Flash, Fireworks, programming, design, photography, playing guitar, computer gaming, film, politics, and reading. www.dujodu.com.

Comments (2) View Comments

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.

Most Recent Comments
Steven Grosvenor 02/08/06 05:11:34 AM EST

Great article!, a little upset you forgot to mention me :-)

I wrote Twist and Fade that shipped with Fireworks 8 through MX 2004, loads of commerical and free fireworks extensions and the first Macromedia DevNet articles on creating custom flash panels and extending Fireworks MX.

Free extensions can be found here


SYS-CON Italy News Desk 01/28/06 04:56:34 PM EST

As with almost any program you work with, there are going to be things you wish you could change, add, improve, or remove. It might be a feature you are used to from another program, or one you have devised on your own. 'If only I could run to the developers and tell them my great idea, the program would be perfect,' you say. I've often wanted to change things in my favorite software but am usually stuck waiting and hoping it will be fixed in the next version.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...