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Creating Graphic Symbols in Adobe Fireworks CS6

  • Date: Apr 23, 2012.


  1. Graphic symbols

Article Description

In this excerpt from Adobe Fireworks Classroom in a Book, you will learn how to convert a simple logo graphic into a graphic symbol.

Note: This excerpt is from the forthcoming book Adobe Fireworks Classroom in a Book, ISBN 9780321822444.

Graphic symbols

A graphic symbol is a commonly used asset in Fireworks. It is a static, single-state symbol that can be used over and over again throughout a document (or in multiple documents as well, depending on how you set it up). Use a graphic symbol if you do not require built-in animation or multiple states.

Creating graphic symbols

In this exercise, you will convert a simple logo graphic into a graphic symbol.

  1. Open the file called nn_web.fw.png.
  2. Make sure rulers and tooltips are active (View > Rulers and View > Tooltips).
  3. In the Layers panel, unlock the header layer and expand the layer.
  4. Select the logo: 11 objects group.
  5. Choose Modify > Symbol > Convert To Symbol.
  6. Name the symbol near north logo.
  7. Make sure Type is set to Graphic, and leave the options deselected.
  8. Click OK.
  9. In the Layers panel, note that in the bottom-right corner of the thumbnail, a new icon appears, indicating the logo is now a graphic symbol. On the canvas, you will notice a faint blue plus sign (+) in the middle of the graphic. This indicates that the graphic is a copy—or instance—of the symbol.

  10. Click on the header layer title to select all the objects in the header layer, including the symbol.
  11. Choose Modify > Symbol > Convert To Symbol, and name the symbol near north banner.
  12. Make sure Type is set to Graphic, leave the options deselected, and click OK.
  13. Lock the header layer so nothing is accidentally selected.

You now have two symbols (one nested within another). You might be wondering why you didn’t create one symbol in the first place. The reason is that you need access to the logo symbol separately from the banner.

Adding a graphic symbol to a document

It’s all well and good to create a symbol, but far better to make use of it. You will use this new symbol to create watermarks for the photos on this page.

  1. Open the Document Library panel. The new symbol is displayed here. You can drag the logo symbol onto the canvas as many times as you want, changing the size, opacity, and location of each instance without affecting the symbol itself.
  2. Unlock and select the Content layer to make it active.
  3. Drag the logo symbol onto the canvas, and position it in the upper-left corner of the kayak photo. You will convert this instance to a watermark using the Properties panel.
  4. In the Properties panel, lock the proportions of the instance and set the new width to 70 pixels.
  5. Tab to the Height field, and the image scales proportionately. Notice that the instance within the banner image does not change.
  6. Set the Opacity of the instance to 40%.
  7. While holding down the Alt or Option Key, drag the instance down to the next photo. Let the Smart Guides help you align the instance copy in the second photo, or move it elsewhere on the photo.

    We think the watermark should be obvious, but not cover up important details of the photo, so in our finished file, we’ve placed the watermark to the right on the second and third images.

  8. Repeat Step 7 for the third photo.
  9. Now the feature images have been watermarked

  10. Save your work.

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