Specifying External Editors

Depending on the order in which you installed Dreamweaver and Fireworks, you might have to make changes to the File Types/Editors category in the Preferences dialog. The Preferences settings allow Dreamweaver to establish communication and send files to its sibling program, Fireworks.

In Chapter 5, "Defining Preferences," you learned that the File Types/Editors category in the Preferences window, shown in Figure 19.1, allows you to specify which external application you want to handle image editing for specific file types.

Figure 19.1. In the Preferences window, under the File Types/Editors category, you can specify which application you want to use to edit a particular file type.


Although it is possible to use Fireworks PNG files on the web, it's not recommended. One reason is that the native PNG format reflects Fireworks's internal storage format, which is an uncompressed 32-bit RGBA (Red, Green, Blue, and Alpha) file. Even if the image contains only two colors and no transparency, it is saved as a 32-bit file. Of course, Macromedia never intended for its users to treat the native Fireworks PNG files as the final output format. As you'll see, to make final highly compressed PNG files for use on the web, use the Export option in Fireworks.

Because PNG files are native to Fireworks and have the potential for use on the web, we'll use this opportunity to associate the PNG file format with Fireworks (assuming that it isn't already associated). To set the application association, follow these steps:


Open the Preferences window by choosing the Preferences option from the Edit menu in Windows and from the application menu on a Mac.


In the Preferences window, choose the File Types/Editors category.


In the File Extension list, choose the file extension you want to (re)associate with an application. For now, select the PNG file format.


Click the Add (+) button just above the Editors option box to launch the Select External Editor dialog.


With the Select External Editor dialog open, navigate to C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Fireworks 8\fireworks.exe and click Open. Notice that the new editor is added to the Editors list, associating itself with the PNG file format.


If you have more than one application associated with a particular file type and prefer to use the application you just selected as the default, highlight it in the Editors list and click the Make Primary button. Notice that, to the right of the application name, it reads (primary). This application acts as the default editor when you ask Dreamweaver to edit that particular file type.


Associating PNG files with Fireworks is a step in the right direction. Because PNG files are native to Fireworks, it only makes sense to make this association. Depending on the graphics editor you prefer, you might also want to set Fireworks as the primary editor for GIF and JPG files. The rest of this chapter assumes that you have done this.

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Unleashed
Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Unleashed
ISBN: 0672327600
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 237
Authors: Zak Ruvalcaba

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