5 Fireworks features that would make Sketch even more productive


Fireworks was a nifty design app developed by Macromedia and later, after Macromedia got acquired, by Adobe. Some of it’s most powerful features were that it easily combined vector shapes with bitmap editing functionality and it’s interface wasn’t designed by Adobe was quite usable and intuitive.

In 2013, Adobe announced it was discontinuing the app. For hardcore users like myself this was pretty terrible news. Luckily, soon after, Sketch really came into it’s own and started to add features and fix bugs at an incredible rate so I made my transition over quite smoothly.

But there are still some Fireworks features that were really great for productivity and it would be really awesome of some amazing, awesome developer (ahem) would turn them into Sketch plugins.

1. Set relative line heights for text

One of the most annoying things when working with type in Sketch is that custom line heights can only be set as pixel values and as such they don’t scale with the text.  I’d much rather use a percentage or em based value since these scale well and are the values I’d use in CSS as well.

Here’s how this currently works in Sketch:

Here’s how this is done in Fireworks, with the help of the % line height setting.

2. Repeat last command

It’s basically a keyboard shortcut (Cmd + Y) that repeats whatever the last action was. This can be handy to quickly change font sizes, fills, strokes, repeat transforms or rounded corners across the document. You can see how this little shortcut can be quite a productivity booster.

3. Copy fill and stroke by selecting object

When creating new objects in Sketch, the fill and stroke are always the same as the ones last used. This is not always handy when you want to go back to the style of a previously designed item. You have to enter the settings all over again.

In Fireworks you can just select a previously created item and any new objects created will have the same fill and stroke.

4. Overwrite text styles

In Sketch, after applying a text style, there is no way (that I found at least) to change part of the text to a different color or font family without removing the text style first.

For example, in this text block with a custom text style, if we want to change the color of just a few words to highlight a link, the whole block changes color. To change the color of just part of the text, we need to turn off the text style, select the text we want to highlight and then change the fill. Pretty tedious.

Here’s how this works in Fireworks.


5. Select which properties are included in a style declaration.

In Sketch, the create style command copies over all the style attributes of the selected item be it fill, drop shadow, stroke. It would be handy to select what attributes are in the style. This way we could for example apply the same drop shadow effect to multiple objects, while preserving their current fills and strokes.

In Fireworks, you can select which properties are included in a custom style.