Fireworks CS3 Live Filters, formerly known as Live Effects, are enhancements that you can apply to vector objects, bitmap images, and text. I've applied some filters to each type of Fireworks object here. There is a variety of text that I've applied a Drop-shadow, a Bevel, Noise, a Blur filter, and a combination of filters. Here's a vector object, a button, that I've applied an outer bevel filter. This Glow Text, actually it was text, I've flattened it so that now it's a bitmap and I can show you it's a bitmap by erasing a part of it. Notice that I can't erase the text unless I first flatten it. Now Live Filters include Bevels and Embossing, Solid shadows, Drop shadows and Glows, Color correction and Blurring, as well as Sharpening. You apply the filters to selected objects directly from the Properties Inspector. Notice that there's a Filter section here with a drop-down menu, and the filters are organized into Groups, Options, Save as Style, All On, All Off, Locate Plug-ins, Adjust Color Filters, the Bevel and Emboss, Inner Bevel, Insert Emboss, Outer Bevel and Raised Emboss, the Blur filters, the Gaussian Blur, Motion, Radial, and Zoom Blur, Noise, Other filters, Convert to Alpha, Find edges, the Shadows and Glows, including drop-shadows, Glow, Inner Glow, Inner Shadow, and Solid Shadow, as well as the Sharpen Filters. And then the last group is Photoshop Live Effects. After you apply a live filter you can change it's options any time, or rearrange the order of the filters to experiment with a combined filter. Notice that here if I click on my drop shadow text, there's a drop shadow filter here in the Filters section of the Properties Inspector. If I double-click on it I get the dialog here that lets me adjust the settings, including the angle, the amount of blur, strength. Let's go ahead and displace this a little bit less than what I had so it's closer, the drop shadow is closer to the text. I can also change the color, as well as add a Knock out drop shadow; that's kind of a nice effect there. Likewise with my vector object I can double-click on this drop shadow, and change its settings here. Actually that's an outer bevel for that vector image. Let's change that from a flat outer bevel to a smooth outer bevel. Now here I have a combination of effects applied to this text. Let's go ahead and change the order from the Invert and drag that up so that it's at the top of the order, and now let's take the outer bevel and drag that down. So you can see that by rearranging the order of my effects I can achieve a different look of the combination. Now you can remove temporarily or permanently these filters by selecting it and then clicking on the checkmark right next to the name of the filter. That will temporarily disable that filter without permanently removing it. Notice that now those objects have no filters on them, but if any time I want to go back and re-add the filter, just click on the X, the red X there to turn the filter back on. To permanently remove a filter, select it from the list and then click on the Remove Filter, or Delete the Current Selected Live Filter button, and that will permanently remove that filter. Some filters now listed among the Fireworks Live filters, such as Auto Levels, Gaussian Blur, and Unsharp Mask, were once available only as irreversible plug-ins or filters. In addition to these you can also add third-party plug-ins to be used in Fireworks as these live filters, if you prefer. You can also use some of these filters in the traditional manner by using the Filters menu here at the top of the interface. Notice that you have the Adjust Color filters here, Auto levels, Brightness, Contrast, Curves, Hue, Saturation, Invert, and Levels, as well as the Blur Filters, the Noise Filter, Other Filters, and the Sharpen Filters. Notice that not all of the filters that you have available here in the Properties Inspector are up there in the Filters menu, such as bevel and emboss, and the shadow and glow filters there. So there you have a quick overview of the various Live Filters that can be directly applied to your bitmap, vector, and text elements on the Fireworks canvas, and how to edit these filters using the Properties Inspector. I'm sure you'll find these image effects a valuable part of your graphics work in Fireworks.
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