IssueThis question came up in a Fireworks 1 seminar that Lynda Weinman held here at Macromedia. The user wanted to use symbols and tweening in Fireworks to create a text object that changed opacity from 0% to 100% over a series of frames and then reversed the animation with another text object, going from 100% to 0% opacity. The example below shows the desired results:

Here's how it's done:

Open a new Fireworks Document and follow the steps below:


In a new Fireworks document, type the first text object. Use the Swatches panel to set the color and any other attributes.

In Fireworks 2 and 3, use either the Fill swatch at the bottom of the toolbox or set the fill color in the Fill panel.


With the text object selected, Choose Edit > Symbols > Make Symbol.

In Fireworks 2 the Symbol, Tween Instances and Symbol Options can be found under the Insert Menu. Choose Insert > Symbol.

In Fireworks 3, choose Insert > Convert to Symbol. Notice that the Symbol is saved in the Library panel. Only instances appear on the canvas in Fireworks 3. Tweening and other Symbol Options are under the Modify menu.


Clone the Symbol to create an Instance. Note that a symbol has a little plus (+) sign in the lower left corner of its bounding box. An instance has a "shortcut arrow" in the lower left of its bounding box. The clone command is under the Edit menu. Choose Edit > Clone or press Control+Shift+C (Windows) or Command+Shift+C (Macintosh).

As previously noted, Symbols do not appear on the canvas in Fireworks 3. Instances only will be used for tweening in Fireworks 3.

4 Set the opacity of the instance to 0%. In Fireworks 1 this is done in the Opacity Toolbar. In Fireworks 2 and 3 it is found in the Object panel.
5 Choose Modify > Arrange > Send to Back or press Control+B (Windows) or Command+B (Macintosh) to send the instance directly behind the symbol. Animation in Fireworks is done in back to front order. When objects are distributed to frames, the backmost object will appear in Frame 1 and the frontmost object will appear in the last frame. All other objects will appear in back to front order in the corresponding sequence of frames.
6 Clone the instance. The cloned instance will appear between the instance and the symbol (the original instance in Fireworks 3). Move the second instance to the front by choosing Modify > Arrange > Bring to Front or press Control+F(Windows) or Command+F (Macintosh).
  • In Fireworks 1 choose Edit > Symbols > Tween Instances....
  • In Fireworks 2 choose Insert > Tween Instances....
  • In Fireworks 3 choose Modify > Symbol > Tween Instances....

Set the number of steps desired between each of the instances and symbol and check "Distribute to Frames".

Note: the number of instances does not include the symbols and instances that have already been placed on the canvas. The number of frames created will equal the number of steps entered in this dialog plus the number of instances and symbols on the canvas.

9 Open the Frames panel and move to the Frame where the symbol appears (in Fireworks 3 this will be the frame where the instance's opacity reaches 100%. In this case it will be frame 12.
10 Open the Layers panel and add a new layer. Use layers to keep animations separate and distinct. Lock the layer containing the first part of the animation to avoid confusion.
11 Select the text tool and click on the canvas to enter the second text object to animate.
12 Repeat steps 2 through 8 for the second text object. Export the file as an Animated GIF with the desired settings.

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