Review: Using the CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe Fireworks CS5

Recently, Adobe released an extension for Fireworks CS5 named the CSS3 Mobile Pack. The extension is available to be downloaded from Adobe Labs. Fireworks master Jim Babbage has written a short (96 page) ebook entitled Using the CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe Fireworks CS5 that expertly walks the user through this new extension’s features. The CSS3 Mobile Pack is really two separate tools: the CSS Properties Panel and the jQuery Mobile Theme Builder. The first chapter guides the user through the fairly straight-forward process of installing the extension. If you are a long time Fireworks’ user, you probably already have a large collection of extensions installed. If you are new to using Fireworks, I would recommend looking into the Fireworks extension community, as you will be amazed at what’s available.

With extension installed, Jim expertly walks the reader through creating a simple rounded rectangle using Fireworks’ vector tools. Then using the CSS Properties Panel, he demonstrates how the properties are translated in CSS3 properties. He then applies these properties into a new HTML document. Although this process has to be done for each element in your design, it is still a great time saver when coding an advanced web site. The chapter goes further and demonstrates a few of the other great features in Fireworks like Master Pages.

In chapter 3, Jim explores the jQuery Mobile Theme Builder. For those not familiar with jQuery Mobile, it is a Javascript framework designed to transform web content into a more mobile-web friendly format. By default, jQuery Mobile ships with 5 visual themes (“A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “E”). These themes are as visually exciting as the default look of a Flex component. By using jQuery Mobile Theme Builder, it becomes much easier to either create entirely new themes or modify one of the existing ones. The book provides well-written step-by-step instructions. Jim’s background in working with the education market shows in his clear and concise writing. One advantage of publishing as an eBook is that all the illustrations are in color.

If you are web developer who is exploring either the new capabilities of CSS3 or someone working with jQuery Mobile, you should find Using the CSS3 Mobile Pack for Adobe(r) Fireworks(r) CS5 a great reference for a very useful utility.

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