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Getting Started with Fireworks: Batch Processing Experiment


Ever needed to batch process an entire folder of files for the web? We'll walk you through how to do it in this screencast... and there's a special surprise at the end (hint, you'll wonder why you haven't been doing this all along!).

Batch Processing in Adobe Fireworks

We've been releasing a wave of Fireworks tutorials lately... but we haven't hit the single most important tool that (I believe) Fireworks has to offer web designers. What is it you ask? Batch Processing!

In mere seconds, Fireworks can offer you some enormous file-size reduction over the "Save for Web" process in Photoshop... but what's better is that it's 100% automated. This means you can easily save out all of your normal files in Photoshop, and run a simple batch process over the entire folder and get some massive file compression without losing any noticeable quality loss!

It's Like Liposuction... for Your .JPGs

I was going to make some crass reference to overweight web graphics and the serious need for a treadmill... but this is a professional blog, so I won't.

Just do this test for me (you can thank me later):

  1. Find an existing folder of web-images that you're using right now for a site. (preferably all .JPGs for simplicity, but any files will do).
  2. Run a Batch Process over the entire folder...
  3. Use JPG > 85% for your .JPGS - play around with optimal settings for the other file types.
  4. Record the orginal file sizes and the new file sizes.
  5. Post Your Results in the Comments Section below.

I've done this little text about 30 times over the last 2 weeks and each and every time I save about 40% - 60% of the file size...

It works for all file types...

I'm about to release a new product over at ThemeForest.net, so I figured that I would run some basic tests over some of the background images. The problem was, a lot of the files were PNG-24 files with transparency and I didn't think Fireworks would offer any better compression. I was oh-so-wrong! I was able to save out the PNG-24s as PNG-8's in most cases with no lost quality and came out with 50% file size savings.

Alright - I'll stop gushing about how much I love the Batch Processing tool (because I kinda feel like one of those infomercial goons on late night TV right now). Even if our Fireworks Pro Video series doesn't convince you to stop using Photoshop as your pimary tool (I'm still a die-hard PS user myself), take a moment to consider what Batch Processing in Fireworks has to offer.

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