Okay yes back in 2011 and 2014 similar questions were asked.

But now that it is on the cusp of 2020, my question is who HAS FOUND a replacement to Fireworks that they LOVE and would highly recommend?

I have been using Fireworks from the start. I am still using Fireworks CS5 because my needs are so basic and Fireworks just works.

But I am starting a new project that will require 3 to 4 hours a day creating web-graphics for Instagram users to post and share. Super simple text with shadows over a collage of cropped images with inset bevels. No-brainer stuff. Just grunt work. Open -> crop -> resize -> shadow -> bevel -> save -> repeat. No image color correction/manipulation.

So who has found a light-weight simple MAC interface for the most basis of graphic/image creation? Fireworks version 2020?

Or should I stay with Fireworks CS5 cause it STILL works?

  • Avoid fixing things which aren't broken. At least you seem to have respected that principle, but now you have became suspicious. You have a good reason. Any day Apple can fix something and that fix breaks your unsupported software. After it happens we will never know if Adobe has paid for that special fix or had Adobe refused to pay something or was the breakage born only as a side product of some real fix. If a piece of legacy software is so valuable, prepare an isolated, (maybe virtual) legacy system where it can live undisturbed. Get a contemporary alternative, too. Learn to use it..
    – user82991
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 19:02
  • 1
    All valid points and great philosophy too. Thanks.
    – Mark
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 19:59

6 Answers 6


I use Affinity Designer as a replacement for Fireworks. I also use Graphic by Picta which is pretty good too, but vector only.

  • 2
    Affinity is the only one that has the killer combination of vector + pixel that fireworks has
    – spiral
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 14:36
  • After investigating, Affinity Designer seems to be the best alternative was I outgrow Fireworks CS5. Who knows next years 'Black Friday' I might even buy it at a discount. I will probably try upgrading to CS6 in the meantime to see if I get some additional longevity. Fireworks just works for me. Thanks everyone.
    – Mark
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 15:30
  • @craig-pickering Thank you for your suggestion of Affinity Designer. Affinity Designer solved my Fireworks upgrading problem.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 11:57
  • Hey @Mark, how is it 4 years after? To those finding this in search, there's also Affinity Publisher and in Adobe terms, if Affinity Designer is Adobe Illustrator, then Affinity Puslisher is Adobe InDesign, meaning it supports master pages and text based layouts, normally used in Publishing, but also close to Web Design where it's important to reuse styles and layouts
    – WhatHiFi
    Commented Apr 29 at 10:01

Keep using FW CS5 if it works for you.

I can only assume you are seeking a replacement because Apple's latest OSs will not run CS5 applications.

No one EVER states you need the "latest and greatest" if what you have works.

Apple's newer OS's aren't great or worthy of upgrades in my opinion. Again, just my opinion, but I see nothing after OS 10.10 that merits upgrading. So, keep your current OS and CS5.

The "fear of missing out" due to not upgrading has to be overcome.. it's frankly silly and merely profit-seeking methods by developers much of the time.

I always ask myself 2 questions when considering an OS Upgrade...

  • What new features do I need in the upgrade?

If the answer is "none" then why upgrade?

  • What compatibility issues with existing software will an OS upgrade cause?

This one can be huge. Do I really want to upgrade my OS so it is better integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et. al. if it means all my daily-use applications must also be upgraded or replaced? The OS is merely a platform. Anything it does I can do on an iPad or even an iPhone.. why mess with my work center for features that aren't necessary. But that's merely my take on things. I don't strive to be or gain any happiness from knowing I'm on the "bleeding edge" of things if that edge causes more trouble than benefit. In short.. does an iPhone 11 make better calls than an iPhone 7??? Heck no.. so what's the point??

Then there's always a dual boot system if you don't have the "newest" Apple models with firmware lockouts. You can install an OS that works with CS5 and a newer OS. Then merely boot between them as needed on the same Mac or use a virtual machine through something like Parallels Desktop. It inevitably comes down to what works and is easiest for you to use.

If I wanted to dump Fireworks for something newer... I'd be exploring Sketch. I'll point out that I currently don't use Sketch, but from what I've seen it has the highest potential to fill the gaps I would need filled where web content is concerned if Adobe crashed and burned tomorrow. But then, I have CS6 and a system that runs those applications.. so who cares if Adobe crashes and burns. :)


Photoshop can do this as well, and with the benefit of actions, some parts of this repeating workflow could be automated, possibly reducing your 3-4 hours a day.

For a simple interface the latest Adobe stuff let you customize the interface and you can basically hide everything you don't need from the menus.

  • You can probably make it even easier by building a photoshop action to run as a batch across a directory. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 19:28
  • Photoshop? Want some lightweight. I started with photoshop in 96 or 97 when doing printed catalogs for the plumbing industry. Then I switch to doing exclusively web-graphic and Fireworks 1.0 in 98 and never looked back (used Dreamweaver for about a week too). Photoshop is just too heavy. I've done batch processing back when I hosted over 16,000 photographer websites using Fireworks. This new project will not lend itself to batch processing because the images are people's portraits which need to be cropped and collaged according to 'group' of photos. Batching is great, but not here. thanks.
    – Mark
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 20:07

You want something cheap and simple for social? Just use Keynote. That’s what quite a few creatives and designers use mainly due to convenience. It may seem a little strange but it actually works great.

The type rendering is decent, the effects are simple and it may already be familiar. Just set up some master slides to size and voila! Chris Do at The Futur does it great


Does FW 5 still work with Windows 10? I've been using FW 4 for a decade, but the Batch process for resizing and renaming jpegs has been temperamental for a while now - as in not batching them all. And it's frequently freezing in the latest Windows 10

Does Affinity allow batch process for size and name?



For the last 27 days I have been using Affinity Designer to create on average 60 graphics a day for a total of 1620 graphics for photographers.

Adobe Fireworks was wonderful, but there is a smoothness with Affinity Designer I love. I modified the "File / Export" macro to match Fireworks (shift command X) and have been completely happy with Affinity Designer.

Furthermore I had paid $299 for Fireworks, so paying $34.99 for Affinity Designer (a Black Friday special) is a true bargain.

Affinity Designer 5Stars!!!

  • Why is this downvoted? Of course Affinity Designer is not a full replacement when it comes to web design, but OP never said he needed any of that in the first place, so why downvote?
    – WhatHiFi
    Commented Apr 29 at 10:06

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