Just to give a little context, I have a background as a design-savvy developer (not a developer-savvy designer). I worked at an agency many years ago. I've been out of the design game for about 3 years and starting to get back in. Back then my tool of choice was Fireworks, but I just learned yesterday that Adobe is letting it slowly die.

So what are the mainstream next-generation tools for someone who's doing exclusively web graphics and interaction?

Or, since that question may be considered somewhat subjective or "what's your favorite tool", is there an authoritative source that can give a good view of the web graphics tooling landscape?

  • 1
    And subjective questions are outside the scope of this site.
    – joojaa
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:55
  • I was surprised to find Fireworks is still around, and that's from someone who once knew xRes. Photoshop is the predominant tool within the paradigm you describe, and I think Adobe is letting it die mostly because Photoshop contains most of its functions.
    – Raydot
    Apr 21, 2015 at 22:25

9 Answers 9


Good question, for I too have been a lifetime fan of Fireworks (their entire lifetime). Have you heard of Sketch? I can tell you that it's the only thing that comes close. (It's a perfect mashup of Illustrator and Fireworks, but SO MUCH closer to FW). Your transition should be seamless, and you will quickly be in love. Personally, I'll still use FW until it's technically impossible.

Give it a try: http://bohemiancoding.com/sketch/

Also search for Sketch; you'll find lots of amazing plugins and third-party support sites.

  • Hello Alan, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! Apr 21, 2015 at 13:50
  • 2
    Thanks. I'd love to comment on comments below, but my reputation isn't high enough :)... but @joojaa has a great point in saying: "I see a failure to understand that this is a opportunity to learn new tricks. Sometimes these tricks are worse. But recognize that in fact the combined knowhow is better." — Being a FW lover (and even beta-tester!), I was amazed that any Web Designer would opt for PS over FW, but it comes-down to individual skills/needs/(maybe comfort?)/workflow... I joke that I'll never stop using FW: "I'll make a FW Kiosk for those tasks that I can do so quickly/naturally!"
    – Alan
    Apr 21, 2015 at 14:44
  • 4
    The main downside to Sketch is that it is Mac OS only.
    – Joe
    Apr 21, 2015 at 15:38
  • Yes, I have been playing with Sketch and it seems like a really compelling step forward. Unfortunately half my team works on PCs, so that's a non-starter.
    – Rex M
    Apr 21, 2015 at 17:14
  • 1
    @Alan dont worry it will take only a single vote more before you have enough rep to comment (and before one learns the tricks)
    – joojaa
    Apr 21, 2015 at 17:22

One huge recent change is the shift to vector graphics. SVG is now a stable requirement for new websites.

A good web designer needs to use Illustrator or Inkscape for icons and other re-scalable vector SVG graphics, as well as using Photoshop or GIMP for the photographic, detailed, not-so-re-scalable raster graphics.

I'm not sure if Fireworks would have been that well equipped to handle modern web design requirements, and I personally think the distinct separation between vector and raster production via different programs is better than an all-in-one solution.

Hope my 2c helps, I'm not currently aware of any resources that flesh this out well, but I'll be keeping an eye on the question to see if there are.

  • 1
    I still use fireworks for all modern mobile asset design and UI work, primary because its UX is far superior to the bloat of photoshop or illustrator, but I came from Freehand (RIP / curse Adobe for killing that ) so my expectation for fast and precise usage was very high.
    – elliotrock
    Nov 10, 2015 at 12:11

These are the alternatives I've found to fireworks (in no particular order):

  • Gravit- the closest one I've found. Open-source, cross-platform /web-based. Still quite young, I wouldn't dare do the switch though it's promising. Its interface is very similar to FW
  • Sketch- very robust for ui design, but only minimal bitmap editing. Good ecosystem of plugins and files. Great export workflow. Mac only though.
  • Affinity Designer- Not specific to ui, but it has very powerful vector tools plus bitmap effects and editing. Also good exporting abilities. Opens PSDs. This is an amazing piece of software for being version 1. At version 2-3 this might just be my illustrator/sketch/fireworks/photoshop killer.

There's several others in the pipeline: atomic, scala. But who knows when they'll be released.

And then, of course there's the big ones: Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape. I won't go into detail on those.

  • 3
    +1 Affinity Designer is really exciting; it's new, but I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll grow into being the alternative to Creative Cloud we've been hoping for. Apr 24, 2015 at 16:35
  • 1
    Does Affinity Design have a good workflow for web page design? I just saw their promo video and it looks really promising. I never liked working with Photoshop because it's just so counter intuitive. That's what I really loved about Fireworks and Illustrator.
    – Edward
    Jun 18, 2015 at 12:26
  • An even better application would be one that combines a tool like Fireworks with Macaw!
    – Edward
    Jun 18, 2015 at 12:27
  • 1
    FWIW - I was a Fireworks user... I was a Freehand user... I became an Illustrator user... and slowly, over 15+ years amassed a huge library of assets for Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign (my areas of work were technical illustration, architectural illustration, document & general graphic design, web design and interactivity) and even so, I shifted a couple of years ago to primarily being Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo based, and am now actively beta testing Affinity Publisher. For me, I use Sketch and Affinity Designer for the sorts of tasks I used accomplish in FireWorks. Jan 14, 2019 at 18:25

Saw this question as I was searching for Adobe alternatives. Finally had enough of their hands in my pocket and around my throat about 6 months ago. I'm keeping my (paid for) Fireworks CS6 until it dies, but Xara Designer Pro X10 is similar to Fireworks but can do a lot more. I'm not sure why it doesn't get much publicity but I'm really starting to like it a lot. Sells for around $300 US but I believe you can still get 30-day free trial. Hope this helps.

  • 2
    Xara doesn't support Pages, States, & Animation like Fireworks does.
    – dns
    Sep 12, 2017 at 13:33

Ultimately, when technology dies it is replaced by nothing. The alternatives are often not existing. This is because even a small change in workflow disrupts you too much.

Whenever i see a replacement question, I see a failure to understand that this is a opportunity to learn new tricks. Sometimes these tricks are worse. But recognize that in fact the combined know how is better.

So when you feel aggravated when something is different its not to piss you off, but rather a valid, different way to see things.

Anyway, to answer what replaces fireworks?

Well, adobe wants you to replace it with Photoshop. But what really replaces it for YOU depends on what you used in fireworks. Just because something has some features you need does not mean it has relevant features for you. So if you want to have a good answer you need to tell what your interests you. otherwise you get a replacement that is somebody elses view of what is good.

What replaces fireworks for me?

Hard to say, Photoshop, Illustrator, Imagemagick... Depends strongly on what feature i am after.

  • 1
    Agree with everything you say here but your first sentence. What I might have said instead is "Usually when technology dies it's because it's being replaced by something else." Bring back Debabelizer!
    – Raydot
    Apr 21, 2015 at 22:23
  • 3
    I appreciate the sentiment in your answer in the abstract, but for what it's worth, it comes across very presumptive, and more than a little annoying. I am looking for the successor to Fireworks for the niche that it filled, not a 1-for-1 replacement. Learning new tooling and new paradigms is fine, but Fireworks served a very useful place as a single tool that did nothing great but all the stuff around web graphics "good enough" that I could teach web developers to use it as their only graphics tool. I hope that niche continues to be filled beyond Fireworks.
    – Rex M
    Apr 22, 2015 at 0:13
  • @RexM I am not presuming anything just observing. Whats wrong with using photoshop? Anyway you dont list any features that you need replacing so its hard to say anything other than guess. So you need to list something, price, features missing, etc.
    – joojaa
    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:19
  • @RexM unfortunately for you the options are a bit limited.
    – joojaa
    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:25
  • @joojaa because Photoshop doesn't support Pages, States, Tween Animation which is essential for game developers & web designers.
    – dns
    Sep 12, 2017 at 13:20

One effort to create an opensource alternative:


  • 2
    I've not yet ever encountered an open source graphics tool that isn't 5+ years behind the commercial alternative. Is this a real, value-add replacement for Fireworks today, or does it "aspire" to be that when it grows up?
    – Rex M
    Apr 22, 2015 at 0:15
  • 2
    WillAdams this sounds interesting - can you add any comment from experience on what its strengths and weaknesses are in terms of usability as UI design software compared to Fireworks? Apr 24, 2015 at 16:37

For PC users there is NO successor that combines bitmap/vector editing combined with the many other features and ease of use .... and by the way there are extensions that add import and export to SVG.

Adobe pushes us to use 2 or 3 programs when one will do (Fireworks)... It speaks volumes that Fireworks still doesn't have a worthy successor and begs the question what is Adobe's motivation for killing Fireworks??

  • 1
    The motivation was to buy out the only real competition they had: Macromedia, and to gain the one piece of technology that Adobe was't able to compete against: Flash. All of Macromedia's products died, for the most part. To be fair, Macromedia was in dire straights when they were bought out and their software wasn't exactly being maintained at a level that it deserved to begin with.
    – DA01
    Dec 28, 2015 at 9:50

I just stumble up on Vectr.

It's available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook.

check it from here:


enter image description here


simply put https://gravit.io is a Reincarnation of Fireworks, but web based. Check it out, its amazing. Only thing we are waiting for is an open API in order to build our own plugins and add to marketplace. It also is still missing a couple of features here and there. But it is catching up so quickly. I can see me finally turning off my Adobe Subscription soon.

  • are you affiliated with this website / app? You should add this information in your answer if you are.
    – Luciano
    Jul 21, 2016 at 13:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.