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Batch Compressing Images in Macromedia Fireworks

Part 1: Basic batch export and script creation By Dave Nagel
I've probably told you a million times that for image compression, I have yet to find a program that beats Macromedia Fireworks. Granted, for large originals, it might not be the speediest processor on the market, but it does produce smaller, higher-quality compressed files than anything else I've seen. (It also happens to be a capable tool for Web and print graphics, but that's a story for another time.)

In fact, every image I use here at DMN is run through Fireworks before it gets posted to our sites. And that's an awful lot of images--screen shots, product shots and sample images running into the hundreds each week. If I were to do all of this manually, it would take away precious hours from my ever-vigilant quest to produce top-notch content for you, my beloved reader. (Granted, some of you are less beloved than others, what with your sass and loose modern ways and all, but each of you has a place in my heart nevertheless.)

Fortunately, Fireworks has a way to solve this time-consuming conundrum--batch processing.

There are several aspects of batch processing in Fireworks that we should cover. But today we're going to limit the discussion to simple batch compression and batch script creation.

Creating custom settings
To begin, we're going to create a custom JPEG setting, which we'll use in our batch process. This saves quite a bit of time because it allows you to select one simple setting in your batch dialog (which we'll get to below) instead of adjusting settings manually each time we run a batch process.

So open up and image in Fireworks, and then adjust the Optimize settings to your liking. I'll be creating a simple JPEG with a 65 percent quality.

Next select the flyaway menu in the top right corner of the Optimize palette. From there, choose "Save Settings," and name the setting as you see fit. I'll call mine "Dave_65."

For future reference, you'll now be able to select this setting from the Optimize palette's pull-down settings menu.

Running the batch export
Now that we've saved our custom setting, we're ready to being the batch. To make things easy, you might want to place all of your source images into a single folder, although this isn't necessary. But it does save some time. Then just follow these steps.

1. Choose File > Batch Process.

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