Transparent borders in Fireworks

by Mikko Vartio

How to edit the stroke opacity

So you want to have box with solid fill and semi-transparent borders? Adobe Fireworks does not currently have a insant hands-on access to adjust the opacity of borders (aka Strokes). However the functionality for opacity control is there - it is just hidden.

Use the Rectangle tool to draw a box on the canvas and add any Stroke-preset to the rectangle. For this example, I'm going to use Basic / Hard Line. Make sure you got the stroke position as align Outside.

After adding the stroke, go to the Stroke Options in stroke presets dropdown-menu. In Stroke Options, proceed to the Advanced settings.

While in the Advanced settings, you will notice the Ink Amount as the first parameter. By adjusting this setting, you gain %-control to the opacity of the stroke. Enter your desired value, hit Ok and you are done!

Opacity control for stroke/border is available all across Fireworks objects such as Texts, Paths, Autoshape and so on.

For quick access for adding border opacity, you can save semi-transparent stroke as style.

While saving the new style, make sure you select only the parameters which affect stroke and leave fill/font-styles unselected.

Alternative method

You can also add the stroke with Photoshop Live Effects which has build-in opacity-control. The downside of this method is the lack of presets - You will only access to one type of stroke which resembles the Basic / Soft Rounded - preset.

For experimental usage, you can have double-strokes if you turn on stroke at PS Live effects and add a normal stroke via FW Properties Inspector.

What about opacity for FILL instead of Stroke?

To set opacity for fill (without altering the opacity of the object), just change fill-type to Linear Gradient and set the both gradient nodes with the same color and the same transparency.


things are much easier in cs5 and cs6 :)

jackluu (15/06/2012 09:26:10)

Increible!!! thanks

Fabian Medina (17/06/2011 20:55:19)

This sounds like a good candidate for some new Orange Commands! :D

Ale Munoz (30/05/2011 18:34:39)

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