The ability to open SVG files (scalable vector graphic files) in Adobe Fireworks should have been a feature from the beginning! Come on, a vector-based program that can’t open SVG files – what the hell were Adobe thinking?!

Anyway, I don’t want this to turn into a bitch session about Fireworks (because I do love it, believe it or not!), but this article is actually supposed to be about one of the pros that Fireworks can now have, so here we go!

The Problem: Why can’t Fireworks open SVG files?

Since the dawn of Fireworks in 1998 (before Adobe bought it from Macromedia in 2005), it could never open SVG files. Admittedly the SVG file wasn’t born until 1999, so at least the first version of Fireworks had an excuse!

So for years, people who wanted to open an SVG file in Fireworks couldn’t. The only way to do so was to use programs like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Inkscape, which not everyone had access to – unless you were a dodgy son of a gun with pirated copies!

The Solution: Fireworks CS6 CAN open SVG files!

Finally, as from Adobe Fireworks CS6, you can now open SVG files – but this isn’t a standard feature. With a little, helping hand from Fireworks extensions guru, John Dunning, I was able to install one of his scripts which allowed me to finally be able to open SVG files.

Just because I can, I’m going to “quickly” go through what I did to come across this gem of an extension, courtesy of John Dunning. (Or if you want to get straight to the point, skip to Step 4). And please keep in mind that this “how to” article was created using a Mac, but the process should be pretty much the same.

Step 1

  • I did what pretty much everyone does in a situation where they what to find out about something – I Googled it!
  • Then I searched for “open svg in fireworks“.
  • Next, I didn’t notice at first, but the page that I needed in the end was just the 2nd search result down… never mind – moving on!

Google search open svg file in fireworks

Step 2

Adobe Community Import Open SVG Files in Fireworks CS5

Step 3

  • After reading through the thread, I reach the bottom of the page, where naturally I find what I’m looking for – John coming to the rescue with his short but sweet comment, which had a link to the solution on his website.
  • I clicked the link:

John Dunning's SVG comment on Adobe Community forum

Step 4 – The Real Solution starts here!

  • When you land on the Fireworks SVG extension page, you should see a “Download” link towards the top of the page.
  • Click on the link to download the MXP file, which is the file you’ll need to execute to install the extension.

Adobe Fireworks SVG extension page

Step 5

  • Once you’ve downloaded the MXP file, navigate to where you downloaded it to (e.g. Desktop or Downloads folder).
  • Double-click the SVG-010.mxp file to run and install the extension.

Fireworks SVG MXP file

Step 6

  • Adobe Extension Manager CS6 should load up.
  • Once it’s done loading, you’ll need to Accept the license agreement in order to proceed with installing the extension.

License agreement for Fireworks SVG extension

Step 7

  • After accepting the license agreement, the extension should automatically install itself, and that should be it!
  • Close the Adobe Extension Manager and fire up Fireworks (excuse the pun!)

Step 8

  • Once Fireworks has finished loading, you should be able to open and insert your very first SVG file in Fireworks!
  • To do so, you have to go up to the top menu and navigate to Commands > SVG and select either Insert or Open.
  • For the sake of this exercise, select Open.

Adobe Fireworks Commands Open SVG file menu

Step 9

  • An Open File window should appear.
  • Navigate to the SVG file you want to open and select Open.

Step 10

  • And that’s it! Fireworks should open up the SVG file like any other vector graphic or image file. The first time you run the script though might take a while (well it did for me), but just be patient as it should work for you.
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