Save for web sizes: Ps vs Fw

I recently purchased Fireworks CS5, one of the key selling points of Fireworks amongst many, is the efficiency in the way Fireworks saves files. It produces smaller file sizes.

I was a longtime user of Photoshop and regularly saved for web around 50% quality without any problem, it was my go-to default setting. However, since moving to Fireworks I noticed I couldn’t get a useable image much bellow 70% quality before the image was looking like a jagged-y jpeg patchwork.

I’ve moved to Mac and Fireworks very recently and couldn’t tell if this was a factor, so I went right back to my old PC with Photoshop 7 on and Fireworks MX to see if this disparity has always existed.

The Test: I opened the same PSD file in PS and Fw and saved for web in both JPEG and PNG 32bit. With the JPEG’s, I lowered the quality by eye until I was happy with the size vs quality to a point where I would be happy to make live on a website.


  • JPEG [Quality ~55%] – filesize 102Kb
  • PNG 32Bit – 590Kb


  • JPEG [Quality ~70%] – filesize 70Kb
  • PNG 32Bit – 471Kb

So there you have it. It seems Fireworks has always and can save files of much smaller size and the JPEG quality scales are not the same for Fw vs PS.

You can read about my switch to Fireworks CS5 on an earlier post.