Fireworks offers a good mix of vector- and bitmap-editing capabilities, but naturally, it can't compete on all points with Adobe's graphical flagships. Instead, all three are now designed to work hand-in-hand thanks to Fireworks CS3's new ability to open Photoshop PSD and Illustrator AI files. To make the integration as smooth as possible, Fireworks' handling of layers has been reworked to support hierarchical groups and subgroups, which makes working with complex layouts more manageable.
In addition, Fireworks CS3 now supports Photoshop's bitmap-based blend modes, as well as layer effects such as bevels, glows and drop shadows, all of which can be applied as live effects. This isn't the explosion of new power that it may seem, as Fireworks already offered its own equivalents and still does for backwards compatibility. However, being able to apply all effects from a single dialog is more efficient and encourages experimentation, and it also means rich layered designs can be opened from, and now also saved to, PSD format.