Creating a Bitmap Mask

Creating a Bitmap Mask

You can create a bitmap mask by selecting an area of the document through which the bottom objects will show. The bottom that will show through will be the document canvas color.

Open a document in Fireworks. You can use a document that contains vector objects, bitmap objects, or a combination of both. I am using a picture of my dog Cracker. If you would like to use this for this tutorial just copy and paste it to your folder:


Choose Modify > Canvas > Canvas Color. Click the custom radio button then choose a color from the Color dialog box by picking a color in the photo using the eyedropper tool then click OK.

Click on the marquee tool on the tool panel and choose Oval Marquee:

Oval Marquee Tool

Set the Edge tool settings on the properties panel as desired:

  • Choose Hard to create a marquee selection with a sharp edge.
  • Choose Anti-alias to prevent jagged edges in the marquee selection.
  • Choose Feather to soften the edge of the pixel selection.

Edge Marquee

For Marquee tool selections only, choose a Style on the properties panel:

  • Choose Normal to create a marquee in which the height and width are independent.
  • Choose Fixed Ratio to constrain the height and width to defined ratios.
  • Choose Fixed Size to constrain the height and width to a set dimension.

Style of Marquee

Draw a selection marquee around the area of the document that you want to show through the mask.

Cracker Marquee

Click the Add Mask button on the Layers panel. If the Layers panel is not already open, choose Window/Layers to open it. Make sure the bitmap is selected. You can tell by looking at the layers panel and it will appear blue if it is selected.

Mask Layer Button

The color you selected as your background now appears outside the marquee area.

Cracker Masked