Creating a Simple Buttons

Buttons are fun to click, but they’re even more fun to make using Adobe Fireworks. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to create a button that is both elegant and simple and best of all customizable for nearly any project.

  1. Let’s start off by creating a canvas. For this tutorial and to give me some working space I decided to create a canvas that is 700px by 200px with a background/canvas color #EAEAEA.
  2. Create a rectangle using the rectangle tool with the dimensions w: 200 and h: 50.
  3. From the fill category in the Properties panel, select Gradient >> Linear. For the color variations select #F9F9F9 to #E5E5E5 (or any colors you wish, just make sure that the second color is darker than the first and from the same color group as the first).
  4. From the Properties panel, let’s also set the roundness to 25%. Once you have done that you should get something like this (unless you used different colors):
  5. Now it’s time to give the button some touch up to make it look like it’s a button (like one on a keyboard). For this we’re going to play around with filters. From the filters menu (in Properties panel) select Shadow and Glow >> Inner Shadow. From the options set the distance to 5, opacity to 100%, softness to 0, angle to 90 and color to #FFFFFF. This step will give the edge of the button a bit of a glow at the bottom edge where the light will hit the button (we are assuming the light source is from the top of the canvas).
  6. To make the button really stand out we’re going to add another Inner Shadow but this time with these:  distance is 4, opacity is 100%, softness is 0, angle 90 and color is #777777. If you used different colors than the ones I used, simply use a darker shade. You should now have something like this:
  7. To give this button the feel that it is actually standing, we need to have the button drop shadow. We can do this by going to Filters >> Shadow and Glow >> Drop Shadow. From the options set the distance to 4, opacity to 90%, softness to 4, angle to 270 and color to #B6B6B6. Wonderful thing about this step is that it also adds a little shadow to the side of the button as well.
  8. Lets give this button a solid cut to make it look elegant then in active and normal state. Create a circle that is 25 by 25 and position it 2px above the horizontal center towards the right edge of the button. Set the color to #CCCCCC. Next add Inner Shadow and Drop Shadow respectively with the settings below.

    Once you apply the step above, you should have the following:
  9. Wonderful. Now that’s starting to look pretty darn sleek. For the next step, we’re going to create an arrow. To do this lets a rectangle that is 10 by 10 using the Rectangle Tool.
  10. With the rectangle selected, go to Modify >> Transform >> Numeric Transform and rotate this shape by 45 degrees.
    Windows Short Key: CTRL + SHIFT + T
    Mac Short Key: CMD + SHIFT + T
  11. While you have the rotated rectangle selected, from your tools panel select the Subselection Tool. You should now have four edge discovered from the rectangle (white box with blue border). Click the left edge. This will now bring up this dialog window:

    Just click “OK” and reselect that edge (if not already selected). Then hit delete from your keyboard. This will now give you a triangle point to the right.
  12.  I recommend you now take the time to resize your triangle to w: 5 and h: 10.
  13. Next create another rectangle that is w: 5 and h: 4. Position this rectangle so that it vertically centered with the triangle and over laps the triangle’s flat edge by 1px. Zoom in if necessary.
  14.  With the two paths selected click on the Union Paths from our path panel (if you don’t have it active go to Window >> Others >> Path). This will combine the two paths into one making it one editable (vector) shape. If we did not have the rectangle overlap the triangle by 1px, the Union will show 1 shape but not one editable vector shape. Why? Because we’re so busy most of the time that we don’t take the time to zoom in and closely look if the show shapes are touching. So to prevent that, we often just overlap one one with the other.
  15. Change the color of this arrow to either #FFFFFF (or linear color) and position it in in the center of the circle. Then add a little drop shadow to the arrow with the distance of 1, opacity of 65%, softness of 0 angle of 270 and color #999999. This will make the arrow stand out a bit more.
  16. Finally add some text with a Drop Shadow (distance 1, opacity 100%, softness 0, angle 270 and color #FFFFFF) and position it as in the image below.

Voila, you now have a nice button you can use on your next project. Download the source file to see the active state of this button. Remember to play with the colors. There are thousands (if not millions) of different color combinations; find one to suit your project. If you want to code this button, visit Codrops for a wonderful tutorial.


Hey there. I’m Sazzad, a User Experience Developer from New York City. I work with many talented folks who find ways of re-inventing the way users look at the web. I am the founder of the FWPolice and co-founder of Fleech Media. You can follow me on Twitter by the handle @IamShipon1988 .


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