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While panning and zooming in Prezi can help bring your presentations to life, sometimes you need some custom animation. Importing a Flash SWF file might just do the trick. But before I show you how it's done you should know it has a few limitations. Your SWF can't contain any ActionScript code. Even a stop command isn't allowed. And that leads me to the second limitation. Your SWF animation will continuously loop in Prezi. Well this may be good for some animations, it can really be distracting for others. Some examples where some looping animations might work well are a radiating glow behind something or an arrow pointing to something you really, really want to emphasize or even a character or someone walking or dancing, something like that.
You get the picture, it should be something that you'd expect to see over and over again. Since SWF files are vector based, you can zoom in as close as you'd like and the image will be nice and sharp. SWF files can be created in Adobe Flash Professional or in Adobe Illustrator. I recommend creating SWF in Flash Professional over Illustrator though because Illustrator SWF have been know to cause issues with the behavior of paths and Prezi. If you're not familiar creating animations in Flash, there are several courses in the lynda.com library that can help get you started.
Now let me show you how to import a SWF into Prezi. Here we are back in the Editor with our example file open. And to import a SWF go up to Insert From File. And now you can choose the SWF you want to load. I'll load Arrow Swift. This little SWF that I created for the course. It's included in your free Exercise files. With that file selected, I'll click Open. Takes a second to load but here's our arrow bigger than life right here on our canvas. From here we can use the Transformation tool to move it around get it placed just how we want it.
I'm going to make it really small and put it on this frame here as a little emphasis. So I'm going to zoom in. And get it right where I want it. Move everything in place in this frame, just like so. Now sometimes, because these are moving and they're you know animated, they're hard to grab ahold of. If I'm holding it just right, I can get it to highlight and when I click on it, it'll be selected. But sometimes you can't do that, so you always want to do Cmd+Shift if you're having trouble with that. You can mark key right over it and to select an item.
Now Flash SWF will, as you can see with this one, go on looping forever from the moment you open your Prezi until you close it. There is a way to hide the animation until you reach the frame that is in though, and I'll show you how to do that later when we talk about frame animations. Adding Flash animation can really add polish to your presentations and gives you more tools to illustrate your ideas beyond just panning and zooming.
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