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In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.
Once your Flash content has been added to your page, you still have options regarding how that content operates and is controlled. Between controlling quality and playback options, you can have an impact on how the Flash file is viewed within your web page. So here I have the mission.htm file opened from the 15_02 folder. I'm just going to scroll down and select the Flash movie that we placed in our file in our last exercise. So looking down at the Properties Inspector, we can see that there are quite a few properties of the Flash movie that we can set here in Dreamweaver.
For example, if we want to, we could maybe stretch this banner a little wider and maybe even shrink it down a little bit if it wasn't fitting the right size. Most of the times that's not a really good idea and as a matter of fact, if you take a look in the Properties Inspector, in the lower right-hand corner of all these properties, you can see a little Play button and you can click that to preview the Flash movie directly here in Dreamweaver and you can kind of see what you've done to the file. Yeah, that's not a good idea. So with some Flash movies it's not that big of a deal, especially since they're vector artwork.
So that sometimes scaling them up and scaling them down doesn't really have any adverse affect on the file. In this case however, it really tears the banner ad up and makes the artwork look just kind of odd. So I think what I'm going to do is go right back to my Properties Inspector and I can click this little Reset Size icon that shows up whatever you modify those properties and it'll take your Flash Movie back to its proper size. Now the next thing that the Property Inspector is displaying is the location of the SWF file itself and also the location of the source file.
So this would be the FLA file that was used to create that SWF file. Later on as we explore the integration between Dreamweaver and Flash, that's going to be a very important feature. We also have the ability to affect the playback of our Flash file. Notice that we have a Loop and Autoplay feature and those are going to pass parameters into the Flash movie that tell the Flash Player to loop the content or not loop it, autoplay it or not autoplay it. Now you need to be really careful about passing those values in. Number 1, if whoever was creating your Flash file was doing some ActionScript work, those parameters aren't necessarily going to override the ActionScript inside the Flash file itself.
And if you turn Autoplay off, then you need to give your users some method or means of playing the Flash content. If it's not already built-in to the file, you're not going to have those abilities. There are some options that are more of just basic HTML properties like Vertical Space and Horizontal Space. Those are the same types of attributes that you can set for images and it'll push artwork away from the Flash content. So a little easier and it's actually a better approach to do that through CSS. Now two other options here I want to talk about in little bit more detail.
One is Quality and the other one is Scale. Notice if you grab the pulldown menu for Quality that it goes from Low, High, Auto Low and Auto High. A lot of people are very confused by these settings and they're not really sure what that's going to do. Well, those settings are going to affect the playback quality for vector artwork and text. If you feel like your audience members are going to have a really slow connection or maybe you have a lot of content on the page that's going to playing back all at once, you could set the Quality to Low and it would drop some frames and maybe not smooth the artwork quite as much, but you'd get a better playback at that Low setting.
High or Auto High is going to give you the best possible playback quality settings with Auto High adjusting for playback quality as well. I almost always use High or Auto High, but if you're having trouble with your playback, you might want to experiment with some of the other settings. Now we also have the Scale pulldown menu and our scale can either be No border or Exact Fit. If this Flash vie were going to pop- up in its own window, those two settings become pretty important. Now No border means that you're not going to be able to scale the Flash movie at all, you won't be able to resize the window and you're not going to have any scaling.
Exact Fit on the other hand means that if somebody resizes the browser window that the Flash movie is in, the Flash movie will scale right along with it to fit that window. That could cause distortion. It could cause image quality to suffer, if they scale it up too high. But it gives you that option and that's especially useful if you have things like interactive maps or applications like that that you want people to be able to scale. Now over here on the right-hand side of this we have a parameter called Window Mmode. Notice that the settings for that are Window, Opaque and Transparent. By default, Flash content is transparent.
And if you place the Flash movie say in a floating window or a div tag that was positioned using absolute positioning to float above other elements, if you say Transparent, Dreamweaver is going to tell Flash not to render the background of the movie and you'll literally be able to see through it. That's how a lot of the ads that we're seeing these days online with Flash are done. Notice that we also have Opaque and Window. Basically, both of those options are going to show the background color of the Flash movie and give you pretty much just the default viewing. Now it is worth noting that not all browsers support the transparent windowless mode.
So it's one of those things where if you're going to be doing that, it's a really good idea to have some browser detection in there so that you can present alternate content if that particular ad or application is not supported. There is one more thing that I want to show you about your Flash content within Dreamweaver. We have some Flash Player detection going on and if somebody visits your page without the necessary version of the Flash Player installed, your page is going to provide them with some alternate content and suggest that they upgrade their player. Well, you have total control over the look and feel of that content.
And we've got this little eye icon right here and if we click that off, what I'm looking at now is the alternate content. You're free to go ahead and update this any way that you want. So, please upgrade your Flash Player! Anything you want to do, you could add anything to that. You could style it anyway that you want. You could customize that so it sort of fit your branding or integrated into your site a little bit better. And then as soon as you're done with that, you can just click that again and it'll go right back to displaying your Flash content. So although we have a fair amount of control over our Flash playback in Dreamweaver, most functionality should be taken care of in Flash.
So don't rely on Dreamweaver to provide you with mission-critical performance options. Keep in mind also that the transparent Windowless Mode that we were talking about does not work in every browser. So it's best to have a script that checks for browser compatibility and provides options for non-compliant browsers.
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