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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Setting properties for Flash


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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Setting properties for Flash

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.
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  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
15h 22m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Defining and structuring a new site
  • Creating new web documents from scratch or from templates
  • Adding and formatting text
  • Understanding style sheet basics
  • Placing and styling images
  • Creating links to internal pages and external web sites
  • Controlling page layout with CSS
  • Building and styling forms
  • Reusing web content with templates
  • Adding interactivity
  • Working with Flash and video
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Setting properties for Flash

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: After creating a website following the instructions in the course, the header background graphic appears correctly in all browsers except Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7.  The graphic works properly in IE 8. What can be done to make the graphics appear in IE 6 and IE 7?
A: To make the header background graphic appear, wrap the header div tag in another div tag and give it an ID like “mainHeader.” The problem stems from a bug in Internet Explorer that prevents the browser from dealing with absolutely positioned elements that are right next to relatively positioned elements.  Following the steps above should solve the problem.
Q: In the tutorial, the author links the Tool Tip to the word "More" at the bottom of the thumbnail photo field. I can't figure out how to place the <a> "More" on the thumbnail photo field.
A: In the example, there is a paragraph that wraps an <img> tag and the word "More," which is surrounded by an anchor tag (<a>). The author uses CSS to make sure the parent div tag of the thumbs floats to the left, and is only wide enough for the image. This causes the link text to break down onto another line. Then, the instructor uses CSS to align the link text to the right of the <img>. The link itself is a void JavaScript function, ( javascript();). This gives you a "dummy" link without returning you to the top of the page as the "#" dummy link tends to do.
If you were manually typing the text in, you could select the image, hit the right arrow button, and begin typing. The text should then appear on screen.
Q: In this movie, you are making changes to the HTML in order to customize the text layout on your page (i.e. h1, h2, and h3 tags as well as strong and em tags). I'm wondering why you are not using CSS to do this (i.e. font-size, font-weight). Do you typically use one method, or is it customary to do use both in a layout, and if so, what guidelines would you suggest to determine which to use when?
A: We modify the page's structure through the use of h1, h2, and other heading tags. So when we are choosing heading levels, we're not concerning ourselves with typography; we're establishing page structure. A heading is chosen to denote the level of importance for the heading, not typography.
CSS should always be used for presentation, not HTML.
Q: In the “Understanding ID selectors” movie, the author states that only one ID tag can be used per page, but then he adds two ID tags. Can you please clarify this for me?
A: You can use as many IDs per page as you wish. They just must all use a unique name. Therefore if you assign an element the ID of "header" no other element on THAT page may use the same ID.
Q: I noticed that in this course, the instructor uses this code on his CSS external sheet: @charset "UTF-8"; I was under the impression that this code wasn't necessary. The W3.org site is unclear on the matter. Is it necessary? Is it a best practice? Is it an older form of CSS?
A: The characterset attribute is added automatically by Dreamweaver, and there’s no practical reason to remove it. While it's not needed (the HTML page should indicate which encoding to use for the page) it is helpful if the CSS file is ever imported or used on a page where the characterset isn't specified. Think of it as a safety net for characterset encoding. Not necessary, but not harmful either.
Q: I need to add captions below images that I insert in pages of text. I played all the lessons in Chapter 5 (Adding Text and Structure) but none dealt with captions. I hope the author has an answer or can refer me to a source.
A: In HTML 4 and XHTML 1 (which is what Dreamweaver CS5 uses by default), there wasn't really a way to add captions below your photos. Most web authors would "fake" captions by having paragraphs of text below their images and using CSS to position and style the captions in the desired manner. Many would use a class such as .imgCaption to control the styling. To do this you would essentially position the text underneath the image through CSS (often by grouping the image and the paragraph in a div tag) and italicizing the text.

However in HTML5, there are new elements that allow us to associate images and their captions, the figure and figcaption element. Our author James Williamson just finished a course on HTML5: Syntax, Structure, and Semantics which details how to use it.

HTML5 Doctor also has a nice article on the figure and figcaption elements at http://html5doctor.com/the-figure-figcaption-elements/.
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