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In Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding demonstrates how to create and publish fully interactive Flash (SWF) micro sites, widgets, portfolios, and applications from static Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork—all without writing code. The course covers planning a project, importing and organizing assets, creating interactive components, defining repeating data lists, and publishing final projects. Exercise files are included with the course.
Working with SWF files is pretty standard across the Web and if you're not using Dreamweaver, you can easily incorporate this SWF content into any HTML webpage. Let's spend a few minutes talking about how to best go about that process. I will start first inside of Flash Catalyst and I will actually create a SWF file that I can then upload to a Web server. So I'll go to the File menu and I'll choose Publish to SWF/AIR, I'll have it navigate directly to my desktop and I'll only check an option here that I'm building a version for upload to a Web server. Now I'll click Publish to generate the necessary files.
Remember that in addition to the SWF itself Flash Catalyst does create the necessary support files and an HTML file as well. I'll minimize Flash Catalyst here and on the desktop let's take a look at what Flash Catalyst just created. In my deploy-to-web folder I now see that I have a Main.html page and here is the SWF. While there are several ways to embed a Flash file into an HTML page the most common way that people do it is using something called SWF Object. I'll open up Firefox here, to the SWF Object homepage which you can find at code.google.com/p/swfobject where you get step-by-step instructions on how to use SWF Object and on the right side over here, you'll see that you can quickly download the necessary files.
There is also a great utility here called SWF Object Generator which actually generates the code necessary for your HTML files. It is an AIR application. So once you download it double-click on it to install it on your computer. In fact I have that file on my desktop right now. So I am going to minimize my web browser and I'll double-click on the AIR application, SWFObject 2 generator. Basically by entering some information, this application will actually give me the HTML file that I need. Just a few things that I would do here. First of all any content that you create what Flash Catalyst requires the Flash player version 10.0 or higher.
So I would like to detect a Flash version of the least 10.0. I can also use the Adobe Express Install option here which means that if someone does not have the current version of the Flash Player, they'll see a little badge that they can click on to download the necessary player. The SWF files that are generated from Flash Catalyst are always named Main.swf. So where it says over here SWF definition, I could enter that name of the SWF and for my specific file right here, this olive_tour, dimensions are actually 700 x 40 pixels. I might choose an HTML Template, for example, XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and then if I scroll down over here I can choose Generate to automatically create all the code that I need.
I can either copy and paste this into a Webpage or I can save the file directly right from here. For more information on using SWF Object, you can take a look at their web site, and more specifically there are some links over here with some very helpful documentation.
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