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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.
Once you have completed your project, you're ready to publish your file in the form of a SWF file. In reality, Flash Catalyst allows you to publish your file as two kinds of SWFs. One that's intended to be viewed locally on your machine or offline, and one that's intended to be copied to a web server to be viewed online. Flash Catalyst also has the ability to generate an Adobe AIR file which runs directly on the Desktop. However, in this movie, we are going to focus specifically on creating a SWF file that's intended to be viewed locally or offline.
Once you have saved your project, you can go to the File menu, and you can choose Publish to SWF/AIR. This brings up the Publish to SWF dialog box. You can use the Browse button to choose exactly where you want to save your file, but for now I am going to dump this file directly on my Desktop. Next let's take a look at these checkboxes here. I will leave Build for accessibility turned on, but I am going to turn off this option which builds a version intended to go onto a web server. I don't want to create an AIR application now either, so I am going to turn that checkbox off. I am just going to leave this one option here, Build version to view offline.
Now I'll click on the Publish button and Flash Catalyst will go ahead and generate the necessary SWF and any files that need to go along with it and put it onto my Desktop. Let's take a look at exactly what Flash Catalyst just created. So let's go to my Desktop here and you can see that there is a new folder here called olive_tour_final. Let's double-click on it to see the contents. There is now a folder here called run-local. Inside of this folder is a file here, called Main.swf. This is the actual SWF file and all the other files that appear here are necessary to support that file, especially if someone tries to view this without having Flash Player installed on their machine.
I could send this directly to a manager or a client and I would instruct them to open up this Main.html page in their web browser. In fact, let's do that now. Right-click on it, choose Open With and I will chose to open it in Firefox. Notice now I actually see my file, the interactive olive tour that I created, loaded now inside of the browser. This is exactly what a client or a manager might see if I send this to them. The SWF file that we just created is a little bit larger in file size than would normally be necessary for this project.
The reason why is because we have specified that this file should be run offline. So Flash Catalyst embedded lots of information inside of that SWF file to make sure that it will always be able to run. So if you need to show somebody the work that you have been doing, sending them the contents of this run-local folder is the best way to go.
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