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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.
So you have completed your project and you are ready to upload it to the web. To do so, you will need to generate a SWF file. Flash Catalyst also helps out by providing all of the necessary support files as well. Let's take a look at this process. Once you have saved your project, go to the File menu, and choose Publish to SWF/AIR. This brings up the Publish to SWF dialog box and I will choose to save this directly onto my Desktop. Because I want to take this SWF file and load it up onto a web server so that everyone else can access it, I'm going to choose Build version for upload to web server and I will turn off this option Build version to view offline.
If I am using custom fonts, I might choose here to embed fonts, although that will make the file size larger. I'll go to the Publish button and click on it to generate the SWF and the necessary files that I need to display this inside of a web browser online. Now that the file is created, let's go to the Desktop and see what Flash Catalyst just created. I have a folder here called olive_tour_ final and when I double-click on it, I will see a deploy-to-web folder. Inside of this folder, I will see a lot more files than I am used to seeing before. It is not just a single SWF, but it is all the necessary support files as well.
Many of these files are necessary to support the Flex framework, although I'll share some information with you about that, You see, Adobe has designed the Flash Player to actually store and save many of these framework files directly inside of the player. In other words, the first time that somebody views any kind of Flash content that uses the Flex framework, those files are installed inside of the player. Now, the next time that a user wants to view a Flash file, these files are already cached and are in the memory of the computer. So, all these files that you see here are provided for a worst-case scenario.
If a user who is about to view your file doesn't have those files in their Flash Player already, these files are then copied into their file. But they only need to do so once. That ensures that every time someone looks at content online, the content appears quickly. Still, it is always best just to be safe to include all these files when you upload this to a web server. One thing that's different about the SWF that was just created here is that the SWF file itself, which appears right here are called Main.swf, is more compact. It's optimized so that people can download it more quickly on the web.
In addition Flash Catalyst created an HTML file, in case I don't want to generate one on my own. We'll talk more about incorporating these SWF files into your web pages directly later on in this chapter, but for simply taking your project from Flash Catalyst and placing it up onto a web server so other people can view it, the deploy-to-web folder is all you need.
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