Parag’s Den

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Introduction to Flash

Posted by paragdongre on February 5, 2009


Flash is a tool for creating interactive and animated Web sites.

What you should already know ?
Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:
• WWW, HTML and the basics of building Web pages

What is Flash?
• Flash is a multimedia graphics program specially for use on the Web
• Flash enables you to create interactive “movies” on the Web
• Flash uses vector graphics, which means that the graphics can be scaled to any size without losing clarity/quality
• Flash does not require programming skills and is easy to learn

Who can View Flash?
In September 2000, NPD Research, the parent company of MediaMetrix, conducted a study to determine what percentage of Web browsers have Flash preinstalled. The results show that 96.4% of Web users can experience Macromedia Flash content without having to download and install a player.
If you do not have the Shockwave Player installed you can download it for free from Adobe’s site.

Who can Create Flash Movies?
To create your own Flash movies you need to buy a Flash program.
The latest version from Adobe is Adobe Flash Lite (or Flash CS3 Pro).
If you do not have a Flash program, you can download a 30 days free trial version of Flash from Adobe.

Where to Start?
After you have installed Flash, you should go through the lessons that are included in the program. Start Adobe Flash, click Help in the menu and choose Lessons. These lessons will teach you the basics of Flash.

Flash Embedded in HTML

After creating a Flash movie you choose File > Save As from the top menu to save your movie. Save the file as “filename.fla”.

To embed the Flash movie you just made into an HTML page, you should go back to your Flash program and do the following steps:
Step 1
Choose File > Open. Open a Flash movie you have created.
Step 2
Choose File > Export Movie.
Step 3
Name the file “filename.swf”. Choose the location where the file is to be stored (in your Web folder). Click OK.
Step 4
Open the HTML page where you want to insert your Flash movie. Insert this code:

Note: This is the minimum code you need to embed a Flash movie in a browser. A broken icon will appear on the Web page if the user does not have the Flash plug-in installed.

Note: In the code above there is both an tag and an tag. This is because the tag is recognized by Internet Explorer, and Netscape recognizes the tag and ignores the tag.
Step 5
Type in the address of the HTML file in your browser and look at your first Flash movie.

Let the Flash Program do the Work
The code above is the absolute minimum code to embed Flash movies in HTML pages. It is not recommended to use the minimum code.
There should be a few more attributes added:
• classid is an attribute to the tag. It tells Internet Explorer to load the ActiveX plug-in if it is not installed
• pluginspage is an attribute to the tag. It displays a link to the Shockwave download page if Netscape does not have it
The Flash program can add these attributes for you:
Step 1
Choose File > Publish. Flash will now create the , , and tags for you. It will also create the classid and pluginspage attributes.
Step 2
Open the HTML document that Flash created, view the HTML source and copy the code into your HTML page where you want your Flash movie.
Step 3
Be sure that you have the “filename.swf” in your Web folder.
Step 4
Type in the address of the HTML file in your browser and look at your first Flash movie.

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