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Flash 8: Checking Your Publish Settings

Macromedia Flash – Checking Your Publish Settings

Often you need to save banners to earlier versions of Flash Player. Many sites you might advertise with now accept Flash Player 6 files. You might also create a website that targets a wide audience, and you need to target an older player. The simple ActionScript you added to your file can play in Flash Player 6. Therefore, you can change your player settings to Flash Player 6 for your website.

In earlier parts of this tutorial, you made changes in the Document Settings dialog box. You set the dimensions and fps rate for the SWF file. In this final section, you will make sure that the Flash Player setting you want to target is correct, and that you export the files you need. Many Flash authors make these settings when they create the FLA file because they are aware of what they need to output and target:

  1. Open the banner2.fla file from Part 2 of this series. If you don’t have banner2.fla, open banner3.fla from the source files ZIP archive that accompanies this tutorial. Look inside the start folder.
  2. Select File > Save As and then rename the file as banner3.fla.
  3. Select File > Publish settings. The Publish Setting dialog box opens, where you can change many different settings for how you want to publish your files.
  4. Click the Formats tab and then make sure that the Flash (.swf) check box is selected.
  5. Clear the HTML check box. For this exercise, you don’t need to output an HTML page.
  6. Click the Flash tab and select Flash Player 6 from the Version pop-up menu. When you add Flash advertisements to an HTML page, you should use Flash Player 6 or earlier (as of the time of this writing).

    Many Flash developers still use Flash Player 5 for banner advertisements, although sites are starting to use Flash Player 6, which enables you to include additional functionality to your Flash advertisements.

  7. Select ActionScript 1.0 from the ActionScript version pop-up menu. For this example, you wrote ActionScript 1.0 style code (in Part 2). Although this setting does not matter, it’s a good habit to check what version you have selected. You can write ActionScript 2.0 code and publish to Flash Player 6 if you want.
  8. Select the Compress Movie check box from the Options section. You do not need to make any other selections on the Flash tab.
  9. When you finish, click OK to accept the changes to your document.
  10. Select File > Publish when you have finished editing your FLA file. This publishes the SWF file to the directory where you saved the SWF file.
  11. Go to the folder to which you published the banner’s SWF file. Check the file size of the document (it’s called banner3.swf).

As I mentioned previously, file size is not a great concern because you’re not submitting the banner to an advertising service. If you need or want to reduce the file size of your banner, you can go to the Publish Settings dialog box again (File > Publish Settings) and click the Flash tab. You can reduce the quality of the bitmap image you use in the background by changing the JPEG quality to a lower number. Move the slider to 60 and click Publish. When you check the SWF file again, the file size will be smaller.

There are other ways to reduce the file size of a SWF file. If you need to design a file to a specific maximum file size, make sure you publish your work regularly and check the current file size. Bitmap images, sounds, and video quickly increase a SWF file’s size.

If you don’t have Dreamweaver installed, then this article ends here for you. If this is the case, you can return to the Publish Settings dialog box from this exercise and make sure you select the HTML check box under the Formats tab. When you publish the document, an HTML file is exported with the SWF file. You can open this file, copy the HTML code, and paste it into your website. Notice that this file contains some extra tags that you won’t need if you have an existing website, such as <head> and <body> tags. The tags you need are the <object> tag and the <embed> tag, which contain the information that both Internet Explorer and Mozilla-based browsers need to display SWF files.

If you do have Dreamweaver, carry on. In the following exercises, you will place and edit the banner in a web page.