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Macromedia Flash OBJECT and EMBED tag syntax

Macromedia Flash OBJECT and EMBED tag syntax


An HTML page is required to correctly display a Macromedia Flash movie in a browser. This HTML page must contain tags that reference the actual Macromedia Flash movie file to be opened and played. These tags are the OBJECT and EMBED tags. The OBJECT tag is used by Internet Explorer on Windows and the EMBED is used by Netscape Navigator (Macintosh and Windows) and Internet Explorer (Macintosh) to direct the browser to load the Macromedia Flash Player. Internet Explorer on Windows uses an ActiveX control to play Macromedia Flash content while all other browser and platform combinations use the Netscape plugin technology to play Macromedia Flash content. This explains the need for two tags.

Note: Hand coding HTML pages with OBJECT and EMBED tags is not necessary when using Macromedia Flash 4 or later. The Publish feature present in those versions of Macromedia Flash will automatically create an HTML document that contains the required HTML tags for browsers to access a Flash movie on the web. There are also several different HTML publishing templates to choose from. To use the Publish feature choose File > Publish Settings. For more information on using the feature see the Using Flash manual or online help.

Also note: Dreamweaver, Macromedia’s HTML authoring tool, can easily embed a SWF movie into an HTML document. Dreamweaver also provides more control over layout and design of the page that contains the Macromedia Flash movie than the Publish feature in Flash.

Adding <OBJECT> and <EMBED> tags manually

It’s simple to create the tags required to display a Flash movie in a browser.

To add OBJECT and EMBED tags manually:

  1. Copy the HTML code below and paste it into your HTML.
    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
    WIDTH="550" HEIGHT="400" id="myMovieName">
    <PARAM NAME=movie VALUE="myFlashMovie.swf">
    <PARAM NAME=quality VALUE=high>
    <EMBED src="/support/flash/ts/documents/myFlashMovie.swf"
    quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="550" HEIGHT="400"
    NAME="myMovieName" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash"
  2. Edit the attributes of the tags for the movie.
    • Change the HEIGHT and WIDTH parameters to match the height and width of the movie dimensions or use percentage values, if desired.
    • Change “moviename.swf” where it appears in the OBJECT and EMBED tags to the name of movie to be played.

Why use these all these HTML tags? What do they do?
The OBJECT tag is for Internet Explorer 3.0 or later on Windows 9x/2000/NT/ME/XP platforms or any browser that supports the use of the Flash ActiveX control. The “classid” must appear exactly as it does in this example. The “codebase” attribute must also appear exactly as it does in this example; it tells the browser where to find Flash Player for automatic download. Internet Explorer 3.0 or later on Windows 9x/2000/NT/ME/XP will prompt the user with a dialog asking if they would like to auto-install the Flash Player if it’s not already installed. This process can occur without the user having to restart the browser.

The EMBED tag is for Netscape Navigator 2.0 or later, or browsers that support the use of the Netscape-compatible plugin version of Flash Player. The “pluginspage” attribute tells the browser where to direct the user to find Flash Player for download if the Player is not already installed. The user would then need to download and run the installer and restart their browser.

To ensure that the most browsers will play your Flash Player movies, you should place the EMBED tag nested within the OBJECT tag as shown in the above example. ActiveX-enabled browsers will “ignore” the EMBED tag inside the OBJECT tag. Netscape and Microsoft browsers using the Flash Plugin will not recognize the OBJECT tag and will read only the EMBED tag.

Note: Some visual HTML editors such as Dreamweaver support the insertion of ActiveX objects or Netscape plugin content. Except when using Dreamweaver, it may be necessary to interpret the HTML code above to determine what to enter and where into your editor’s dialog box or configuration prompts. You may also have to edit the HTML source code directly to achieve the nested OBJECT/EMBED tag structure described above. Although some editors allow you to preview the content after you’ve placed it, test your pages in Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator to see them as your users will when they are downloaded. Flash 4, Flash 5, and Flash MX users can easily obtain the correct code by using Flash’s Publish feature, and opening this Flash-created HTML page in an HTML editor.

This code is the minimum required HTML to provide Flash Player content in your web pages. There are other attributes that you can use in your OBJECT and EMBED tags to help control your movie.