Inserting Flash into a Dreamweaver page
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You’ve created a Flash movie using the “.fla” extension. The .fla extension is the design format for Flash, and is a huge file that takes up far too much bandwidth to put on a Web page. So, you’ll need to compress your .fla file into a lower-bandwidth “.swf” so it will load on a web site. (This is one of the great benefits of Flash: when compressed, the file is very low bandwidth so that nearly any connection speed can download the movie.)Flash gives you a number of options when compressing your .fla file that will ultimately decide the quality and the load time for your Flash movie. You can experiment with different settings to determine the best trade-off between size and quality.
With your .fla movie open, choose: File > Publish settings
Under Publish Settings, there are three tabs to adjust settings: Formats, Flash and HTML.
The checked default settings are: Flash and HTML.
These are the only boxes that should be checked; when you convert a .fla file to a .swf file, Flash also creates an HTML file so the movie can run on a web page. (See images of .swf and .html files at the end of this tutorial.)
Version: Flash Player 6
Load order: Bottom up (this means the first image in the movie will be the one at the bottom of your .fla file. If you’ve built your movie opposite, use “top down.”)
Options: Compress movie
JPEG quality: 50 percent is a good balance – it doesn’t detract much from image quality on the Web. (You can experiment with the JPEG quality: the higher the quality, the slower the download time.)
Audio Stream and Audio Event:
Note: There are two types of sounds in Flash: event sounds and stream sounds. An event sound must download completely before it begins playing, and it continues playing until stopped (using an action script or the control bar). It’s mostly used for sounds of short duration that are applied to buttons. Stream sounds begin playing as soon as enough data for the first few frames has been downloaded. They are usually longer sound files, such as background music, sound or interviews.
Use “Stream” if your movie includes audio for most of, or the entire track. Use “event” for shor-duration button sounds.
Click on “Set” to bring up the settings
Preprocessing: Leave checked
Bit Rate: Check 16 kpbs
Note: If you have a human voice in your Flash movie, choose 32 kbps. If you use the regular settings, the voices will come out tinny and weak. This increases your file size a tiny bit. The same improvement can be obtained by selecting “Speech” from the Compression drop-down menu. But this increases the file size quite a bit.
Quality: Check “Fast”
Template: Flash only.
Dimensions: Match movie
Width and height should correspond to the size of your Flash movie (such as 400×300).
Playback: Uncheck: “device font” and “display menu;” check: “paused at start” if you have a control bar in your movie; by checking “loop” the movie will play continuously.
Window mode: Window
HTML alignment: Default
Flash Alignment: Center and Center
Show Warning Messages: leave checked
Click:“Publish” icon at top right of dialogue box (Publish can take up to a couple minutes depending on how big your movie is), and “ok.”
Test movie in browser: Control > Test movie
(Or, hold down the Command (Apple) key and return key at the same time)
[Note: Although you can test your Flash movie in a browser at any time, this does not set it for publish to a live web site.]
Now that your movie settings are adjusted for publish, you’re ready to convert the .fla to a .swf file, click: File > Export Movie
In the dialogue box that comes up, name your .swf, save it to disk, and export as a Flash Movie.
If you want to go back to make any edits down the line, you will make them on the .fla file; the .swf file cannot be edited. This means that each time you make a change to the .fla you will need adjust settings and re-export as a new .swf (you can use the same naming conventions and copy over the out of date files). Both of these files are necessary to insert the Flash movie into a Dreamweaver page. Make sure to leave both files in the same folder where all your web content is stored.
Now you’re ready to drop your .swf into a Dreamweaver page.
In Dreamweaver, navigate to: Insert > Media > Flash
(Or, click on the red Flash icon on the Insert bar under “Com mon tab, which opens by default at top of the Dreamweaver file.)
In the dialogue box that opens, navigate to your Flash .swf file, and choose it. Double click on the Flash .swf file to make it drop into the Dreamweaver page.
Size and position the Flash file (a gray box) with the drag and drop handles. Or, use the Properties dialogue box: Window > Properties to adjust the width and height of your Flash movie.
Test Dreamweaver page (Hold down Command key (“apple key”) and F12)
Save the associated HTML file in the same folder where you store your .swf file.
A Flash “.swf” and “.html” file (named, in this case, “about”):