Adobe 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 frame rate (fps) 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 developers make these settings when they start the FLA file, because they are aware of what they need to output and target.

Open the banner2.fla file from Part 2 of this tutorial ("Basic Tasks: Creating a banner, Part 2").

If you don't have banner2.fla, open banner3.fla from the tutorial source files (see "Open the finished project"). Look inside the start folder.

Select File > Save As and then rename the file banner3.fla.

Select File > Publish Settings.

The Publish Setting dialog box opens, where you can change many different settings for publishing your files.

Click the Formats tab, and then make sure that the Flash (.swf) check box is selected.

Deselect the HTML option.

For this exercise, you don't need to output an HTML page.

Click the Flash tab, and select Flash Player 6 from the Version pop-up menu.

When you add Flash advertisements to an HTML page, use Flash Player 6 or earlier (as of the time of writing). Many Flash developers still use Flash Player 5, although sites are starting to use Flash Player 6, which enables you to add additional functionality in your Flash advertisements.

Select ActionScript 1.0 from the ActionScript version pop-up menu.

For this example, you wrote ActionScript 1.0 style code (in Part 2), and although this setting does not matter it's a good habit to check which version you have selected. You can write ActionScript 2.0 and publish to Flash Player 6 if you want.

In the Options section, select Compress movie.

You do not need to make any other selections on the Flash tab.

When you finish, click OK to accept the changes to your document.

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.

Go to the directory to which you published the banner's SWF file. Check the file size of the document (it's called banner3.swf).

As discussed previously, file size is not a great concern because you're not submitting the banner to an advertising service. If you need to 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 is 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 the tutorial series ends with this section. If you don't have Dreamweaver, you can return to the Publish Settings dialog box from this exercise, and make sure you select the HTML option under the Formats tab. When you publish the document, an HTML file exports 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 both the object and embed tags, which contains the information both Internet Explorer and Mozilla-based browsers need to display the SWF file.

If you have Dreamweaver installed, continue to the next page. In the following exercises, you place and edit the banner in a web page.