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Packaging & Publishing

packagingMuch of the fun of Flash is enjoying the reaction of others. Be sure to share your projects with others!

File Sharing

Begin by thinking about the best way to share. You'll probably want to export your project as a .swf movie so that end users will only need the Flash Player to run it. You may also want to provide a link to the Flash Player software or provide instructions for use.


Flash project can sometimes take a while to load. Consider the load-time of your project. Many developers like to incorporate a "preloader" for projects that take a long time to download. You've probably see preloaders before, they may be a countdown page, an animated logo, or load-time bar indicating the progress of the download. Preloaders are very easy to incorporate into your project.

readRead ActionScript 3.0 for developers and designers – Part 1: Creating a preloader by Jamie Kosoy. This is an intermediate level activity, so beginners may wish to skip this reading.

Although this is an older article, it's a nice introduction to preloaders. Read Building Preloaders and Progress Bars in Macromedia Flash by Joshua Hirsch.

If you want to give it a try, read Making a Preloader.

Project Presentation

Consider how the project is presented to the end user. Does your project have a title page or introductory graphic? Will people understand the purpose of the project or is some explanation needed? How will users access help? Is your project part of a larger website or CD/DVD program?

Web-based. Many Flash projects are served on websites. The entire website may be Flash-based or Flash movies may be integrated as special features for specific purposes such as tutorials.



try itGo to ASPIRE Physics Labs (Lunar Phases, Ozone in the Atmosphere, Cosmic Zoom). Notice how screen shots and links to Flash activities are integrated into the page.

Rather than one long Flash project, consider creating a series of quickly loading movies that can be embedded on web pages.

CD/DVD. Flash projects can be shared on CD, DVD, or through network servers. Some people prefer the CD, DVD, or local server option because websites sometimes become unavailable. On the other hand, while a website is easily updated, a CD or DVD can quickly become dated.

try itTry It!
Go to The Great Corn Adventure, Let's Talk About Insects, Secret Life of Trees, Travels with Pierre, A Walk in the Woods, The All-Star River Explorers, and Out on a Limb. Examine the code and notice what's HMTL and what's Flash. Each page contains a different flash movie to animate the content. These projects are available on the web as well as on CD.

eye means readRead Using Flash for the First Time – Part 3: Publishing and Adding a Flash File to a Web Page by Jen deHaan. This article describes how to publish your Flash projects on a web page.

Flash Player Detection

Some developers add the Flash components to their website, then tell users to get the Flash Player if they don't have it. Others want to automatically detect for a Flash Player. A Flash Player Detection Kit is incorporated into Flash Professional 8. To learn more about player detection, go to the Flash Player Detection Kit page at Adobe.

eye means readRead Best Practices for Flash Player Detection by Robert Hoekman.
This article addresses the issues how to deal with the Flash Player.

try itTry It!
Try Helen Triolo's flash-creations website contains the following wonderful short tutorials:
Publish: Browser Display Options
Publish: Optimizing Image and Sound Compression for Size/Quality

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