Section .7. Areas of Continued Study

.7. Areas of Continued Study

As you can imagine, it's not possible to discuss every aspect of Flash development in one book. In addition to the inevitable space limitations imposed upon any single topic, many skills require additional familiarity with the Flash interface, and/or additional experience with ActionScript. However, it's still important to continue your learning, so here are five suggested topics worth exploring. Portions of most of these topics will likely be covered in one or more resources listed later in this chapter:

Flash screens and forms

Flash 8 Professional's screens features provide a streamlined development metaphor better suited to slide shows and forms than the default Flash timeline. Available when creating a new document, Flash screens are used to create screen-based presentations à la Microsoft PowerPoint. Flash forms are used to develop user interfaces visually à la Microsoft Visual Basic.


Flash has a built-in XML parser, and it can send and receive data in XML format. For details, see the discussions of the XML, XMLnode, and XMLSocket classes in ActionScript: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly).


Accessibility features allow users with visual, aural, and mobility impairments to experience your Flash content. Not only will taking advantage of these features expand your potential audience, but some sectors are required to comply with Federal Section 508, which mandates their support. See Macromedia's web site ( for more information on how to make your content accessible to all users.


End users can click the web browser's Print button to print the contents of the browser window, but more advanced printing of Flash content requires ActionScript. You can perform basic printing using the print(), printNum(), printAsBitmap(), and printAsBitmapNum() commands. For additional features, such as spooling multiple pages to the printer at once, check out the PrintJob class.

Creating your own extensions and components

Skilled developers can create commands and tools for use in the Flash authoring environment. The Flash JavaScript Dictionary ( includes the necessary information to get started customizing the Flash authoring environment. Also, more details on component development, a topic just touched on in this text, are available at The next section in this appendix will highlight a scant dozen or so such extensions, from a handful of developers, to give you an idea of what's possible. Be sure to visit the companion web site for this book,, for more information about these, and other, extensions.

Flash 8(c) Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity
Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity (OReilly Digital Studio)
ISBN: 0596102232
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 117

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