BEFORE YOU BEGIN
25 Add Text and Graphics to the Page
57 Add a Picture to Your Page
Flash , as I mentioned before, is a really slick tool to add multimedia to your pages. You can build any animation you can imagine with video, audio, images, scripting, and even interactions with databases. Talking about how to create new Flash files is the subject of many other books; you might have even created some Flash files of your own. In this chapter, you are going to create a set of Flash navigation buttons, with an online service, and then insert the buttons into your page.
Open a Page and Go to http://www.FlashButtons.com
Open a page and open another browser window (http://www.FlashButtons.com).
FlashButtons.com is a site where you can use its servers to produce Flash buttons for your site. Like GeoCities , you can use the FlashButtons service for free by allowing it to show a small advertisement for its service on the menu, or you can subscribe to the service and not have any advertising.
Create a Navigation Bar at FlashButtons
Follow the instructions on FlashButtons to create a navigation bar. There are many templates to choose from. I selected High Spy for my button. Choose one that fits your fancy. Enter a name for each button and a link to the name of the page to which you want it to link. In the Number of Buttons Per Line text area, select the number of buttons for which you entered names and then click on the button marked Click Here to Generate Your Free Navbar! . On the next page, click on Free Download and save the file to the same location your page is in.
As you go through the process of creating your navigation bar, you can experiment with other styles and colors. You might also want to set the background color for the navigation bar to match the background of your site.
Copy the Navigation Bar Code
When FlashButtons takes all your choices and entries you have made and writes them to a Flash file, it writes the HTML code that you need to access the file to paste into your own page.
60. Add a Flash Animation to Your Page
Scroll down the FlashButtons page to the block of code in step three on the page. Copy the code to your clipboard.
In my case, the HTML code looks like this:
<OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase= "http://download.macromedia.com/pub/ shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=4,0,2,0" width="362" height="35"> <PARAM name="movie" value="HighSpy.swf"> <PARAM name="quality" value="high"> <PARAM name="menu" value="true"> <EMBED src="HighSpy.swf" quality="high" menu="true" pluginspage= "http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/ download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" type= "application/x-shockwave-flash" width="362" height="35"> </EMBED> </OBJECT>
This is fairly complicated HTML code and it uses a few tags that you haven't seen. Good thing you don't have to worry about doing it by hand yourself.
Paste Your Code into the Insert HTML Dialog Box
In your Composer page, click where you want the navigation buttons to appear, select HTML Code from the Insert menu, paste your code into the Insert HTML dialog box, and press the Insert button.
Even though you can't see the inserted code and there is no real preview of the navigation bar in the page as you work in Composer , it will work when downloaded from your web server.
Save Your Page and View It in the Browser
Save your page and browse to it. Let's look at the navigation bar.
FlashButtons has its small advertisement there on the page below the menus . Some don't like to embed advertisements into their web pages. If you like the menu, you can always pay for the service and then regenerate the navigation bar without the advertisement.
Got problems? Browsers have a view source option among their menus. Compare the source coming from your web page with the source provided with your Flash button bar. Typos? Missing elements? Any small mistake can make big errors happen.