The Formats tab is the first tab that appears when you open the Publish Settings dialog box. This tab controls all the different formats that you will be creating when you publish your finished work. By default, there are already two choices selected: Flash (.swf) and HTML (.html). Also in this tab, you can set each file to its own name and individual file location. Returning the filenames to their original names is as easy as clicking the Use Default Names button.
Here is a rundown of the publishing formats:
For the Web
The two formats for the web are the default choices: Flash and HTML. The Flash extension, .swf, stands for Shockwave Flash (or Small Web Format if you are a web history buff). The HTML embeds the Flash content to be viewable through a browser, but is itself not a format containing your Flash work. (You'll learn more on embedding Flash in HTML later in this chapter.) This means that, although you can publish just the Flash content, you cannot publish just the HTML. Even if you could publish just the HTML, it would not display anything; it would merely have the necessary HTML tags to contain the published Flash file (SWF).
Because of Flash's built-in and easy-to-use drawing tools, you may also want to use the Flash authoring environment to create graphics to use in conjunction with other programs. Flash makes it as simple as checking a box to be able to publish JPEG, PNG, and GIF images. Also, as you will see later in this chapter, you can adjust properties of the publish formats for better control.
Projectors and QuickTime
Projector formats are very useful for projects such as CD media, where you can't be sure if the end user will have the necessary Flash Player installed on his or her system. For both PC and Mac, Projector files include their own run-time Flash Player so that the end user does not need it. This makes Projector files (.exe) much larger than Flash files (.swf), so choose wisely when it is appropriate to use them.
You can also publish your Flash content into a QuickTime movie (.mov). This is a great format to publish your animations in because it has good video quality and is one of the most popular video formats on the web.
Those are the different formats that Flash can create. Before we go into greater detail about each of these formats and their associated tab, it is important to understand the relationship between your Flash content and the Flash Player.