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Xtras: An overview

Because of its support of object-oriented programming, Director has a certain modularity. When a new, specialized capability is needed, a new unit of software can be written to provide it, without having to re-create the entire core Director program. This is one of Director's strengths—its power can be continually enhanced, not just by the software engineers at Macromedia but by anyone with a bright idea and some programming smarts. These external software extensions are called Xtras, and they are similar to the plug-ins used by Photoshop, browsers, and other applications.

Xtras come in a number of flavors. Some are Lingo-specific and are accessed through Lingo commands. Others provide their own user interface, which lets you use them without having to master the subtleties of scripting. What's more, such interfaces fit seamlessly into the Director interface: Just pull down the Xtras menu and you'll find some of them ready to access. Other Xtras provide functionality that occurs automatically, such as when you place a QuickTime video in the Cast.


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