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Chapter 6. Making the Most of FlashPaper > Creating Flash Documents in Dreamwea...

Creating Flash Documents in Dreamweaver

It's not always practical or prudent to let the Contribute user create Flash documents. In some situations, you (as the designer) might want to take control of the process and then make the final output available to the content contributor. A side benefit of installing Contribute on your design system is access to the FlashPaper engine. In this lesson, you'll see another approach to using FlashPaper: crafting the layout in Dreamweaver, converting the file yourself, and then publishing it as a shared asset. This lesson also highlights FlashPaper's capability to create slide shows with magnifiable images.

In Dreamweaver's Files panel, expand the pr folder in the site root and double-click the fieldtrip_photos.htm file to open it.

The fieldtrip_photos.htm file is a series of images and captions intended to be viewed as a slide show. Although it is possible to simply post the page as regular HTML, for this exercise you'll turn this document into a FlashPaper file after the final image and caption have been added.

Place your cursor at the bottom of the file and, from the Insert bar's Common category, choose Image under the Images menu button. When the Select Image dialog box opens, navigate to the images folder in the site root and open the fieldtrip folder. Within the fieldtrip folder, select the file Baby2.jpg and click OK. After the image is added to the page, press the right arrow key to move off the selected graphic, and press Enter (Return). In the new line, type the following text as a caption: See you next year! When you're done, choose File > Save.

Simple CSS styles are used to keep everything centered in the browser window, ready for conversion to FlashPaper. The only printing option in Dreamweaver is to print code, so you'll use the browser's capability to print as the conduit to FlashPaper.


Again, different procedures on the Macintosh and Windows require two different steps.

Both Windows and Macintosh users need to provide particular settings in both the Page Setup and Print dialog boxes.

Windows users: Press F12 to preview the current page in the default browser. In the browser, choose File > Page Setup, remove any header or footer information, and click OK. Select File > Print to open the Print dialog box. Set the printer to FlashPaper 2 and choose Preferences. When the Preferences dialog box opens, choose Landscape orientation; under Page size, choose Custom and enter 6 × 5 inches for the dimensions; click OK to confirm your choices. In the Print dialog box, select Print to initiate the FlashPaper conversion.

Macintosh users: Press F12 to preview the current page in your default browser. In the browser, choose File > Page Setup. In the Page Set Up dialog box, while the Settings list is set to Page Attributes, select the Landscape orientation. Choose “Custom page size” from the Settings list and choose New to create a new layout. Name the layout Slideshow and enter a height of 5 inches and width of 6 inches. Click Save to store the layout and then click OK. Select File > Print and, in the Print dialog box, choose Macromedia FlashPaper from the Printer list; then select Print.

The key point to take away here is that you actually have a fair degree of control over the type of page that FlashPaper outputs, by controlling the various properties of the print operation.

Windows users: The conversion process begins after the Print button is selected. When the operation is complete, the Flash document is displayed in the viewer. Choose Save as Macromedia Flash to open the Save FlashPaper dialog box. Navigate to the media folder and store the file as fieldtrip.swf.

The order of operations is slightly different for Windows and Macintosh. Although the completed file is displayed automatically for Windows users, it is not displayed on the Macintosh.

Macintosh users: After Print is clicked, the Save As dialog box appears. Locate the media folder in the local site root and save the file as fieldtrip.swf.

To make sure that the user can find it easily, you'll next put the FlashPaper .swf file on the site so it can be made into a shared asset.

In the Dreamweaver Files panel, open the media folder in the site root, select the fieldtrip.swf file, and choose Check in.

You're just about ready to try out the FlashPaper slide show in Contribute.

Switch to Contribute and choose Edit > Administer Websites > Bounty General. In the Administer Website dialog box, click “Edit role settings” and then switch to the Shared Assets category. Select Add (+) > Flash. When the Choose Flash Content dialog box appears, open first the site root and then the media folder. Select fieldtrip.swf and choose OK. Keep the default name suggested by the Shared Asset Properties dialog box and click OK. Click OK again to close the Edit Role Settings dialog box and then click Close to complete the process.

An HTML file has already been created by another team member.

Select Choose and expand the site root folder, if necessary. Open first the pr folder and then the releases subfolder within it. Select the pr_fieldtrip.htm file and click OK. When the page opens in Contribute, choose Edit page. Place your cursor below the introductory text and select Insert > Flash > From Shared Assets. When the Insert Shared Asset dialog box appears, choose fieldtrip and select OK.

The FlashPaper file might be a bit smaller than desired—this is particularly noticeable if not all the control buttons are immediately available.

With the Flash document selected, drag the sizing handle on the side to the right so that all controls are visible. When you're satisfied with the result, click Publish.

You don't have to wait until the file is published before you can interact with it. For the most part, Flash documents in Contribute are fully interactive.



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