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Flashpaper Shazam!

Ready for another round of good news, bad news? The bad news is that you need Contribute 2 on your machine to administer Contribute sites with Dreamweaver MX 2004. The good news is that when you install Contribute 2, you also get the extremely nifty FlashPaper utility (if you’re a Windows user). In case you haven’t seen it, FlashPaper converts any document you can print into a .swf movie, with its own built-in navigation and zoom controls. Contribute users have a special menu option (Insert > Document as FlashPaper), but Dreamweaver users have to travel another route. Well, actually two—you can either drag and drop a printable document on the FlashPaper icon sitting prettily on your Desktop, or you can print the .swf from the document’s application. Yes, you read that right; I said “print.” FlashPaper is, at its heart, a printer driver and automatically available to any such enabled application. Suppose, for example, you’ve got a PowerPoint presentation you want to webify. Power up PowerPoint, load in the preso, click File > Print, select FlashPaper and presto! When the doc is converted, you’ll be prompted for a location to store the brandnew .swf file. Put it anywhere in your site and then, from Dreamweaver, use Insert > Media > Flash to bring it into your page.


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