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Hour 24. Publishing Your Creation > Task: Set Up the Publish Settings and Then ...

Task: Set Up the Publish Settings and Then Publish a Movie

This task walks you through using the Publish Settings dialog box. Here are the steps to follow:

Either open a movie you've created in the past or create a simple animation. Make sure there's some visual change—maybe a Movie Clip tweens across the screen.

Select File, Save As and save this file in a new folder that contains no other files.

Select File, Publish Settings. Note that any changes you make in the Publish Settings dialog box will be saved with this file. (That is, you won't be changing the default publish settings.)

Select the Formats tab so you can specify which formats will be exported. For every format you select, an additional tab will appear (see Figure 24.1). Each option will be covered in depth later. For now, select Flash, HTML, and GIF. Notice that because the Use Default Names option is selected, each file has the same name as your source file (with a different extension). You can override this setting, but leaving it is probably easiest—you can always rename files on your hard drive before uploading.

Figure 24.1. The Formats tab of Publish Settings allows you to specify which file formats you plan to export.

Click the Flash tab and take a quick look at the Version option. Which setting you choose for this option is subjective. For this task, suppose you want your movie to work for users who have the Flash 4 plug-in or later. Change the Version drop-down list's setting to Flash 4, as shown in Figure 24.2.

Figure 24.2. You can ensure your movie will work with older Flash Players by changing the Version setting from the Flash tab.

Click the HTML tab. From here, you can make some adjustments to the HTML that Flash will create. From the Template drop-down list, select Detect for Flash 4. This particular template will display your Flash movie only if the user has the Flash 4 player installed. Alternatively, users will see a GIF version of the same movie. You can create your own templates (or modify these), as you'll see later this hour.

Set the Dimensions option to Percent and then type 100 in both the Width and Height fields so the movie will entirely fill the browser window. You can come back and make changes to any of these settings. For now, just make sure the check boxes Loop and Display Menu are unchecked. (Unchecking Display Menu prevents users from seeing the extended options when right-clicking your movie.)

Click the GIF tab to specify the GIF settings. There are a few things you should note here. For instance, the accompanying GIF that Flash will be exporting can only be an explicit number of pixels because GIF files don't scale like Flash files do. Also, provided your movie has multiple frames, you can select to export an animated GIF. Go ahead and select Animated (and leave Loop Continuously selected). The rest of the options relate to how the image is created. GIF files always have 256 or fewer explicit colors. Flash has to be told exactly how to deal with this fact. Each option has a corresponding visual result that, depending on the nature of the image, will have a positive or negative effect on image quality.

Now that you've gone through all the tabs (for the formats you selected), click OK. (The publish settings are saved.) Now, select File, Publish. It may not seem like anything has happened, but all your files have been exported into the folder where the source file resides. Go into that folder and double-click the HTML file. If you have the Flash 4 plug-in (or later), you should be able to play your movie.



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