Note ID: S1060
Product: Flash Designer
Version: 4+

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How to publish Flash movies

Complete beginner guide how to upload Flash files on the web so others can see them.

If you don't have Flash Designer tool, download it and install it.

To share a Flash movie you need:

  1. SWF file generated by Flash Designer
  2. a web page that will display the movie (Flash Designer can generate a web page for you)
  3. a web hosting account (free accounts are OK)
  4. FTP connection details (or some other way to upload files, ask your provider how you can upload SWF files on your web server)

Few important things to know:

  1. Flash movies exist as separate files (like images). They have extension SWF. This extension is invisible unless you make Windows show file extensions.
  2. To show a Flash file in your web page you have to use special code to display the content of the Flash file. (you can't use them like images and use IMG SRC tags)
  3. The code consists of OBJECT and EMBED tags and it tells the browser where is the Flash movie (SWF file)
  4. You have to upload Flash file on your web server (with FTP or using your Web Editor). Otherwise the movie will not show up.
How to build SWF file from Flash Designer:
  1. Open your Flash project
  2. Choose "File" > "Export SWF File"
  3. Name the file and click OK (in the following text we'll use "test.swf" as the file name)
How to generate a Web Page from Flash Designer:
  1. Open your Flash project
  2. Choose "File" > "Export HTML Page"
  3. Name the SWF file "test.swf" and click OK
  4. Flash Designer will generate 2 files "test.swf" and "test_html_code.htm" files.
  5. The page should popup in an new window.
  6. If you want a blank web page with the Flash movie only (without the code) choose "Blank HTML Page with Flash" after step 2.

Normally you will use your own HTML page and just insert the movie into this page. But you can generate HTML page from Flash Designer to verify if the movie works and find out what is the code to display Flash file.

What code do I need to display a Flash movie in my web page.

(Read this only if you don't use HTML page generated from Flash Designer and you want the movie to appear in your custom web page.)

  1. Generate SWF generated with "File" > "Export SWF File"
  2. Choose "File" > "View HTML Code" to view the code, select entire text and right click it, choose "Copy"
  3. The same code will appear on the sample Web Page that you export with "File" > "Export HTML Page" so you can copy it from here
  4. Paste the code into your HTML page
  5. Both files (SWF file) and your web page (HTML file) must be in the same folder
  6. Some web editing programs generate their own code to include Flash movie into a web page. In this case you just use your Web Editor command to "Insert Flash Movie" and browse the SWF file
  7. The code doesn't contain the movie itself, just a path to the Flash file. When the users views your web site the browser must download Flash file. That's why you have to upload Flash file along with your web page.
Uploading Flash file and HTML page with FTP.
(you can use any FTP client, we demonstrate Internet Explorer as the client)
  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Type ftp://www.yourwebsite.com (here's the address of your web server). Your web hosting company will provide you with the server address. Press Enter
  3. Provide the username and password (Your web hosting company will provide you with the username and password)
  4. Browse correct folder where your web pages exist (this step is optional, you may start in the correct folder once you log in)
  5. Drag your HTML page and your SWF file into the folder (files "test.swf" and "test_html_code.htm").
  6. Open a new Internet Explorer window and type the name of your web site. Try to browse your html page for example http://www.yourwebsite.com/test_html_code.htm
  7. Verify if the Flash movie appears.
  8. You can also try to browse Flash movie directly for example http://www.yourwebsite.com/test.swf

You can rename your test_html_code.htm to anything else.

If you rename test.swf you have to edit test_html_code.htm page and modify the name in the code:

<OBJECT CLASSID="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
WIDTH="225" HEIGHT="225"
CODEBASE="http://active.macromedia.com/flash5/cabs/swflash.cab#version=5,0,0,0">
<PARAM NAME="MOVIE" VALUE="test.swf">
<PARAM NAME="PLAY" VALUE="true">
<PARAM NAME="LOOP" VALUE="true">
<PARAM NAME="WMODE" VALUE="opaque">
<PARAM NAME="QUALITY" VALUE="high">
<EMBED SRC="test.swf" WIDTH="225" HEIGHT="225" PLAY="true" 
LOOP="true" WMODE="opaque" QUALITY="high"
PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/
download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash">
</EMBED>
</OBJECT>

To edit your html page you can use any web editor, or just use Notepad (launch Notepad and drag html file into Notepad window)

Every time you make changes in the Flash movie you have to upload new SWF file only. If the change doesn't appear on your web page you may have to clear Internet Explorer cache ("Tools" > "Internet Options" then click "Delete Files")

Uploading Flash file with your Web Editor

  1. Most of web editing programs will upload Flash file for you
  2. Generate SWF file from Flash Designer and add this Flash file to your web site project

    Macromedia Dreamweaver instructions
    Front Page instructions
    GlobalScape CuteSite builder instructions

  3. You don't have to generate HTML page or HTML code form Flash Designer


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