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Author: Iain Blackwood | Website: http://www.adrenelin.cjb.net

Importing TXT Files into Flash - The Easy Way

Ok first of all I am using this tutorial to show you how to import TXT files into flash so that you dont have to update the flash swf file on your website every time there is an update. To see an example of my tutorial go to www.adrenelin.cjb.net to see how I used one swf file to create a whole website. This is quite a complex tutorial but should be easy enough to understand and complete.

I am assuming that you have designed the swf file for your website. If not try to find a tutorial that will show you how.

Now let's get cracking. Now say that you have a section on your website that shows the news updates or whatever. If you update your website regularly you don't want to keep updating the swf file. It would get annoying. So what we do is update the TXT file that we create. This txt file will hold all the information used in the news section. Ok, open up Notepad. This is where we are going to type in our information. Type in:
&news=I am updating the news using txt!
&textloaded=OK

That's all for now. Make sure you get the '&' in front of each word and DON'T change anything in that txt file just now. You will get a chance to later. Now let me explain what is happening. You have just used '&' and wondering "what the hell is going on!" but the '&' is used to tell flash that this is a variable. Flash will find where you have set the variable and put in the "I am updating the news using txt!" in the variable set textbox. The "&textloaded=OK" is to tell flash that once the text has loaded, it should display it.

Now, in your flash movie create a Dynamic Textbox and set the variable to news. This is where your text will be displayed. Now type something in this textbox like "News Loading" or "text loading" or something like that. It doesn't really matter. Ok now you want to create a new movieclip. Name this movieclip 'boo'. Now in this movieclip create another Dynamic Textbox and set the variable name to /:text (yes that is correct). Now go back to the scene and DON'T put this movieclip anywhere. Leave it in the library.

Ok now for the actionscript. You should have one layer and one frame, Select the frame and in the actions type in this:
stop()
loadVariablesNum("www.youraddress.com/news.txt", 0);

This actionscript tells the movie to load up your txt file and read the variables. You must upload your file to your server so that the swf file will read it from that address. I use freewebs so my actionscript would be:
stop()
loadVariablesNum("www.freewebs.com/adrenelin/news.txt", 0);

So now this code allows you to get the variables from the txt file. If all goes well it should work (if having difficulties make sure everything is typed correctly and done correctly) and you should be able to update the txt file every time you want an update instead of updating the swf file.

I hope you found this tutorial easy and understandable. If there is any problems email me at skatemcfreak@aol.com.

» Level Basic

Added: 2004-04-20
Rating: 6 Votes: 87
(10 being the highest)
» Author
Iain is a flash user who is reaching intermediate stage. Hope's to rule the world using his flash knowledge (which isn't big).
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Download the files used in this tutorial.
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