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Author: Marc Thomson
Flash Menu Factory - Create flash menus and web buttons in seconds!

How to create flash drop down menus & site navigation easily.

If you are like me, always on a hectic schedule between deadlines, you will love In this tutorial. I am going to demonstrate you the fastest and easiest way to create professional navigation for your websites. Even if you are experienced flash/actionscript author, there is no point on spending hours tweaking and modifying your design when you can do it in just minutes.

I will present you Flash Menu Factory (FMF for short) is a valuable tool, but almost kept as a secret among web designers. FMF simplifies the design of flash drop down menus a lot. It also offers many other site-navigation features like the creation of tabs, web buttons, sidebars, sitemaps and more. In this tutorial I will only focus in the creation of a simple website menu.

1. Start FMF

Click on the FMF Shortcut Flash menu factory icon on your desktop. The main screen of the software will look something like this:

 flash menu factory screenshot

2. Create the menu stucture

FMF displays your menu structure in the following area:

Creating the menu structure 

Start creating your menu items by clicking the "Add item" add menu or "Add sub-item" add sub menu icons.

As you make changes to your menu, they appear immeditately in the "Menu Preview Window."

preview flash menu 

3. Add your page links and description text

Edit your menu item’s Text  and Link (URL) by filling the corresponding blanks in the "Menu Item Properties" window.

Menu item properties

4. Select your menu's appearence

Select one of the available "skins" (pre-made menu designs) from the "Skin browser" window:

Skin browser


5. Save it. You are done!

Now you can save your menu in flash format: Click on the "Export" icon. Do not forget to save your menu in FMF format as well, using the "Save" icon.

And really thats all about it! Now compare this the manual, tedious process of creating navigation in Adobe Flash. And if your client required some change in the menu structure, or appearence it it can be done literally in seconds.

Of course, there are dozens of options to customize your menu, adding sound effects, creating buttons, sidebars, tabs etc, but those are beyond the scope of this tutorial. For more information, grab your own copy of FMF from http://www.flashmenufactory.com/ and start playing now.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

» Level Basic

Added: 2010-03-26
Rating: 6 Votes: 1
» Author
Marc Thomson is a graphic designer, observer and aspiring critic. He worked as senior art director of the Project51 design studio and he is Chair of the MFA/Design program at the School of Visual Arts. He is the author of more than sixteen books on design and graphic arts culture, as well as a contributor or contributing editor of nearly ten magazines.
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