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Author: Jeremy Riga | Website: http://home.columbus.rr.com/jeremyriga

To HTML, or not to HTML?

Embedding your SWF file in an HTML page using the publish feature in Flash, or by simply using a WYSIWYG tool like Dreamweaver or GoLive has several advantages. Of course, it also has disadvantages.


A major advantage of embedding your SWF within an HTML document is the auto-detect Flash script that can be used. Don't just assume your user has Flash. Some people are truly behind when it comes to technology. Publishing your Flash Movie from Flash itself and specifying that you want an HTML page created will automatically add a Flash detect script and ensure everyone can see your site. This is a good thing.

Another advantage is control of window size and placement on the HTML page. Maybe your movie is 700pixels X 400pixels and you only want what is in the Flash movie displayed. This can be accomplished using a little JavaScript that Dreamweaver or GoLive will write for you…all you do is specify what size you want. It's simple and it ensures that you have total control of what the end-user sees of your movie.

I usually like to create a static HTML page that has my flash-detect script on it, as well as some blurb of copy about having Flash, and maybe a link to Macromedia's site as well (although Flash will automatically direct the user to Macromedia's site if no Flash plugin is present…). In addition, you can then add an 'Enter Here' link which will open your SWF movie in a new browser window of the exact proportions you specified.


Scalability goes to hell and back. It's important to have a movie that everyone can see and use. Start to tackle this task by having a movie that scales. Huh? When you resize your browser window, your Flash movie should scale with the window. Your user enlarges the browser window, the SWF movie gets bigger with it. User shrinks window…you get the picture. This is important because we can't make everyone use Macintosh *J* and display at some fixed resolution. We'll talk more about this later in the tutorial, but the short of it is that opening a site and linking directly to the SWF file (ie: index.html links to tutorials.swf) allows the movie to scale to almost any size big or small.

In the long run, it will always be better for the user to be forced into an HTML/SWF setup. Linking to the SWF is a neat little trick, but you lose too much control of the movie and it's attributes.

» Level Basic

Added: 2000-10-05
Rating: 8 Votes: 479
(10 being the highest)
» Author
Jeremy is part of the online brand building team of marchFIRST in Columbus, Ohio.
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Download the files used in this tutorial.
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