FLASH TIPS


These tips are written for Flash 4 and 5, however, they may apply to newer versions.

1. ABOUT FRAME RATE
2. FLASH RIGHT CLICK MENU
3. LAUNCHING E-MAIL PROGRAM FROM FLASH
4. DYNAMIC TEXT VS INPUT TEXT

WHAT DOES FRAME RATE STANDS FOR?

  

fps stands for frames-per-second.  Frame rate determines how fast a movie will run.  For example: 12 fps means that 12 frames of the movie will be displayed every second.   15 fps means that 15 frames will be displayed every second.   The frame rate in Flash controls the speed of all the movie timelines (including sub movie clips.)

This does not mean that the Flash movie will always follow the specified fps.  Reasons for running below fps:

  • the movie is too complex.
  • the computer is too slow.
  • too many programs running at the same time.
Think of the fps as a speed limit.  A Flash movie is a very obedient driver who will never break the speed limit, but it may run slower than the limit.  

PS: NTSC television runs at 30 fps, PAL is 25 fps, movies in theater run at 24 fps. 

REMOVING MOST OF FLASH RIGHT MOUSE CLICK MENU

  
Here's how the Flash menu looks like in Windows:  

This menu can't be removed completely, but most of the items can be disabled.  

For Projector files (exe):

Use FSCommand, like below:

FSCommand("showMenu", false);

That command can be inserted into the first frame of the movie (or wherever); and once executed, it will get rid off most of the menu items.  However, not all the menu items are gone, and you're still left with this:

As far as I know, there is no conventional way to remove this menu.  (Unconventionally, some programs such as Juggler and swiftCanvas can remove it completely.)

For Flash movie on a web page (swf):

On the Project Settings menu (File Project Settings), uncheck the Display Menu checkbox.

Again, not all the menu items are gone, and you're still left with this:

As far as I know, there is no conventional way to remove this menu.   PS: There's an undocumented feature in Flash 5 that supposedly can "trap" the right mouse click.

SENDING E-MAIL VIA A BUTTON


Use getURL function like this:

getURL("mailto:emailAddress");

For example, click the button on the Flash movie below to launch the default e-mail program:

The above button is associated with the following script:

on (release) 
{
  getURL ("mailto:permadi@permadi.com");
}

You can also specify subject line and other parameters (may not work on all e-mail clients):

on (release) 
{
  getURL ("mailto:abc@permadi.com?Subject=Hi&Body=Hello..");
}

Notice that the first parameter after the e-mail address is preceded by a ? sign, and the subsequent parameter(s) are separated by a & sign.  

DYNAMIC TEXT VS INPUT TEXT

In Flash 5, there are three text options (as opposed to just two in Flash 4).  Here are the Flash 5 options:

Static Text is pretty obvious, it is to be used for text that does not change during runtime.  How about the other two?  Here's the comparison:

Input Text Dynamic Text
Users can type in the text field while the movie is running (during runtime).  Users cannot type into the text field while the movie is running (but the text can be changed by scripting).  
Always selectable.  I.e.: user can highlight, erase, and copy the text. Can be made selectable or not.
Use it to obtain input from user.  For example: to make forms. Use it to display non-static data, that the user is not supposed to edit.  For example, to display data loaded from a text file, database, high-score list, news.

Example:
The Dynamic Text field below is associated with a counter variable, and you can't edit it; whereas the Input Text field can be edited.

 

In Flash 4, Dynamic Text is the equivalent of a Text Field with the Disable Editing option turned-on.

 

  
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(C) F. Permadi, 2001