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The first time I tried to create graphics with Flash, I loved it. After one week of experimenting with the program, I was convinced that it was one of the best Web development applications on the market. However, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of resources available for learning how to use it. The tutorials from Macromedia were useful, but they lacked depth. It was then that I realized that a hands-on, step-by-step book describing how to create Flash Web sites would be extremely useful to Web professionals who wanted to learn the essentials of Flash quickly and easily.

Welcome to Essential Flash 4 for Web Professionals! In these pages, you'll learn how to create wonderful Flash animations and interactive activities including:

  • Quick-loading vector graphics

  • Impressive animations

  • Shape morphing

  • Buttons with actions and Web links

  • Buttons and movies with sound and music

  • Interactive movies

  • Simple Web forms

In addition, we'll discuss how to optimize Flash movies for better download, detect the plug-in, and pre-load Flash.

How to Use This Book

This book consists of step-by-step instructions for creating two hypothetical Web sites. First, we'll create a straight-forward Flash site for Shelley Biotech, with simple vector graphics created in Flash, basic animation, animated buttons, and buttons with sound. Then, we'll design a Web site for Stitch Fashion Journal that includes a splash screen with music and a music on/off control. You'll also learn how to create more advanced graphics and animation, an interactive dressing room, and an e-mail form.

All you need to do is follow the instructions to create the sites. As you work through the steps, you'll be presented with checkpoints where you should save your work. In addition, these checkpoints will provide a URL to the book's Web site, from which you can download the project at various stages of completion. That way, if you have difficulty with portions of the project, you can access the files and learn how to accomplish specific steps. The Web site for this book is located at

If you have any difficulty with the instructions presented in this book, or if you would just like to drop me a line about it, you can reach me by e-mail at

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