The Flash Stand-alone Player and Projector Flash

The Flash Stand-alone Player and Projector let you take your Flash right off the Web and onto the desktop without having to worry whether users have the plug-in. In fact, you don’t even need to worry about them having browsers! Stand-alone Players and Projectors have similar properties and limitations, although they’re slightly different.

  • Stand-alone Player: This is an executable player that comes with Flash. You can open any .SWF file in this player. The Stand-alone Player can be found in the Macromedia/Flash 5/Players folder (Windows) or the Macromedia Flash 5:Players folder (Mac) where you installed Flash 5.
  • Projector: A Projector is an executable copy of your movie that doesn’t need an additional player or plug-in to be viewed. It’s essentially a movie contained within the Stand-alone Player. The Projector is ideal for distribution of Flash applications on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. A Flash movie played as a Projector shows below.
  • This movie is being played as a Projector.

    This movie is being played as a Projector

For the sake of simplicity, we refer to both Projectors and movies played in the Stand-alone Player as stand-alones in this discussion. Because both the Projector and Stand-alone Player have the same properties and limitations, you can apply everything discussed here to either one you choose to use.

Creating a projector
When you have finished producing a Flash movie, it’s fairly simple to turn it into a projector. You have two ways to create a self-contained projector. Turning your Flash movies into self-contained projectors typically adds 368KB (Windows projectors) or 500KB (Mac projectors) to the final file size.

Method 1: Using the Publish command
The simplest way to make a Flash projector file is to use the Publish feature of Flash. In three short steps, you can have a stand-alone Flash movie presentation.

  1. Select File➪Publish Settings from the main menu.
  2. When the Publish Settings dialog opens, select the Formats tab and then check the projector formats. Publish both Windows and Macintosh projectors using this method. Figure below shows the Publish Settings dialog with the appropriate formats selected.
  3. Select the projector formats in the Publish Settings dialog.

    Select the projector formats in the Publish Settings dialog.

  4. Press the Publish button in the Publish Settings dialog, and your Flash movie will be published in all of the formats (for example, .SWF, .GIF, .JPG, and projector formats) specified with Publish Settings.

Method 2: Using the Stand-alone Flash Player
You can also create a Flash projector file using the Flash Player executable file that ships with Flash. You can find the Stand-alone Flash Player in the Players folder of the Flash application folder.

  1. Export your Flash movie as a .SWF file using File➪Export Movie from the main menu. Alternatively, you can use the Publish feature to create the .SWF file.
  2. Open the exported Flash movie (.SWF file) in the Stand-alone Player.
  3. Choose File➪Create Projector from the Stand-alone Player menu, as shown below.
  4. Choose File➪Create Projector from the Stand-alone Player menu.

    Choose File➪Create Projector from the Stand-alone Player menu.

  5. When the Save As dialog opens, name the Projector and save it.

Distribution and licensing
Distribution of stand-alone projectors or the Flash Player is free; you don’t have to buy a license to distribute either the Stand-alone Player or Projector. However, according to Macromedia, you need to follow the “Made with Macromedia” guidelines for distributed Flash Players and projectors. Among other requirements, you need to include the “Made with Macromedia” logo on your product’s packaging and credits screen. The runtime license agreement and Macromedia logos can be downloaded from the Macromedia Web site.

Distribution on CD-ROM or floppy disk
Flash has become increasingly popular for use on multimedia CD-ROMs, especially as embedded .SWF files in larger Macromedia Director projectors. Stand-alones can be used as front-ends for installations, splash screens for other programs, or even as complete applications. When you combine the good looks of a Flash interface with a few FSCommands, some simple scripting (BAT and AppleScript), and put them together on a CD-ROM that’s programmed to start automatically on insertion, you have a first-class product.

Because Flash movies can be very small (even when packaged as a projector), you can fit interactive multimedia presentations on 3.5-inch 1.44MB floppy disks! This is truly revolutionary, as floppy disks can be copied very easily on any system with a floppy drive you don’t need a CD recorder to distribute your Flash movies in promotional mailers to clients.

FSCommands
FSCommands can be used to provide greater functionality to your stand-alones. These actions can turn a simple Flash movie into something spectacular! When combined with additional scripting and executables, you can make fully functional applications. Table below lists FSCommands for stand-alones.

Fscomands for stand alones

Fscomands for stand alones

When an FSCommand action is added in the Actions Panel, you can access standalone– specific commands from a drop-down menu .

Flash 5 adds a convenient drop-down menu for FSCommands specific to the stand-alone Flash Player or projector.

Flash 5 adds a convenient drop-down menu for FSCommands specific to the stand-alone Flash Player or projector



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