Import and Export Flash CS5 Files - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In Flash Creative Suite 5, you can import files or assets—such as artwork or photo files created in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, MP3 sound files, and even video files—that weren’t created in Flash. You can export your Flash projects to many of these same formats for use in other applications.

Import files into Flash CS5

Here are some of the file formats you can import into your Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5 movie:

  • Images: EPS, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF

  • Flash SWF

  • Layered artwork files: AI (Adobe Illustrator) and PSD (Photoshop)

  • Audio files: AIFF, MP3, and WAV

  • Video files: DV, F4V, FLV, MOV, MPEG, QuickTime

You can import these types of files directly to the stage for immediate use or put them in your document’s library for storage until you’re ready to place them on the stage.

Follow these steps to import files to the stage:

  1. Choose File→Import→Import to Stage.

  2. Select from your hard drive the file or files you want to import.

    Imported items are placed on the stage on the selected layer and frame.

Follow these steps to import files directly to the library:

  1. Choose File→Import→Import to Library.

  2. Select the files from your hard drive that you want to import and click the Open button.

    Imported files don’t appear on the stage but are available in the Library panel for later use.

FLA and SWF files

The life of a Flash project involves at least two different types of files: your authoring (FLA or XFL) file, in which all your work is created, and the final product, your compressed movie or SWF file.

FLA and XFL are used only during the authoring process. When you’re ready to distribute your finished movie, publish a SWF file that can be displayed by Flash Player.

These SWF files can be created from either the Publish or Export menu options and are compressed movie files (typically smaller than their FLA and XFL counterparts) that contain all the graphics and information necessary to display your movie.

Flash Player can’t read FLA or XFL files, and SWF files can’t be deconstructed into usable FLA files. Changes to your Flash movie are always made in the original FLA or XFL file and must be exported to a new SWF file again if you want to view them in Flash Player.

To select multiple files for import, hold down the Shift key when prompted to select files from your hard drive. You can bring several files to the stage or library in one step.

Export files from Flash CS5

In contrast to the Import menu, the Export menu is used to generate files from your current document out of Flash, most often to create a compressed SWF file (movie) for final delivery. Additionally, the menu can be used to generate static (such as JPEG or GIF) images from specific frames in your movie.