Preview Your Flash CS5 Publish Settings - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Before you publish a Flash movie in Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5, always use Publish Preview to test the settings you created in the Publish Settings dialog box. Like the Test Movie command, Publish Preview can immediately create and display a SWF file in Flash Player for immediate viewing, but that’s where the similarity ends.

Publish Preview creates a preview for any file formats you choose in the Publish Settings dialog box, including web pages, images, and projectors. The preview lets you see how these files will look before you complete your final publish task and gives you a chance to adjust your publish settings for the best results possible.

To preview any selected publish formats, choose File→Publish Preview and select the format you want to preview. The default is a SWF file with an accompanying HTML page.

Publish Preview shows how the final movie will look in an HTML page. To preview an HTML and an embedded SWF file, choose File→Publish Preview→HTML.

    Press the Publish Preview shortcut key combination Ctrl+F12 (Windows) or Command+F12 (Mac) to create a preview from the default selection (HTML page and SWF file) at any time.

    If HTML or SWF aren’t among your selected publish formats, the Publish Preview defaults to the next format you selected after choosing Publish Settings→Format.

When previewing a movie with either the Test Movie or Publish Preview (Flash option only) command, you can use the Bandwidth Profiler. This graph appears at the top of the preview window and shows the total file size of your movie, as well as where and how data is loaded as the movie plays.

This step can be important in gauging whether the file size may be too much to users to download or whether you should distribute data-intensive items (such as sound files or images) more effectively across the Timeline.

The bars across the graph appear at frames where data is loaded, and the height of the bar indicates how much data was loaded when the playhead reached that frame.

To view your movie with the Bandwidth Profiler, choose File→Publish Preview→Flash. When the movie appears in Flash Player, choose View→Bandwidth Profiler.