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Flash: It's All Grown Up Now

Article Description

Flash is no longer a program in its formative years; it's all grown up! So what's changed in the 15 months in between versions 4 and 5? Let Derek Franklin, co-author of Flash 5! Creative Web Animation, walk you through the highlights.

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Flash 5! Creative Web Animation

Flash 5! Creative Web Animation

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A Whole New Look

What a difference 15 months makes. That's the span of time between Flash 4 and Flash 5's release. With this version, Flash has matured is so many ways, but one of the most obvious is its newly designed interface. If you're familiar with Flash 4, working in Flash 5's new authoring environment may require getting reacquainted, since most tasks that were formally mouse-click intensive are now performed by means of context sensitive panels. These enable you to perform a great number of tasks while avoiding those dreadful dialog boxes that can bring creativity to a screeching halt. The interface appears sleeker and more well defined. New tools have been added and others simply moved in order to make them more accessible.

Unlike Dreamweaver and Fireworks, Flash did not originate with Macromedia, but was "adopted" from another company. So its overall appearance and workflow was always a bit different from its siblings. With Flash 5, that all changed. It no longer looks like an outsider-now it seems to be an actual member of the Macromedia family of products. Flash's interface not only looks and functions similar to those of its siblings, it also works in harmony with the other family members. Importing and using graphics created in Fireworks is now a breeze, and working with Flash content within Dreamweaver is easier and more powerful than ever before.

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