Intermediate Dreamweaver

Basic HTML | Site management | Assets | Library of Page Elements| Find and Replace | Templates | Style Sheets | Forms | Imagemaps | Mouseovers | Flash buttons & text | Frames | Tables: Formatting & Sorting | Preview Browsers | Font Lists | Colors | Automating Tasks | Pasting in a Script

Just for fun:
Flash text and Flash buttons

These two options will require Flash installed on the users' computers, so they don't actually contribute to the usability of the site, and you shouldn't use them for essential information. They are just fun ways to insert interactive graphics into a web site.

Inserting Flash Text

Flash text is actually a short movie with only text in it, that requires Flash to run. If the user does not have Flash 5 loaded on his computer, he/she will be asked to download Flash 5. Flash text does have the advantage that it doesn't depend on the fonts available on the users' computers: you can create Flash Text in any font you have on your computer, and because it is essentially a graphic and saved as a file, it will retain that font. The object with Flash text is to have a section of text -- usually a link-- whose color changes when the user rolls their cursor over it.

To put Flash Text on a page, click the cursor where you want the Flash Text to appear, and from the Insert menu, choose Media, then choose Flash Text.

In the Insert Flash Text window
Insert Flash Text window
Set:

  • Font and Size to use for the text
  • Bold or Italic for style, if necessary
  • Alignment for the text
  • Color: the color the text is normally
  • Rollover color: the color the text will turn when the user moves their cursor over it.
  • Text: type in the text you want displayed. For some fonts, you will see the text in the correct font; for others, you will have to click Apply to see the image
  • Link: the URL to link the image to
  • Target: if you are working with frames, choose the frame to target; if you want the link to appear in a new window, choose _blank.
  • BgColor: the background color for the piece of text
  • Save As: the file name to save the Flash movie to. It needs to end in .swf

Click OK to have Flash create the text movie.

Flash Buttons

Flash buttons are movies of a graphic that change appearance when the user rolls his/her cursor over them. Many of them have space for text to be inserted; others are textless.

To insert a Flash button, to the Insert menu and choose Media, then Flash Button.

Insert Flash button window

  • Select a Style for the button (moving the cursor over the sample will show what the button will do) Note that some buttons don't have space for text.
  • Button Text: if there is space for text on the button, type in the text you want to appear.
  • Font and Size for the text
  • Link: the URL to link to when the user clicks on the button.
  • Target: if you want the link to go to a specific frame.
  • BgColor: background color for the button. Most of the time, set this to the same color as the page background color.
  • Save As: insert the file name you want the button saved under. It must end with the extension .swf

Click OK to insert the button.

Flash Object Properties

Flash objects have properties in the properties panel:
Flash Objects Properties

In a lot of ways, Flash object properties are just like image properties: source File, Align, W (width), H (height). They also have a background color. However there are more properties available when you open the property panel to its fullest extent: V space and H space are the space around the object on the page. The Play button lets you test the object (if you click Play you can then move the cursor over the object and it will do the rollover thing). Unclick Play to edit the object. The Bg item lets you change the background color; Align lets you set the alignment of the movie images to the text.

If you need to change the movie itself, you can double-click on the object or click on 'Edit' in the properties window, to get the Insert Flash Text (or Edit Flash Button) window back up.

Reusing Flash Objects

Obviously, once you've created and saved a Flash object (text or button) you may want to use it again in another point in your site. Or you may have an object already created in Flash that you want to put on a page.

  • To insert an existing flash object, go to the Insert menu, choose Media, then Flash.
  • You can then find the Flash file in the directory, Select it, and click "OK" to insert it.

 

February 6, 2004