How To: Add Flash content to PDFs

A new tutorial on Adobe Developer Connection concisely describes how to add a Captivate movie clip (more generally, any SWF) to a PDF document using Acrobat. While the article’s author Jeff Freeman didn’t mention it, the SWF content also works great in Adobe Digital Editions as well as Acrobat and Reader. Actually the Digital Editions experience is better because it doesn’t display the annoying “Manage Trust for Multimedia Content” warning dialog (that Jeff also failed to mention).
That dialog has always seemed a bit senseless to me since Web browsers by default play rich media content without such warnings. Perhaps it made sense back when Adobe was integrating with 3rd-party multimedia engines not under our control, but heck it’s now Adobe Flash. But as a solution targeting enterprises & knowledge workers Acrobat/Reader is under a number of constraints so I guess this conservative behavior is somewhat understandable. As Digital Editions is a consumer-focused solution, and built on Flex/Flash, we decided to make the experience with Flash-enhanced content truly seamless.
A wide range of text-centric content can potentially benefit from the ability to add rich media & interactivity, from eLearning-enhanced digital textbooks to novels that can add ancillary content to make reading more engaging and entertaiing. I’m looking forward to seeing what creative authors and publishers start coming up with.