Archive for September, 2005

ActionScript Language Reference now in downloadable HTML format

You can download the ActionScript Language Reference in HTML format at the following location:

Click on the ActionScript tab, and find the link to “Download stand-alone HTML”.

<!— To see the format in action, go to: —>

Let us know what you think!

Updated for Flash 8: Customize your Help panel (in 5 easy steps) – control search highlight!

I originally posted in August about customizing your Help panel in Flash 2004 ( Now I’ll update the steps for Flash 8 – very similar stuff.

First of all, you might have noticed a new feature in the Help panel that does search highlighting. This useful little feature has saved me a bunch of time.

But what if you’re not a fan of nasal yellow? Or even search highlight? Well, you’re in luck. You can control the highlight feature (modify, remove) by editing a simple CSS file. You can also change other elements of the Help panel the same way. Read on…

Caution: Before you start, remember to save a backup of the CSS files that you plan to modify “just in case”.

1. Close Flash and navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash 8\en\Configuration\HelpPanel\_sharedassets (Windows)


HD:Users:Shared:Library:Application Support:Macromedia:Flash 8::Configuration:HelpPanel:_sharedassets (Mac).

2. Open the help_pc.css file in a CSS editor (such as TopStyle or Dreamweaver, or a text editor such Notepad), or open help_mac.css if you’re on a Mac.

3. To change the search highlight color, find and modify this section of the file. I’ve modified the yellow (#DFDF00) to:

.searchhilite {
background-color: #AFE28B

To change the background color for procedures, find the line starting with “div.procedure, div.welcomehelp, div.welcomehowdoi {” (around line 224): Add the following line to change the background color for procedures to a light purple (new text in bold):

div.procedure, div.welcomehelp, div.welcomehowdoi {
background-color: #F0FDFF;

5. That’s it! Save the CSS file, and then reopen Flash/Help panel.

I’ll post soon about other customizations you can make, such as creating a custom search category (that pop-up menu under the Search text box).

Help panel: Ctrl+F now works!

As the title says! In earlier versions of Flash, Ctrl+F just didn’t work in conjunction with Help. Well, now it does. Go to a help page in Flash 8 docs, and press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac — the Find box opens like magic. Really helps you locate stuff in those longer Help pages…

Terminology section in Flash 8 docs

There is a lot of terminology in ActionScript, and Flash of course. One of the later efforts in documenting Flash was a brand new terminology page for ActionScript, which you can see on LiveDocs here:

Or search “Terminology” in the Help panel, you’ll find it here:

Learning ActionScript 2.0 in Flash > Terminology

If you are an ActionScript expert, then this page will be of little use to you. But if you’re learning ActionScript, hopefully this page will be useful.

But that’s not why I’m blogging.

This page is not comprehensive (it’s manual and was kinda developed unofficially while going along, instead of consciously as a specific project. Sorry… but better than nothin’? heh.) Actually, I’m sure it could easily quadruple its length, at which time I think we’d need to reconsider the format. I digress…

What I’d like to ask is any terms – about ActionScript specifically (not necessary Flash, unless it’s a feature related to AS) – please comment on LiveDocs (Terminology page on LiveDocs) and say “Please add this term ____”. You don’t need to define it unless you’d like to, but it will greatly help develop this page into something increasingly useful for everyone.


New ActionScript in Flash 8

Documentation includes a page that lists the new ActionScript you can use with Flash Player 8. I am “reprinting” that information here. It’s available in the Help panel here (search “additions to” with quotes):

Learning ActionScript 2.0 in Flash > What’s New in Flash 8 ActionScript > New in ActionScript 2.0 and Flash 8 > Additions to the ActionScript language

And on LiveDocs here:

Note that there is new information in the LiveDocs and this blog (ie: developments after “print time”).

Read the extended entry for the entire lists!

Continue reading…

Extra documentation PDFs: custom Video players and XPath API

There are a couple large PDFs that are additional documentation for your reading and learning pleasure. First off is the VideoPlayer class API, new in Flash 8, which is over 100 pages of bonus documentation.

“This article contains application programming interface (API) documentation for the VideoPlayer class. The VideoPlayer class is a wrapper class for the Video, NetConnection, and NetStream classes, and makes it easy to play FLV files and create custom video players.”

You can download it here:

Next up is the XPath API class, which was available in Flash 7 but now officially documented here:


Product pages and Documentation support centers are launched!

The individual product pages just launched with new information. If you want more info about each individual product, or links to evaluate the software (see the comments here for more info:, head to the individual product pages for all the info you need. That includes product tours, videos, links, etc etc.

Find the Flash documentation center here — all new format, and a bunch of downloads:

OK, now I’m sure you guys get the idea…. I’ll shut up now… oh – the new technotes are coming out too – be sure to check those OFTEN for common gotchas and workarounds.

Studio 8 LiveDocs is Launched!!!

In a never ending series of announcements on this here blog – LiveDocs just went up!

That’s: Studio 8 in the store.
Then – Developer centers launching one by one.

Now: LiveDocs has all the brand new documentation!

ALSO: the new Documentation support center is up — go here!
*** In case you missed it: Studio 8 is OUT for the masses! Check out the page here, and scroll to the comments for the download link:


Developer Centers are launching.. starting now!

The brand new Developer Centers ( are currently launching is the word on the… street.

For example, check it out:

Nice, shiny, and new. And full of great stuff on Fireworks 8.

UPDATE: Flash is now out!!

Which will be next?

*** In case you missed it: Studio 8 is OUT for the masses! Check out the page here, and scroll to the comments for the download link:


STUDIO 8 is now available — for EVERYONE!

STUDIO 8 is now available – on the main MM site, not just DevNet! Run to the Macromedia store now!

That’s right folks, non-DevNet subscribers can now get Studio 8 too!

“With latest releases of Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Fireworks, Contribute and FlashPaper, Studio 8 offers web designers and developers a new level of efficiency, expressiveness and simplified workflow to create websites, interactive experiences and mobile content.”

You can try out Studio 8 for free, and download it RIGHT NOW.

Get the Trial for 30 days! (available shortly… the store is up, but this isn’t quite yet at time of blogging).

Or perhaps you want to read more about it, see it in action, and so on.

See Studio 8 in Action
Studio 8 Feature Tour:

Check out the datasheet for more info:

go to:


Special Offer – Limited Time
Buy today, and enter to win a plasma TV (1 winner), camcorder (5 winners), or iPod mini (50 winners!)

See this for more info:

Purchase any of the Macromedia Studio 8 products below by September 30, 2005. Register your purchase by October 17. You will be automatically entered in a random drawing for the prizes above. Eligible products include:

Studio 8
Dreamweaver 8
Flash Professional 8
Fireworks 8

The contest ends 9/30.

I hope you have already clicked away from this blog to go and download it right now! Or go to the Flash 8 Forums here:

Heh – it’s only in the store and not even on the front of the site yet 😉