May 08, 2007

Read this blog, via Flash, right within Photoshop (?)

As I’ve mentioned previously, Photoshop CS3 introduces the ability to run Flash/Flex SWF files inside Photoshop dialogs.  Not only does this enable faster creation of rich user interfaces for Photoshop; it also opens the door to a whole new level of connectedness right within Photoshop.  It will enable–if you’ll let me get buzzwordy for a second–"crowdsourcing": letting users collaborate & solve their own problems, enhancing Photoshop in the process.  That’ll largely happen in the future, but right now we’re shipping a practical example that runs scripts, plays video, and displays RSS feeds.

Now, if you want to take this for a spin and have Photoshop CS3 installed (and if you don’t, by all means please grab the tryout), here’s what to do:

  • Navigate to the Adobe Photoshop CS3 application folder on your machine.
  • Within it, navigate to Scripting Guide/Sample Scripts/JavaScript.
  • There you’ll find FlashUISample.jsx, along with FlashUISample.swf and
    FlashUISample.mxml (the latter being the Flex source code). [For convenience I'm posting them here as well, though you may need to maintain the same relative location in order to run other scripts from this UI.]
  • Drag and drop FlashUISample.jsx onto the Photoshop app icon (Mac) or into the Photoshop process tab on the Windows task bar.  Alternately, from within Photoshop you can choose File->Scripts->Browse, then navigate to the folder/file.

If all goes well, you should see something like this (screenshots 1, 2) running inside Photoshop.  The example can play episodes of Photoshop TV; display RSS feeds; and run Photoshop scripts.

I’m looking forward to seeing what designers and developers can create with Flash in Adobe desktop apps. In addition to Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks (which have supported SWF-based panels for some time), InDesign, Illustrator, Bridge, and Soundbooth support SWF UIs.  I believe this support is just a beginning, and that Flash technology will help transform the Creative Suite experience.

Posted by John Nack at 4:50 PM on May 08, 2007

Comments

  • since1968 — 7:36 PM on May 08, 2007

    Thanks for the tip John; cool idea.
    You’ve been able to include Flash within Dreamweaver for several version (I think since MX) in the form of an extension. I wrote a prototype DW extension back in 2002 that leveraged Flash communication server to support voice + text chats right in the DW interface. You could also copy code and paste it into the text chat to share with colleagues. I’m sure you could do something similar to share data in photoshop, although I’m not sure what the application might be.

  • John Koetsier — 8:32 PM on May 08, 2007

    Great! And all I need to participate is a thousand dollar piece of software!
    Oh.

  • eric dolecki — 5:33 AM on May 09, 2007

    Any chance these can live as an actual panel?
    [Yes--but not for CS3. --J.]

  • Daniel Schmidt — 4:53 PM on May 09, 2007

    Quite nice. What I feel is very limiting in Photoshop is that scripts are always modal (just like custom plugins).
    [True dat; and believe me, we want to remove that restriction. --J.]

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