Contribute 2.0 / FlashPaper

Today we announced Contribute 2.0, which among other things has support for OSX and FlashPaper.

What is FlashPaper you ask? From the website:

Macromedia FlashPaper printer driver technology for Windows 2000 and XP lets Contribute 2 customers transform any printable document into a compact, web-friendly Macromedia Flash format and then embed the document as an intrinsic part of a web page. The end result is an unbeatable document viewing experience for website visitors.

Once you see an example, it makes a lot more sense.

You can find more info on FlashPaper here.

You can find more info on Contribute here.

25 Responses to Contribute 2.0 / FlashPaper

  1. Mike, FlashPaper sure looks sweet – am interested to see more…

  2. david doull says:

    nice alternative to pdf….would be interested to see the source fla for the viewer, seems to handle printing nicely, something which can be tricky in flash

  3. pete says:

    Hark … is that the death cries of the PDF plugin I hear. Guess its two fingers up to Adobe 😛

  4. AC says:

    After Mr.Nielsen giving the axe to Adobe Acrobat PDF last week, I wonder what he has to say. Finally a competitor to PDF. Looking forward to this new software.

  5. Randy says:

    Darn, you can’t send the file to someone as an attachment… that would be the pdf killer.

  6. Patrick Whittingham says:

    Mike,Do this create a one swf which has a limit of 2880 pixels in length or multiple swf’s?

  7. persist says:

    I don’t see this as a pdf replacement. I would show this to people looking for a medium to share printable documents in a lighter format than pdf when Acrobats functionality simply isn’t needed. For example, a printable coupon would be perfect when you don’t want clients to be able to download the source file, but print once.However, I would be more interested if this product’s ability were extended to the Flash MX IDE so I could incorporate it into projector applications. Does the product output to swf or some other format?

  8. dvhh says:

    flash exporting is almost available evrywhere, and if not available flash can alway import some postscript :).However this is not a good replacement for pdf as pdf is well protected and is better suited for printing than flash. However flashpaper could prouve useful for fast web document sharing

  9. mike chambers says:

    Yes. This is not a replacement for PDF. It is meant a a lightweight means of transfering information and documents.mike

  10. jon williams says:

    You can’t search, and you can’t copy. Worthless as a document reader. And why? Because if flashPaper used textfields the scrollpane would chug on reasonably sized documents. Nice try MM. Yawn.

  11. Pete Hughes says:

    I cringe whenever I see a PDF trying to open in my browser, wondering if it will be a 2MB monster containing 300dpi photos for my viewing pleasure. Don’t laugh, print people in my own company can be guilty of that. Just opening the plugin takes a solid 10 seconds. And you can’t copy or print from those either, unless you have a little extra knowledge and tooling. Personally I welcome a lightweight document conversion alternative, if well executed it would be far better than PDFs on the web, and those in that end of the business would be smart to buy Contribute just to get Flashwriter. I suspect there will be little penetration against PDF since it’s a print/Adobe shop down there, they will stick over all of the features that Flashwriter doesn’t have, and know not that Flash even exists. But perhaps some uncouth person sitting on a mound of Microsoft Office content to share out will give it a whirl and find it quite adequate.

  12. Philter says:

    I agree that it’s not a replacement for PDF. What i WOULD like to know is how the multipage printing works with the Flash 6 player.I’ve spent a lot of time building an app for a client that required multipage printing, and eventually found a solution that worked. However, since Flash 6 can only print either all frames in a single timeline or labeled frames in a timeline (neither of which is able to be dynamically altered), there as no way for me to make the printing COMPLETELY dynamic (I had to work in a hack).Is there any chance that we can see how this is being done? I think it might be beneficial for us Flash developers as a whole.

  13. How does the upgrading work from Studio MX Plus?

  14. david says:

    Flash paper would REALLY enter the realm of usefull if i didnt have to buy Contribute to use it… Correct me (please) but this looks like a printing option, that prints to an .swf, as the limited info says that it can be used from any software that prints?? Why then is it limitted to Contribute users? Sell this thing by itself PLEASE!!

  15. mike chambers says:

    Contribute is only $99. If we sold Flash paper on its own, my guess is that it would not be much cheaper than that.mike

  16. andy makely says:

    This kind of thing has been available for a while now through 3rd party software. It was called FlashPrinter, but eHelp bought the technology, and now it’s available as part of their RoboFlash Toolkit. can see an example here:, FlashPaper has made a better navigation interface, that’s for sure.

  17. Carl Ouxley says:

    In fact it was originaly created by Blue Pacific Software and was called Flash Printer:

  18. Richard T-J says:

    Is there going to be published a set of the internal functions?This would be great to embed into a Director movie, and bypass the need to check/install acrobat for simple document viewing and printing.Simple calls to display certain pages, control zoom, and maybe even load multiple documents into it (e.g. load and replace the the internal document)Just my $0.02 worth…

  19. Yellow says:

    will it support RTL languages, we are very concern here that ,macromedia is leaving a big group of user and developers out of the circle.Does macromedia have any official opinion about it ?300 people since yesterday showed there opinion here :

  20. Tom Bray says:

    What I really need is a way to dynamically create and print multiple pages within Flash at runtime. Since FlashPaper is Flash 6 compatible, I’m assuming Contribute is just generating a static SWF with X number of printable frames. The heavy lifting is done in the document conversion algorithms.I NEED multi-page dynamic printing and if it isn’t in Flash MX2, I’ll be filled with hate.

  21. Other neat things about the Flash Paper viewer:Documents stream in, so you can view pages that have loaded while others are still coming in.You actually can attach the files to emails (not sure why they’re saying that), but you have to have the standalone player or drag it into a browser window.The app scales to fit the browser window, and looks pretty neat like that: with different page sizes and/or orientations in the same document are supported.Lots of keyboard shortcuts are included (arrows, page up/down, home/end, plus/minus).It’s not really a PDF-killer, but if they ever manage to get searching and selecting working, it might be.

  22. I would say that it works marvelously for simple things like viewing and printing. It won’t replace PDFs for large documentation, but it should certainly whoop its butt for very simple uses. I don’t see why Flash Printer should cost almost 99$ if it was seperated from Contribute though.

  23. Hi kids,i’m trying to load a 5 page flashpaper document from an swf. It shows up okay, but the page navigation doesn’t the scripting _root based? That would be sloppy. shouldn’t it run nicely in a movieclip?

  24. moises says:

    como eu posso controlar um flash paper atravez de um swf?mais ele tem que permitir a navegação._quais são então os meios possiveis?aguardo retorno por e-mail

  25. Jason Porath says:

    Is there any way to batch print to flash paper. For example, I have 10, one-page pdf documents that I would like to print as flash paper. I’ve used every print option, such as drag-and-drop, control-click: print, etc.As far as I can see, there is no way to automate or batch print several pdf documents at once to flash paper.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.Jason