About Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash (previously called Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform created by Macromedia and currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages.
Adobe Flash offers creators an intuitive way to create websites. It's interface is similar to for example Adobe Illustrator, and allows the author to use rich media such as movies with ease.
- Creating your first Animation - A tutorial that goes into using flash; placing animation inside movieclips and nesting movieclips (movieclips inside movieclips)
- Import files from illustrator - One of flash's neat feature is direct support for illustrator
External tutorials and guides
- GotoAndLearn.Com - Many very easy to follow instructional movies
- Actionscript.org - An actionscript site containing many resources and tutorials
- DMOZ.org Flash FAQ's Help and Tutorials at the Open Directory Project
Why should I use flash instead of HTML/CSS?
Advantages of using flash
Flash allows for a great degree of freedom. The designer has no cross browser troubles: any flash movie will look the same anywhere. This will allow you to intuitively create your first website without worrying about divs in divs or z-indexes.
Flash is an interactive platform. This allows for easily including interactivity as rollovers; but also allows you to easily embed music, mp3's or movies. Nowadays flash is also often used for just playing media, because the browser plugin is used in so many browsers; the estimated users that have installed the flash plugin in 2009 is 97%; almost everyone.
Flash plays nice with almost any image format (GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIF) and vector formats (EPS, Illustrator, PDF) and sound formats (WAV, MP3) and most movies can be converted easily into a flash compatible movie format.
Use any Font
You can use any font in flash, without the user having to install the font first, as would be the case with HTML.
Disadvantages of using flash
Flash requires a plugin
Flash still need to install a plugin; although it is installed on most pc's; it won't run on most clean installations of windows or firefox for that matter. There's no certainty all your users will be able to see your site.
Search Engine Issues
This is a big downside. Google reads html and recently started to (badly) read flash. This means your site won't be indexed in google and google or any other search engine will discard your site, or only take it marginally up in their indexes.
Lack of Screen Reader Support
Many visually disabled or visually challenged users use screen readers to be able to read the web. Screenreaders can't read flash; so you'll exclude a (big) group of users from being able to view your site.
Printing just text is impossible in flash. One can print the whole movie; but it's not possible to print just the information on it. (although this is not nescesarily a down side, you might want people not to be easily print your information). If you need to provide printing support you will need to provide a pdf or html alternative to flash.