Ask Lena: Flash Tips

January 3, 2011 / Updated: January 3, 2011 / Lena Shore

Question

I have to do this Flash banner and I know next to nothing about scripting. Can you give me some tips and tell me how to create a link to a Flash banner?

Answer

I have been where you are. I will give you some basic instructions on creating a banner link and throw in a few tips along the way. I’m not a Flash expert, so mileage may vary.

Creating a link (ActionScript before 3.0)

  1. After you are done with your banner insert new empty layer on the very top. You might even want to name it “URL” or something so you know what is there. When we are done it will appear blank.
  2. Create a square with Rectangle tool, that is larger than banner.
  3. Right click on square and chose Convert to symbol… In popup windows chose Type: Button and name it something meaningful like “ad_button”.
  4. Make it invisible by selecting it and going to the properties area. Under “Color Effect” choose “Alpha” and set the percentage at 0%.
  5. Right click on your new rectangle called “ad_button” and chose Actions and paste this code in source editor. Change the URL to reflect the URL you want the link to go to.
    on (release) { getURL("http://www.example.com/", "_blank"); }
  6. Test your movie inside Flash by selecting Alt+Return (Mac) or Command+Return (PC). Click the link to make sure it works.
  7. Save your work.
  8. Close source editor and export file as movie (File->Export->Export Movie).

If using ActionScript 3.0 you can use this code instead:

// Button
function GoExample(event:MouseEvent):void
{
var targetURL:URLRequest = new
URLRequest("http://www.example.com")
;
navigateToURL(targetURL);
}

addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, GoExample);
//end of about us button

Tip:

Sometimes when creating an ad you must really optimize the file to get it small. Limit rasterized photographs by size or amount whenever possible. Use text built in Flash an not imported from rasterized images. Use Vector images when possible. And finally, there is a neat program called “Flash Optimizer” that will give you a lot of settings to play with to get that file down in size. I imagine a real Flash guru can do it within the Flash program – but optimizing outside of Flash was very helpful for me.

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Lena Shore

Lena is a full-time freelancer and nerd that specializes in web development, graphic design, and illustration. She enjoys building things, learning new things, pursuing creative endeavors, and giving free advice.

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