We’ve been babbling on for the past 20 pages or so about creating interactive SWF files; it’s time we get down to actually making one. To export a document in the SWF format, choose File > Export, then choose SWF from the Format pop-up menu. After clicking OK, you’ll see the Export SWF dialog box (see Figure 13-9).
Figure 3.9 SWF Export Options
Most of the features in this dialog box are self-explanatory: For example, you can choose a size (in pixels, or by a percentage of the current document size). Remember that one pixel equals one point. You can choose which pages to export, and if your document is set up for facing pages, you can choose whether or not to treat each spread as a single page.
We can never remember how to write the HTML for embedding a SWF file into a Web page. Fortunately, the Generate HTML checkbox does all that for us. And, if you turn that checkbox on, you can also turn on the View SWF after Exporting checkbox to open it (the HTML with the embedded SWF) in your default Web browser. There are several other features in this dialog box that require a tad more explanation.
You can turn all vector objects (including text) into a bitmap by turning on the Rasterize Pages checkbox. That tends to make a large SWF file. It’s very rare you’d want to do this.
InDesign and Flash compose text differently, so if you choose InDesign Text To Flash Text in the Text pop-up menu, your text may appear different in the final SWF. Nevertheless, in most cases, this is the option you want, as it keeps file size down and makes the text visible to search engines. You can also choose to convert text to vector paths or to bitmaps, which maintains the look and feel, but at significant cost.
Have you made buttons, hyperlinks, and page transitions in your document? If so, you need to turn on these checkboxes to make them live in the SWF. If you turn on the fourth checkbox, Include Interactive Page Curl, people viewing your SWF will be able to “turn the page” by dragging a corner (as in a book).
Compression and Quality.
To keep file size down, bitmapped images are usually compressed using JPEG and complex vector curves are sometimes simplified in the SWF. You can control the quality of these algorithms in the final three pop-up menus.