Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Web Design & Development > Adobe Flash

10 Minutes with Flash: Using LoadVars to Send Form Data

  • Print
  • + Share This
Do you LoadVars? In the latest installment of his 10 Minutes with Flash series, Robert Hoekman, Jr. shows you how to package up form data and send it to the server.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

I've heard the question a hundred times: How, oh how, do I create a form in Flash to send an email? So here's the answer, in 10 minutes or less.

The Setup

For this article, I'm going to assume that you have some prior experience using ActionScript and a decent amount of experience with Flash in general. I also assume that you actually need this information (smart of me, huh?). Because we have only 10 minutes, I won't get into the server-side scripting (CFM, ASP, PHP, etc.) you would use to process an email form. But I will show you how to create the form, compile its data, and send the data out of Flash.

So, let's do it.

  1. Launch Flash and create a new blank document. It doesn't matter whether you use Flash MX or Flash MX 2004/Flash Pro. Either version will work.

  2. Set the Publish Settings to use Flash Player 6 or higher by using either ActionScript 1.0 or 2.0.

  3. Set the Stage dimensions to whatever you want. Just be sure to leave enough space for five text fields—one of which will be rather large—and a button.

  4. Add a layer in the Timeline (so you have two) and then name them actions and assets, with the actions layer on top.

  5. On the assets layer, create four individual lines of static text: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Message (see Figure 1).

  6. Figure 1Figure 1 Words. Pretty, pretty words.

  7. Add four empty text fields to the Stage in a layout of your choice, and set their text field types to Input, using the menu in the Property inspector. One of the fields will be used to enter an email message, so make sure it's fairly large.

  8. Position the Static text fields from Step 5 (First Name, Last Name, etc.) above or next to the input text fields so the user will know what is supposed to be entered into each Input field, similar to Figure 2. Leave space for a fifth text field, which you'll add in a moment.

  9. Figure 2Figure 2 The careful planning of a form.

  10. Select the Input text field next to First Name and use the Property inspector to give it an instance name of first_name_txt. This gives you a way to identify the field in the ActionScript you'll write in the next section.

  11. Name the other input text fields last_name_txt, email_txt, and message_txt.

  12. Create a Dynamic text field, position it, and give it the instance name status_txt. This field will be used to notify the user if the form is incomplete and can't be sent.

  13. Create a new Button symbol and design yourself a Send button. I used the word Send and changed the color of the text for the Over state (if using plain text for the button, be sure to add a rectangle into the Hit state for the button that covers the entire word). Return to Scene 1 when you're done.

  14. Position the Send button somewhere where the user can find it (on the Stage, for example, where it can actually be used) to complete the form layout.

  15. Snap an instance of the Scrollbar component to the right side of the largest Input text field (message_txt). This way, users can write extra long messages and scroll through them while writing.

  16. NOTE

    If you're using Flash MX 2004/Flash Pro and don't have the legendary Scrollbar component now missing from Flash, copy it from the exercise file for this article, which can be downloaded at the end of this article.

    The form should now contain all the assets shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3Figure 3 One of a million possible layouts for a form in Flash.

  17. Add a keyframe to frame 2 of the assets layer (by pressing F6). Select the new keyframe, delete everything on the Stage, and add a line of Static text that says Thank you. Your message has been sent. This will cue users that everything went smoothly, giving them that nice, warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you know an email has been sent.

  18. Save this file as form.fla to your desktop (or wherever you might need it).

Hooray! You have a form. Of course, it doesn't do anything yet, so keep reading.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020