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Extracting Flash Content

Let me guide you, step-by-step, through my process for using the Flash Search Engine SDK in Windows XP.

First, click the Begin the licensing process for the Search Engine SDK link on the Macromedia Player Licensing page. Follow the instructions to register your copy and download the SDK.

Downloading the SDK will install several folders and a handful of files on your computer, including the executable swf2html file and a sample SWF file, named stiletto-sample.swf, which you can use to try out a sample extraction. Place the swf2html.exe and stiletto-sample.swf files (or any other SWF files you want to extract) into the same folder. You can put them anywhere, but just understand that you must manually tell swf2html.exe where to look for your SWF file. This is easier if they are both in the same folder because there is no point-and-click method for extracting the flash content via swf2html.exe.

You need to perform the extraction from the Command prompt (see Figure 2).

  1. In Windows XP, click the Start button and choose All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
  2. To output the extraction to a file, enter swf2html stiletto-sample.SWF -o outputfilename.html at the DOS command prompt.
Figure 02

Figure 2 The Flash content extracted from the stiletto-sample.swf file.

By default, swf2html extracts the following text:

  • Text on stage in the current movie (dynamic text, static text, or input text that has an initial value assigned)
  • Text on stage in a movie that is called with movieClip.attachMovie()

Google will see all the text that the swf2html tool can extract, including all links.

Figure 3 shows how the stiletto-sample.swf file looks displayed in the Flash player.

Figure 03

Figure 3 The stiletto-sample.swf file as it appears in the Flash player.

Following is the same file after getting extracted by swf2html—and is how Google will see it:

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