Adobe AIR Flash

Developing for Adobe vs. Macromedia

I’m looking into embedding Flash inside PDF. Simple, right?

First, I searched my Acrobat 7 Help files, no mention of embedding Flash. Google brought me to various people asking the same question, with common answers that lead to Adobe’s developer site:

There are SDKs that include Acrobat JavaScript, but they require registration as a paid Adobe developer, and I’m not even sure if that information is what I need if I paid for the membership & subscription.

Why is this information so difficult to get to? Does Adobe not want more developers working on their products? Macromedia, Apple, Microsoft, Sun and many other companies provide free access to SDKs, sample files, tutorials…etc. Is this the Adobe we should start getting used to?

Hopefully Apollo & the new Adobe will make things easier for developers…

Update (Dec 11):

After more digging, I found some public SDKs. Yet some are locked, including Release Notes & Overviews. Even stranger is, on this page, Linux & Solaris SDKs are free, but Windows & Mac versions are locked. Huh?

6 replies on “Developing for Adobe vs. Macromedia”

Dang straight, we’ll move right on to sparkle in a flash if they screw this up. It ‘ll be the biggest IT screwup ever.

Hi Dave, nice to see you have an interest here, thanks! 🙂

I don’t have my geography down yet, and am not sure what info is where. I do know that the average Acrobat user is not a developer, but I also know that there are many developers working with Acrobat. That could explain the built-in Help files… I’ve read on this subject in a bound book, myself.

Just to check, you’re seeking info on embedding ActiveX and/or NetscapePlugin content into a PDF, right? I know that recent Reader versions have included support for embedded ActiveX content, but am not sure offhand of Netscape Plugins. This sounds like a good near-term article for the Developer Center, oriented towards Flash developers, true…?


Hi JD, good to see you here!

I’ve seen PDFs with embedded Flash content, using the ActiveX control. On the Mac, however, it requires QuickTime that only supports Flash 5, and the Flash content is not integrated as nicely as on Windows.

Perhaps I need Acrobat Professional (only have the Standard version), there’s no JavaScript console as far as I can see, or a debugger (both I read about in the SDK).

Yes, it’d be a good article for the dev center for Flash developers. Perhaps if I find out, I’ll post more info too. 😎

Actually, it’s very simple to do (assuming you’re using Acrobat 7). Save your Flash file as an uncompressed SWF. Then use the Movie tool in Acrobat to embed the SWF just as you would QuickTime or a movie format.

I did more tests and finally got Flash working inside PDF.

For the longest time, I embedded Flash movies and only saw the Buffering indicator moving, but the movies don’t work. Right-clicking on an embedded SWF reveals “Movie not loaded” in the Flash menu; even though the poster frame is from the SWF. The files that failed were all residing in the same folder as the PDF, which I used the Movie Tool Browse button to load the SWFs. And that is the problem.

For whatever reason, it only works if I type the URL of the SWF (http://…); then everything works as expected.

I was told by John Nack (senior product manager for Photoshop & Bridge) that this is a known bug and will be fixed soon.

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