When you've finished creating an animation in Flash, you'll want to do one of two things with it: You'll want to either publish it, which means packaging it in a form your audience can play using the Flash Player they've installed on their computers; or you'll want to export it, which means packaging it in a form you can edit using another graphics or animation program (such as Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia/ Adobe Fireworks).
Publishing means something different in Flash (where it means "creating an executable Flash file") from what it means in the larger world of Web development (where it means "transferring files to a Web server").
In this chapter, you'll learn how to do both.
Using Flash's publishing settings (Figure 14-1), you'll see how to tell Flash to publish your animation as part of a Web page, and as a standalone projector. You'll also see how to export the artwork in your animation as editable image files. But before you publish or export, you need to learn how to optimize your animation (reduce your animation's file size) so that it runs as quickly and efficiently as possible—a real concern if you're planning to publish your animation on the Web (see the box on Section 14.1).
The larger your published Flash animation file size, the longer it takes for your audience to download it off the Web, and the more stress it puts on their computers when it does begin to play. (Find out more about the difference ...