Tutorial: Understanding the HTML exported by Max

The purpose of this tutorial is to help users understand the content in the HTML page produced by SWiSH Max4, miniMax4 and earlier versions. This content is created when the user selects ‘Export as SWF + HTML‘. The tutorial is aimed at the beginners/novice user and explains what the code means and how to edit it to your specific requirements. Each tag used in the exported HTML file will be briefly explained.

This tutorial does not describe in detail how to get your page ranked by search engines. Search engines are a complex topic, a topic that is constantly evolving. Only on-going research and investigation will help you to understand ‘how’ search engines rank sites/pages. That said, the content in the HTML tags can help make your exported site more search engine friendly.

Why use the HTML page at all?

There are two reasons. The first is that it allows you to control the size of your movie. The code includes the dimensions of the player and ensures all content is viewed as intended.

The second, and more important reason, is that SWF movies are not search engine friendly. Many search engines cannot enter your movie and read text objects or follow links. They can read text in HTML pages, and they can follow links in and out of HTML pages. Containing your SWF movie in an HTML page that also includes text and links allows your site to be indexed by search engines and read by screen readers.

Note that Google is one search engine that does search Flash content. This article explains some of the background.

How to view and edit the HTML parameters:

There are 3 ways to do this:

1. Export Settings dialog (Max2 and later)

Probably the easiest way is to use the Export Settings dialog to modify the important html tags. The dialog is enabled using Main Menu | Tools | Preferences | Export option and then setting the Show export settings when exporting checkbox.

If enabled, the dialog is displayed after the Save button is pressed.

This dialog allows you to alter the major tags associated with your movie. The dialog is explained in detail in the Max4 help file. The online version of the manual can be found here.

Note: If the width and height fields are left blank, the values will be filled in according to the defined dimensions of the exported movie. In general, leave the width and height fields blank.

The dialog also allows selection of different html templates. In general, the default template is sufficient, but in some cases an alternate template may be desired. For example, this blog article demonstrates a template that can be used to pass URL query strings to the .swf movie.

2. View / Edit in default HTML editor after export.

View and edit the HTML source code in your default HTML editor by choosing ‘Yes’ in the dialog that appears immediately after you Export to SWF + HTML from SWiSHmax.

If the dialog does not appear then you can alter the default export behavior using Main Menu | Tools | Preferences | Export .

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