Adobe Flash Professional CS5 review

£653
Price when reviewed

The other main reason to bring InDesign publications into Flash Professional is to add custom interactivity. Flash Professional CS5 introduces an ActionScript 3-based Code Snippets panel that lets you manage a whole host of tasks, such as timeline navigation, animation, audio and video. For heavier coding, custom class code hinting, code completion and the ability to reference code libraries more efficiently mean you can achieve a lot in Flash Professional CS5.

It still isn’t the most efficient development platform, so for serious coders there’s now the option to leave the program entirely to edit and debug ActionScript in Flash Builder, a new addition to the Web Premium Creative Suite.

Adobe Flash Professional CS5 coding

Flash Professional CS5 takes another major stride towards modern development practice with its introduction of XFL, a new native “uncompressed FLA” format. XFL stores all information as open XML code and manages imported binary content as referenced files. This greatly boosts workflow productivity, allowing content to be updated simply by replacing linked files, and for multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously.

For Flash to fulfil its full potential as a web platform, the format needs to shift away from its proprietary, binary, standalone past towards a more open, integrated, modern future. Adobe is doing what it can to move Flash Professional in this direction, but it’s the decision to bring Flash Builder into the CS mainstream and to provide an alternative design application in the form of Flash Catalyst that will have the most impact.

Effectively, this relieves Flash Professional CS5 of the advanced development duties for which it’s manifestly unfit, and allows the program to concentrate on what it has always done best: producing high-impact web-efficient content. Flash designers will breathe a sigh of relief.

Details

Software subcategory Graphics/design software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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