Macromedia Debuts Flash 5, New Player and Interface

Macromedia, Monday unveiled Macromedia Flash 5, a newly-designed version of the company’s vector graphics and animation program. It also debuted a new Macromedia User Interface and Flash 5 Player.

“Macromedia Flash is an entire movement — and this is just the beginning,” said Rob Burgess, chairman and chief executive officer of Macromedia . “From USA BancShares to David Lynch to brands like Volkswagen and Tiffany & Co., the Flash community is being built by people who want to create more engaging and effective Web experiences. Macromedia Flash 5 helps get them there.”

Macromedia Flash 5 features new creative tools and integration with Macromedia FreeHand and Fireworks. For application developers the company has added ActionScript – a complete JavaScript-like language for creating interactivity, and support for XML data interchange. To produce high volumes of Macromedia Flash content there is integration with Macromedia Generator Developer Edition for automating Macromedia Flash production workflows for increased productivity.

“Macromedia Flash 5 has made authoring high-impact content even easier with this release,” said Colin Moock, Web evangelist for ICE Integrated Communications and Entertainment. “The product is full of new and improved features that make content creation more intuitive, but the revamped user interface is worth the upgrade price alone.”

Macromedia Flash 5 features a newly redesigned user interface that simplifies the process of inspecting and editing Macromedia Flash content. A new Bizier pen tool enables traditional illustrators accustomed to technical drawing tools to work within the authoring environment. FreeHand files import directly into Macromedia Flash, maintaining the design integrity of the file.

Another new addition to the authoring environment is “Smart Clips,” components of complex interactivity such as user interface widgets or multiple choice forms that can be shared, reused, and customized for any Macromedia Flash development need. Publishing features in Macromedia Flash 5 allow authors to deploy content for Macromedia Flash Players and also add new functionality for exporting content for synchronized playback in RealNetworks’ RealPlayer.

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