FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

Technical questions

Other questions

Q: When What do I need to use ASTRO Flash Creator?
A: ASTRO Flash Creator was designed for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. ASTRO Flash Creator does not require that Adobe/Macromedia Flash is installed. Only the "Test in Browser" option expects the Flash plugin to be installed on your computer.

Q: Will Does ASTRO Flash Creator run on Macintosh?
A: ASTRO Flash Creator itself is a Windows program. The by ASTRO Flash Creator created Flash SWF files do run on the Macintosh.

Q: How many text effects does ASTRO Flash Creator have?
A: In the standard ASTRO Flash Creator program, there are more than 450 or more than 1250 WITH PJ plugin for ASTRO F.C. and SUPREME4 plugin for ASTRO F.C. text effects and more than 80 other Flash effects. However, ASTRO Flash Creator effects can be altered in countless ways. These variations can be bookmarked, and be shared with other ASTRO Flash Creator users. Moreover, there are additional ASTRO Flash Creator plugins available on the Goldshell and Patrick Jansen Design web sites, adding even more great Flash effects to the ASTRO Flash Creator program.

Q: Are ASTRO Components the same as (AFC) ASTRO Flash Creator?
A: No. They are not the same product.

AFC"ASTRO Flash Creator" is a standalone software (windows only) for quickly creating flash animations (export .swf files). ASTRO-F.C. is not for use with or within Macromedia Flash itself (aside from loading the external .swf files you export with Astro-F.C, in movies created with MM Flash, by using the LoadMovie action (you can not import the .swf's) ). It is aimed at people in a hurry or who do not use MM Flash itself.

Astro components"ASTRO Components" are Macromedia Flash extensions. You install them directly into the MM Flash authoring environment with MM Extension Manager. After install, you simply drag&drop the effects from the Component list onto the stage/canvas of the .fla you are working in. They will simply be part of your .fla Libarary and can be customized, edited and previewed directly in MM Flash.

Q: How do I register AFC (and/or plugins) with my license key(s)?
A: AFC has both a "Serial Number" and a "Verification Code". The AFC plugins only require a "Serial Number".

AFC: click in main menu [Help], click [Enter Serial Number] and in the popup window you need to copy-paste both your "Serial Number" and your "Verification Code". the Serial number in the first field and the Verification Code in the second field

!!! Important: You have to copy the whole line when copying the "Serial Number", including the part where it states your personal or company name

Notice: The "Serial Number" is a generally accepted term of an unlock code/string, in case of AFC and its plugins it only contains your personal or company name plus a serie of uppercase letters, not litterally "numbers" though.

Plugins: click in main menu [View], click [Manage Plugins]. Select the plugin you want to register, and press the [Enter Key] button, in order for you to enter your key into the program.

Q: How can I customize effects?
A: On the "Text Effects" tab, enable the "Parameters" checkbox. (This checkbox can only be chosen once you have selected a text effect.) You will then see a small window appear, which contains all variables that the effects is using. You can adjust these variables, thereby altering the effect itself.

If you wish to keep this altered effect for future use, click the small "bookmark" button at the top of the variable window, or select "Bookmark User Effect", from the "View" pulldown menu.

Q: Which fonts or characters can I use?
A: You can use any font that is installed on your computer. All normal characters can be used, apart characters from multibyte fonts (as found in Chinese or Japanese fonts).
If AFC doesn't show your text or your font, like Chinese or Japanese or Russian or other similar multibyte font, then AFC won't be the solution for you. If you happen to have Adobe/Macromedia Flash (MX / MX2004 / 8 / CS3), then you may want to try out the Component versions of the text effects.

Q: How do I load ASTRO Flash Creator files into Frontpage?
A: Go to Insert - Advanced - Plug-In and click on the "browse" button. Select your ASTRO Flash Creator file. Now enter the appropriate size and click on OK. Finally, save and preview your file.

Q: How to embed a ASTRO Flash Creator file into PowerPoint?
A: Go to View - Toolbar - Control Toolbars and click on the icon which looks like a little hammer. Select "Shockwave Flash Object" from the list. Now you must drag a square on the place where you want the ASTRO Flash Creator file to appear. After you have done this, right-click on the box and the properties menu will pop up. To add the ASTRO Flash Creator file you must click on the word "Custom", and select the "Build" icon (the three dots at the end of the line) Now you must enter the Movie URL and check the "Embed Movie" box as well. Finally, save and run your slide show in presentation view.

We advice to try out ASTRO Flash Creator movies with the trial version to see if the result works properly in your PowerPoint file/presentation. The ASTRO Flash Creator movie area can in some cases hinder the use of prior/next screen click.

Q: How can I use ASTRO Flash Creator files Flash 5, MX or MX2004
A: 1) If you want to combine effects see also the following Question. Join the .swf´s with Clipyard and use the LoadMovie action in your .fla to load the joined result created with Clipyard in the result of your .fla movie.
2) If you need to implement separate .swf´s into separate position in the timeline of a .fla , you can use LoadMovie at keyframes and might want to check out the automated (Pre-)Loader for external .SWF´s in your Flash .FLA file

Q: Can I use several effects sequentially (one after another)?
A: You can show different effects sequentially, by doing this programmatically in Flash (see (Pre-)Loader for external .SWF´s). Alternatively, you can export your ASTRO Flash Creator effects to Clipyard, which is a small Flash editor to concatenate and combine several Flash files into one new Flash file.

The Clipyard program can be found on the Goldshell web site.

Q: Can I use ASTRO Flash Creator to make (non-/transparent) video files?
A: There are several standalone softwares on the web which can convert .swf flash files to video (AVI, QUICKTIME, MPEG etc) format. There are a few which can add an Alpha Channel to create transparent video which you can implement into your video projects.

On Google you can find a large number of SWF to AVI video converters. In many cases most will do fine. But if you need some extra power and specialization you may want to check these two software;

Flashants SWF-to-video Pro

Moyea swf to video pro

Both have
1: alpha transparency export for post-editing in video software
2: single playback for capture, which is important because many flash movies (like the text effect components) use Random() in scripting which means it will never play back twice exactly the same. If you have a software which uses a double playback to capture then it may not give a good result

Q: I have a bug or problem, what do I do?
A: First, download and install the latest version of ASTRO Flash Creator. If you choose not to install over your current version, and to uninstall and re-install instead, then we reckomend you first Export ALL existing Bookmarks you created to both .txt file AND .abk ASTRO Flash Creator Bookmark file and also delete all contents of c:/program files/astro/ before you reinstall. If that does not help, please send us a bug report or use the contact form and include your operating system and details of when / how the bug happened.

Q: Will I receive updates or upgrades?
A: Once you have bought an key, future ASTRO Flash Creator updates will be free of charge. For major upgrades or Pro versions we will offer an upgrade option for a discount fee.

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