Flash 5 or MX is ok, but i'm looking for two different types of books:

1) A Broadstroke howto covering beginner to whatever, but not necessarily an indepth reference. This is to hopefully help me get up to speed ASAP.

2) A detail oriented in-depth reference, such as maybe Flash 5 (MX) Bible?

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It's a little while since I read any books on Flash so I'm not up to date with MX, but certainly for Flash 5 up until about a year ago Friends of Ed did a whole range of books that were well thought of, for beginners and upwards. I imagine they're still updating that series.

Once you get past the basics of Flash and using Actionscript see if you can get your hands on a copy of the New Masters of Flash books. These contain examples of techniques used by some of the Flash gurus and they're really very good.

Thanks for the info Bob. The only Friends of Ed books I could find was one for Photoshop and an Out-of-Print for Livemotion - you wouldn't happen to have an ISBN would you?

Sure, but keep in mind that these are for Flash 5:

Foundation ActionScript
Friends of Ed
ISBN 1-903450-32-2

New Masters of Flash
Friends of Ed
ISBN 1-903450-03-9

New Master of Flash (The 2002 Annual)
Friends of Ed
ISBN 1-903450-36-5

Also, this was the best of it's kind for Flash 5 ActionScript:

ActionScript, the Definitive Guide
ISBN 1-56592-852-0

Friends of Ed are at:

O'Reilly at:

What is your overall goal with Flash? Even if you get a book on application development with Flash, they tend to cover the basics of Flash. Also it's less boring. Some Flash books are just too basic (you spend drawing circles and squares for the first five chapters). If you already have some background in a graphics program, even an authoring program like Dreamweaver, it will seam somewhat redundant. I think you'd rather learn the basics while learning something else, like XML, which Flash MX does a better job with.

Like Bob, I think ActionScript, the Definitive Guide O'Reilly is a good book. I have it (for version 5) and make good use of it. I've never been too fond of O'Reilly books, except their references.

In my experience, the Friends of Ed books are ok. I have three of their books (ActionScript, ActionScript Studio, and ColdFusion for Flash) which are ok, but the pace might seem a bit slow, for these books anyways... just my 2 cents.

If you want to develop Flash games, these two books rule:

Macromedia Flash MX Game Design Demystified (ISBN: 0201770210)
Flash Games Studio (ISBN: 1903450675)

Thanks Bob & inscissor

Bob, I'll keep the list in mind as I select MX oriented materials. I "had" to make a snap purchase today to have *something* to read while at work, so I picked up Foundations of Flash MX - while skimming through the book on the cashier's line I noticed that it was a "Friends of Ed book!" ;)

inscissor i'll be starting w/producing internal interactive training modules (these would be accessible via intranet, but not necessarily be stand alone webpages), move on to web publishing centric materials such as splash screens, intros and ancillary movies, then move onto more complex endeavors...games? that would be a very interesting goal, and i'm sure if i can weedle company time/spend my own in going in that direction i would use a more appropriate prog as you mentioned. does Director use ActionScript? it seemed to be stressed in a coupla books i browsed prior to selecting the Foundations of Flash MX - which, btw, does seem to be a bit plodish, and definitely oriented towards flash movies rather than what i need initially, but i like that it's taking me right from the basics; look for a review in May or so.

Thanks again guys, much appreciated.

Director uses Lingo. :) Remember how I compared it to Logo? ;) [thread]113[/thread]

It's been more than a year since Macromedia has initiated a campaign to move Flash usage from movies (skip intros) to GUIs for web applications. It was funny seeing Kevin Lynch's (CEO of Macromedia) reaction when he asked how many people use it for GUIs. Not that many. Mostly prefer to use traditional HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Too encourage that, Flash MX now comes with premade components (drop down boxes, textboxes, buttons, and other cool stuff), which is kind of cool. If you want to see some cool components, check out:


yes i do, einstein, but all bcs it uses Lingo doesnt preclude it from runnin ActionScript as well!!! :P

btw, thanks for http://www.flashcomponents.net/ ;)

I'm inscissor, you're einstein... einstein. Ok ok, yours has an "a," big whoop. ;)

I wasn't sure if you remembered or asked for the sake or asking again, or what. I just answered. I wasn't trying to be a smart alec. But hey, sometimes we do things twice... like how many times have you looked at your watch for the time, then a second later, looked at it again?

LOL, yeah, but i was being 1! ;) thanks anyway :D

Definately take a look at the Flash MX Visual QuickStart guide. I can't remember the author's name, but its a really simple, easy, and informative guide to FMX...I use it :-P

Definately take a look at the Flash MX Visual QuickStart guide. I can't remember the author's name, but its a really simple, easy, and informative guide to FMX...I use it :-P

Thanks for the heads-up. Generally I dislike the QVS format, but if I wind-up needing a second basic book I'll definitely take a look at it. :)

Definately take a look at the Flash MX Visual QuickStart guide. I can't remember the author's name, but its a really simple, easy, and informative guide to FMX...I use it :-P

Thanks for the heads-up. Generally I dislike the QVS format, but if I wind-up needing a second basic book I'll definitely take a look at it. :)


LOL! Sorry to have stepped on your toes aeinstein! I'm also picking up FLASH and forgot that I wasn't actually the one who started that thread! ;-)

QVS? Did you mean VQS (Visual Quick Start)? Their format is ok if you're in a hurry to learn the material. It's also cheap. But because its aim is to get you up to speed fast, it misses in depth issues.

Just remember that the overall quality always depends on the author, not the publishers.

First, yes, I did mean VQS, sorry about that. Second, don't underestimate the importance of both good publishers and good - hopefully, very good - editors. They can both make or break a book depending on their contributions, or lack thereof. The publisher with understanding the needs and outlook of the genre, and, in particular, with viable publicity and effective distribution of the work. And the editor, who, in being the coxswain of the literary world, needs to know the very pulse of the topic as well as understand it's goals in order to give the ever so needed independent perspective necessary to properly nurture a work of any worthwhile significance. Of course, starting with a half-way decent author helps! ;-)

I guess I disagree. I think a good author can make a good book no matter what. I know what you mean by the publisher and staff. They might restrict the author in some ways, and probably even "break" the book, like you stated.

I think though, if the author is good, he can work around that. Overall, to me, if the author can explain the material well, I'm satisfied. Even if it has mistakes, I'll excuse that if he has a web site for errata, for which most do. Let me give you an example. I despise the O'Reilly format. When I open up one of the books, the layout reminds me of man pages (linux documentation). It just gives a very dry appearance. This is not the author's fault, it's the standard layout all O'Reilly authors have to follow. But then when I read "Programming ColdFusion," by Rob Brooks-Bilson, I forgot about the way it was layed out by O'Reilly because the author was good enough to explain the material in a way that kept me interested.

I'm speaking from experience by the way. I buy an average of two books a week and own several online books from Sams, QUE, Wrox, O'Reilly, New Riders, McGraw Hill, Osborne, and Coriolis, and Friends of Ed. I already know the layout of each publisher. I'm not going to tell you which one is the best because again, in my opinion, it all depends on the author. You can however distinguish them on length, but I'm not going to do that because that also depends on the reader. ;)

I think for flash the following book is very good.. For Scripting


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