Acrobat versions 6 and above support many different kinds of media formats including Macromedia Flash SWF (soon to be Adobe Flash). Using Illustrator CS you can create vector objects as animated sequences to embellish PDFs such as forms, diagrams, electronic brochures, and similar documents where you want to add animation to amplify your messages.
To understand a little more about saving SWF files from Illustrator and importing them in Acrobat, follow these steps:
- Create a sequence in Illustrator. Either draw vector shapes in Illustrator or drag a symbol from the Symbols palette to the document page. The shape you create is on a layer. Duplicate the shape and paste it to a second layer. Continue adding new layers and shapes to complete a sequence.
You can change size, rotations, or shape designs for each shape on a different layer. In my example shown in Figure 1, I created a shape on one layer and sized the objects up 25 percent on each new layer.
- Export to SWF. Choose File > Export. In the Export dialog box, select Macromedia Flash (swf) from the Format pull-down menu. Add a filename, select a target folder, and click the Export button. The Macromedia Flash SWF Format Options dialog box opens.
- Set the SWF file format options. In the Macromedia Flash SWF Format Options dialog box shown in Figure 2 are choices for the frame rate, exporting HTML compatible files, and various appearance options. Make your choices here and click OK to continue the export to SWF.
- Set the SWF file format options. In the Macromedia Flash SWF Format Options dialog box shown in Figure 9.19 are choices for the frame rate, exporting HTML compatible files, and various appearance options. Make your choices here and click OK to continue the export to SWF.
- Save the Illustrator file. When you export to a file format from Illustrator, your file is not yet saved. If you want to return to the document to make additional edits, save the file. Choose File > Save and save the file as a .ai file with Create PDF Compatible File checked.
- Import the SWF file in Acrobat (Acrobat Professional only). Open the Advanced Editing toolbar and select the Movie tool. Drag a rectangle on the document page where you want to import the SWF file. Click the Browse button in the Add Movie dialog box, locate your SWF file, and import it. When you import the movie, the first frame in the sequence appears within the movie rectangle.
- Play the movie clip. Select the Hand tool and click the movie frame. Figure 3 displays the last frame in a sequence. The effect is that the message box appears to explode in view as the sequence is played.
Whether you create SWF files from Illustrator or Adobe Flash, the SWF file imports in Acrobat are the same. Use the Movie tool in the Advanced Editing toolbar and locate an SWF file on your hard drive.