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Tips for a Smooth Round-trip between Photoshop CS5 and Flash Catalyst

Adobe Flash Catalyst is a great tool for building out quick video-based microsites without having to learn any ActionScript or JavaScript. It takes your layered Photoshop file for the base design and allows you to designate which layers are buttons, form fields, etc and applies the necessary code behind the scenes.

If it sounds a bit like magic, well, it is.
There are, however a few tips to make the process run a little more smoothly.

Install the FXG Plugin for Photoshop
The FXG Plugin for Photoshop allows you to round-trip your design between Flash Catalyst and Photoshop should you need to change the photo used in a button, modify text or change the color of a design element. You’ll need to download and install this plugin to ensure the trip between Flash Catalyst and Photoshop is a smooth one.

Simplify Your Designs
There are a few areas where Flash Catalyst fails when importing your layered Photoshop document. Layer Effects, Smart Objects and text using non-Web standard fonts are a few examples. I recommend saving a simplified, second copy of your Photoshop document for importing into Flash Catalyst.

You can simplify the layers in your design manually, or, use the Simplify Layers for FXG script found in the File>Scripts>Simplify Layers for FXG menu. The script will automatically sort through your document’s layers, removing anything that could cause problems importing into Flash Catalyst.

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