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Powerful Printing in Flash

Use Flash's robust printing support to add print functionality to your Flash movies or Web applications. By using off-screen movie clips and ActionScripts movie clip copying commands, effective printouts can be assembled on the fly.


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Use Flash's robust printing support to add print functionality to your Flash movies or Web applications. By using off-screen movie clips and ActionScripts movie clip copying commands, you can create effective printouts assembled on-the-fly.

Flash's support for printing via the ActionScript print() commands remains a seldom-used, often-overlooked set of features Flash offers. Dont be fooled, however: Flash is capable of producing sophisticated, high-quality printouts. In fact, since Flash is working with vector graphics formats, it can produce printouts of a quality which often surpasses that of the Web browser's printing. For my company's last software project, we used Flash to add printing support to the Web-based application we were developing. We found that by moving printing to Flash, we could surpass the capabilities of the Web browsers native support and offer much richer printouts to our users.

The secret to providing print interfaces in Flash lies in using off-screen movie clips and copying the portions of the interface to be printed to these off-screen clips. The advantages of handling printing in this manner, as we will see, is that the Flash developer maintains much more control over what is printed and how it is printed: we don't have to be constrained to printing what appears on the main movie interface.



It will be easier to follow the example code below if you are familiar with attaching new movie clips programmatically using the ActionScript attachMovie() command, and with using the eval() statement to look up existing movie clips. You might want to review the ActionScript documentation on these commands if you are unfamiliar with them.



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