F.A.Q

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Do I need Adobe Flash to use FlashDevelop (FD)?

No, FlashDevelop (FD) is completely self contained; letting you make Flash .SWF files (and other target file formats) complete from itself. It can, optionally, be used to call Adobe's Flash IDE for compilation.

How do I use graphical assets created in Adobe Flash?

You can also use Adobe Flash to create graphics or UI skins, for your AS3 FD projects. Such graphics can be pulled in by:

  1. Compiling an SWF or SWC (File > Publish Settings > SWF > Export SWC)
  2. Dynamically loading such assets using the Loader or URLLoader AS3 classes
  3. Statically including the SWC into your project (right-click the SWC in your FD Project pane, choose "Add to Library")
  4. Statically including individual MovieClips using the [Embed] directive.

What operating system(s) does FD run on?

All Windows based OSs since Windows XP should be able to run FlashDevelop. This includes Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 8.
It is currently possible to run FlashDevelop under Linux or OSX via virtualization software such as Parallels, VMWare or VirtualBox (free).
Other operating systems (such as Linux, and OSX) are not officially supported, but there are multiple community efforts to add native support. (See forum discussions on: OSX, Linux)

Does FD run in 64-bit systems?

Yes, but requires Java 1.6+ 32-bits to be installed.

  1. You need to install Java JRE 1.6 32-bit
  2. Add the following environment variable :
    JAVA_HOME = C:/Program Files (x86)/Java/jre6/
  3. Add the following into your PATH variable :
    C:/Program Files (x86)/Java/jre6/bin/;
  4. Restart your PC for the environment variables to get updated

Why does FD generate SWFs of a larger size than Adobe Flash Professional?

Be sure you are compiling for release mode. Debug mode adds code. (Original forum post)

How can external SWC files be used with FlashDevelop?

  1. Put SWCs in the project, for instance under a \lib directory
  2. In the Project panel, right-click the SWC file > "Add to Library"
  3. The SWC's default linking mode is usually fine, but you can change it in the Project panel, right-click the SWC file > "Options"

Known issues:

How to trace/debug in AS3

See, how to configure & troubleshoot tracing/debugging: AS3:Debugging

How can the Adobe controls from fl.controls.* be used in FlashDevelop?

An official copy of Flash is needed. Export all controls you want to use into a SWC and reference the SWC. (Original forum post)
Step-by-step:

  1. Create an FLA in Flash
  2. Drag all the components you need onto the stage
  3. Go to the SWF publish settings and make sure that "Publish SWC" is checked
  4. Publish
  5. Make sure the SWC is inside the folder for your FlashDevelop project
  6. In FlashDevelop right-click the SWC and select "Add As Library"
  7. Create new components using the button = new fl.controls.Button() syntax, and don't forget to addChild()

Is it possible to modify default key bindings?

Key bindings can be modified by Tools-> Keyboard Shortcuts... or manually editing MainMenu.xml. This is found in the FD install settings directory.
(e.g., On Vista this is C:\Program Files (x86)\FlashDevelop\Settings\MainMenu.xml)

How can the editor's font or colors be changed?

To change the contents (your code): From the menu: Tools > Syntax Coloring
Settings are written to the file in the user's FD directory
.../FlashDevelop/Settings/AS3.xml
.../FlashDevelop/Settings/AS2.xml
etc...
To change FlashDeveloper's UI itself, go to the menu "Tools > Program Settings > Main: FlashDevelop > Display > UI Console Font and UI Default Font"

How can a global directory be used with SWC and/or AS files?

FlashDevelop supports a global directory for .SWC and .AS files; meaning any project created will look to the directory for matching classes/functions. (Original forum post)
Step-by-step:

  1. From menu: "Tools" > "Global Classpaths"
  2. Add the path(s) you want accessible to every project opened up with FD
  3. To always show the paths, change: "Tools" > "Program Settings" > "ProjectManager" > "Show Global Classpaths"

How can pre-build or post-build commands be added to a project?

There are options to add Pre-Build and Post-Build command lines through the menus: "Project" > "Properties..." > "Build" tab If you wish to execute DOS commands reference cmd.exe
Example, copying a file to the directory the project's SWF is being created in:
c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe /C copy "C:\source\projects\foo\bar.xml" "$(OutputDir)\bar.xml"
See forum thread for a discussion on this.

After moving a project why am I getting errors?

You may need to give local "trust" access to the parent folder of the project.
See forum thread for more.

How do I change auto-generated code?

You can change the "snippets" that are generated by modifying the files they are read from:

  1. From Menu: "Tools" > "User Config Files..."
  2. Then from the explorer folder that opens go to: "\Snippets\as3\generators\"

If you want to modify a snippet for a language other than ActionScript 3, go to the appropriate folder. (e.g., for Haxe go to \Snippets\Haxe\generators\ )

When I try to debug I receive a "Unable to load DLL 'jvm.dll'" or "BadImageFormatException" error

This is due to how Java registers its dependencies and how FlashDevelop resolves the path to Java.

See our Java page for more info: http://www.flashdevelop.org/wikidocs/index.php?title=Java

How do I fix a crash that occurs when I load a specific project?

There might be bad data in the file cache. In which case you can go to the user files area from the FD menu: "Tools" > "User Config Files..." and then delete the files found in "Data/ASCompletion/FileCache". For more see the forum thread

What needs to be done to use an .ANE (Adobe Native Extension) with FD?

Look up the real extensionId by unpacking the ANE; reading META-INF/ANE/extension.xml. Leave the extension in a folder unzipped for the run.bat to execute on it. A tutorial on setting up .ANEs was written by fermmm. Also there is a conversation on this at this forum thread.

Why do I get a "Could not generate timestamp" error when creating an AIR app?

This is a known issue. Change packager.bat so this:
call adt -package %OPTIONS% %SIGNING_OPTIONS% %OUTPUT% %APP_XML% %FILE_OR_DIR%
becomes this:
call adt -package -tsa none %OPTIONS% %SIGNING_OPTIONS% %OUTPUT% %APP_XML% %FILE_OR_DIR%
Details on the forum thread.

Why do I receive an error creating a certificate for AIR mobile app or am unable to connect the debugger?

(Original post 1, post 2 )
Many of these errors are due to the latest Java 1.7 release or Java 64bits runtimes. Java 1.7 or 64bits is not compatible with the latest Flex SDK. To fix, uninstall it and install Java 1.6 32bits instead.
If you have the correct version of Java installed but FlashDevelop isn't able to run Java, make sure the path to Java's /bin directory is in your PATH: http://java.com/en/download/help/path.xml

How do I use versions of AIR the FD doesn't automatically list yet?

Use APPMan to download the latest, set the appropriate configurations to use the new SDK, and be sure to have the correct swf-version # in the compiler options. See this tutorial for details.

You can also directly download the AIR SDK from Adobe, and add the path under the "InstalledSDKs" option in FD Settings.

How do I compile SWFs with the latest ASC2 compiler?

If you are using AIR SDK 15 or higher then you already are using ASC2 compiler. You can check your version in FlashDevelop settings > AS3 > InstalledSDKs.

If not, then download and install the latest FlashDevelop, it comes with an installer that downloads ASC2 + AIR SDK from Adobe's site automatically.

If you wish to use your existing FD installation, then simply download the latest AIR SDK, which contains ASC2 by default. You no longer need to merge Flex SDK + AIR SDK if you are only using Flash Player/AIR. You only need Flex SDK if you are using the Flex UI components. You will need to instruct FD to use your newly downloaded SDK, by going to the InstalledSDKs section (see note above) and adding your new SDK. If you remove the older SDKs, then FD will use only the new SDK for all projects.

How do I build video games with FD?

There are hundreds of online tutorials such as this one, that teach you how to use various frameworks (Starling, Flixel, Away3D, Flare3D) to build 2D, isometric, platform, or even 3D games. Adobe has a game development site as well as devnet content for 3D game dev.

You can typically use AS3 (ActionScript3) or Haxe to build Flash-based games, and such games will run fine on PCs, in web browsers, and even on mobile devices. Games written in Haxe compile faster and run faster.

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