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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, considering ... it's Flash they're talking about
A difficult book to review.

I am new to most of Flash, coming from corporate video production and increasingly needing to get involved with the web as viewing medium. So what I really need is a book called "Using Flash to provide web based video". Unfortunately for me, this book would be better called "Using Flash to draw stuff".

Flash must have the...
Published on 19 Jan. 2009 by Mr. Brian R. Dougal

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3.0 out of 5 stars Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
It's an ok sort of book not suitable for a complete novice - I was a little bit swamped by it.
Published on 7 Feb. 2013 by dynamick


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, considering ... it's Flash they're talking about, 19 Jan. 2009
By 
Mr. Brian R. Dougal (Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
A difficult book to review.

I am new to most of Flash, coming from corporate video production and increasingly needing to get involved with the web as viewing medium. So what I really need is a book called "Using Flash to provide web based video". Unfortunately for me, this book would be better called "Using Flash to draw stuff".

Flash must have the worst user interface of any Adobe product. The people who created what is probably the best user interface of any complex product, After Effects, must be thinking "why did we ever buy this??? Pity they didn't start again from scratch, but they didn't, and thank goodness someone has written a book attempting to describe all the inconsistencies & illogicalities Flash contains.

Thus I find it very difficult to objectively separate weaknesses of the book from weaknesses of the Flash user interface itself. However I also own a Dreamweaver (CS3) "Missing Manual". I concur with the numerous rave reviews of that book. Sadly this one is no where near so good.

So here is my best-effort attempt at a review:

Good points:
1) For anyone completely new to Flash, this book appears to give a good overview of the features. 2) Very easy reading style. 3) ActionScript forms a substantial third of the book, 218 pages (218/660, 33%). 4) Considering a ground-zero start, the coverage of ActionScript is very understandable, quite an achievement! 5) For people wanting to draw and animate vector graphics from within Flash, this is a truly excellent book.

Bad points:
1) It covers the programme from an equal-number-of-pages per section basis, which gives a very non-uniform level of difficulty. eg several pages on how to draw a rectangle, same number on some complex bit of ActionScript. 2) Virtually no mention of how to use Flash as part of an Adobe suite. 3) Scant mention of working with imported assets.

I would have thought that most users will now be creating their images & screen elements in programs better at those tasks, then importing into Flash just for its animation, browser control & swf creation capabilities??? However this book is aimed at using Flash in isolation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals), 7 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
It's an ok sort of book not suitable for a complete novice - I was a little bit swamped by it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flash CS4 - The Missing Editor, 25 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
What can I say, the content is good, the writing style fun, the examples relevant. So far, heading for 4 or 5 stars...

but then...

I have put about 30 errata onto the books errata pages, to go with the 20 or so already on there. Who shot the editor ?

The errors slow me down and are annoying. Without the positive bits at the start, this would get a one star rating. Average both views out, and we get 3 stars. Such a shame as a lot of good things. Suspect it was rushed out the door.

Pogue press, please sort out your editing/proofreading !!
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Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
Flash CS4: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) by Chris Grover (Paperback - 5 Dec. 2008)
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