Tutorial: Exporting a Flash Flipbook from inDesign CS5

Note: This book scaler is a semi-finalist entry in the 2011 Adobe Design Achievement Awards Education Category.

Flip­books and page turn­ing effects have been around for years; a vari­ety of flash plug-ins, con­ver­sion ser­vices and source files have made them acces­si­ble to every­one. Though print design­ers have been able to export flip­books directly from Adobe inDe­sign since ver­sion CS4, the tuto­ri­als and sam­ple files here will help you get the most from the effect.

Along with a set of video instruc­tions on how to fine-tune the InDesign export process to pro­duce more attrac­tive results, I’ve devel­oped a “book scaler” in flash that allows adjust­ment of a book’s size rel­a­tive to the screen. An “autoscale” fea­ture fits the flip­book to a viewer’s screen when it first opens. “Page jump” but­tons have been added for the front and back cov­ers, table of con­tents, next and pre­vi­ous pages or any page num­ber you care to type in. An invis­i­ble “drag area” in the book’s gutter/spine allows it to be man­u­ally posi­tioned on-screen. Optional set­tings allow ranges of pages to be hid­den from the viewer. The full source code is avail­able to cus­tomize, but is set up so peo­ple with no cod­ing skills can eas­ily mod­ify it to suit their purposes.

By pop­u­lar request, full-screen capa­bil­ity is now available.

Who is this for?

  • Designers more com­fort­able work­ing with print than inter­ac­tive media can pro­duce inter­ac­tive port­fo­lios that show their work in an engag­ing way.
  • Publication design­ers can pro­duce dig­i­tal proofs or include multi-page projects in their port­fo­lio sites.
  • Authors can release printed works with­out the loss of for­mat­ting or typo­graph­i­cal design asso­ci­ated with export to ePub and sim­i­lar eBook formats.
  • Authors wish­ing to seri­al­ize their work can do so with­out hav­ing to export a par­tial flip­book file each time they intro­duce a new chapter.
  • Anyone wish­ing to release an eBook can do so in a sin­gle, freely avail­able for­mat that runs in any browser on any desktop.

Who is this not for?

  • If you want your book to be view­able on most eReader plat­forms, you’ll need to export to Adobe PDF, ePub or the pro­pri­etary for­mat asso­ci­ated with a par­tic­u­lar eReader. Though the tuto­r­ial does not cur­rently cover Adobe AIR export, it is pos­si­ble to use Adobe AIR to cre­ate apps for Android and iPhone/iPad plat­forms. However, if you need your con­tent to be view­able on all mobile browsers, you should con­sider using HTML/CSS and related tech­nolo­gies as an alter­na­tive to the flip­book format.
  • Good print design does not always trans­late directly to good inter­ac­tive design. If your con­tent does not lend itself to good “book pre­sen­ta­tion,” con­sider a dif­fer­ent design approach. The flip­book effect is fan­tas­tic when used appro­pri­ately, but there’s a rea­son most web­sites aren’t real­ized in flip­book form. There are many, pow­er­ful and effec­tive aes­thetic direc­tions and tech­nolo­gies; choose the right tool for the job.
  • Indesign ‘Export to SWF’ flip­books do not include search­able text or text that’s avail­able to sight-impaired peo­ple. Though there is an ‘Export to Flash’ func­tion that allows embed­ded text, the flip­book effect is pri­mar­ily of value as a visual effect.

Download the flip­book scaler files

Download the files here.

Included is an Adobe InDesign file set up as a small photographer’s port­fo­lio site with inter­ac­tive thumb­nails, a bookScalerAutoSize.fla file that loads the exported inDe­sign file and adds the scal­ing and nav­i­ga­tion fea­tures, and the nec­es­sary HTML and swfObject.js file that load the book into a browser at “full-screen size.


  • A port­fo­lio site mockup with inter­ac­tive thumb­nails exported from Adobe inDesign
  • A seri­al­ized novel that pre­serves the orig­i­nal book lay­out and typog­ra­phy. Though the entire book is online, the page-restriction fea­tures allow only author-specified pages at the begin­ning and end of the book to be viewed.

Recent Updates (Version 7)

  • By pop­u­lar request, full-screen mode is now imple­mented. A new “enable­FullScreen” para­me­ter is added to the XML file. When set to “true,” a full-screen tog­gle but­ton appears in the upper right-hand cor­ner next to the “help” icon. NOTE: input text is not avail­able in Flash when full-screen mode is active. The page jump box is hid­den and asso­ci­ated con­trols are hid­den or revealed as the screen mode is switched.
  • The swfObject.js javascript that loads bookscaler.swf into the browser has been updated to the most recent ver­sion along with index.html. This also includes an expressInstall.swf file that will offer to install flash in cases when the plug-in is not available.
  • If viewed on a tiny screen (like on a mobile device), the help screen will scale to fit the mon­i­tor. It no longer shows up as a tiny rec­tan­gle that can’t be read.
  • Color set­ting con­trols for a pre­loader progress bar are now avail­able in the XML. These were installed in ver­son 6 which I never released because it wasn’t a sig­nif­i­cant enough upgrade to bother with. Hence, ver­sion 7 fol­lows ver­sion 5.
  • A bug was fixed where flip­books con­tain­ing video did not cen­ter prop­erly while being resized.The fix assumes there is no video on the cover (first) spread.

Planned Updates

    I’m con­tin­u­ally expand­ing on the capa­bil­i­ties of the book scaler and am cur­rently on ver­sion 7. Future ver­sions will include the fol­low­ing features:
  • Add book­marks and store them in a shared object (the flash equiv­a­lent of a browser cookie).
  • E-Reader mode” for small screens — this will cen­ter the cur­rent page on screen, shuf­fling the spread left and right as “next page” and “pre­vi­ous page” but­tons are clicked so that only a sin­gle page is in view at a time. Help win­dows and nav­i­ga­tion bars will scale to fit the screen.

What does it offer?

Greatly extends the func­tion­al­ity of flash flip­books exported from Adobe InDesign CS4 or higher.

Scale a book between 50% and 200% of its orig­i­nal exported size with­out blur­ring the text with a sim­ple slider control.

Choose to load the flip­book at a pre­set scale or have it auto­mat­i­cally scale to fit the browser win­dow its loaded into.

Adds nav­i­ga­tion but­tons for front cover, back cover, table of con­tents, next page, pre­vi­ous page and table of contents.

Adds a “page jump” win­dow where the viewer can type in a page num­ber and jump to it instantly or at the click of a button.

Easily con­fig­urable with­out open­ing flash by edit­ing a sim­ple XML text file. A clearly writ­ten man­ual is avail­able online and video tuto­ri­als are provided

Allow view­ers to see the entire flip­book or a range of pages at the front and/or back. This is use­ful for offer­ing a new chap­ter at reg­u­lar inter­vals (for exam­ple) with­out hav­ing to export a new ver­sion of the book from InDesign each time.

Jump to any page by pass­ing a query through the URL. In English, this means you can add “?p=25″ to the flipbook’s web address and it will open to that page when it loads.

Smart nav­i­ga­tion hints and help screens that remind the viewer to use nav­i­ga­tion fea­tures they’ve missed after a spec­i­fied amount of time passes. If the fea­tures are used, the hint­ing is disabled.

Full source files for both Flash and InDesign avail­able to down­load, study and customize.

Actionscript 3 source code is fully commented

Learn how to set it up

It’s easy to con­fig­ure the flip­book scaler with­out edit­ing in Flash by mod­i­fy­ing a sim­ple file in any text edi­tor. Detailed instruc­tions for con­fig­ur­ing the XML file are avail­able in (of course) flip­book form here.

Video Tutorials

Video tuto­ri­als cover the entire process from set­ting up the inDe­sign file to con­fig­ur­ing the book scaler to set­ting up the HTML file to dis­play your book. The tuto­ri­als can be viewed in the YouTube play list below. All are recorded at 1080p high def­i­n­i­tion, so use the full-screen view­ing to see the fine details.

Why Am I Doing This?

I’m a University graphic and inter­ac­tive design pro­fes­sor, a nov­el­ist and the author of a non­fic­tion book about self-publishing. By devel­op­ing new and bet­ter tools for push­ing my own cre­ative work far­ther into the stream, I empower design­ers and writ­ers to share their work in engag­ing for­mats that don’t require royalty-sharing or adap­ta­tion to pro­pri­etary stan­dards that aren’t friendly to design and typog­ra­phy. For more infor­ma­tion about my books and writ­ing, see www.EssentialAbsurdities.com.

If you do find the bookscaler use­ful, con­sider pur­chas­ing one of my nov­els or the One Hour Guide to Self Publishing from your favorite online book retailer.

Flipbook FAQ & Technical Notes

Q: Where can I down­load the files?
A: Download the files here.

Q: I can’t get the “Front Cover” but­ton to take me to the front cover.
A. Usually, Adobe InDesign exports a flip­book swf file that has en empty first frame. Once in a while, it doesn’t and the first page is on frame 1. If that hap­pens, open bookscaler.fla and change the fol­low­ing code in the action­script on frame 1 of the man timeline:

Line 454: Usually sends the timeline to frame 2. We want frame 1 for your book

function showFrontCover(evt:Event) {//used on mouse-out to restore scale text
    scaleControl.outputBox.text = "SCALE " + Math.round(flipbook.scaleX * 100) + "%";
    flipbook.bookLoader.content.gotoAndStop(1); //CHANGE THIS VALUE TO 1

Line 550: Usually checks if the timeline <= frame 2. We want frame 1 for your book

if(flipbook.bookLoader.content.currentFrame <= 1) { //CHANGE THIS VALUE TO 1
    scaleControl.frontCoverBtn.alpha =.5;
    scaleControl.prevpage.alpha =.5;


Tutorial: Exporting a Flash Flipbook from inDesign CS5 — 121 Comments

  1. Hello Dave!
    Your tuto­r­ial is great and helped me a lot! Thank you so much!
    I have a ques­tion about the “jump to page” fea­ture — the one that uses the url to pass a query.
    I couldn’t get it to work so I was check­ing how it’s work­ing on your exam­ple files to get some hints.
    I noticed that the fea­ture is active here http://essentialabsurdities.com/dance/?p=4 and not here http://essentialabsurdities.com/flipbook/?p=4.
    It’s a mix of set­tings that I should use or maybe a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of the files?
    What should I do to acti­vate it?
    In my files the url passes the page num­ber to the nav­i­ga­tion bar — the num­ber it’s vis­i­ble in the input field for the jump to page fea­ture — but it isn’t actu­ally going to the spec­i­fied page, the book stays on the cover page.
    Any help will be greatly appre­ci­ated!
    Thank you,

    • As browsers have changed, I’ve seen this fea­ture work less con­sis­tently. Flash should read the change in the url and parse the link; it cer­tainly used to, but I con­fess I haven’t looked at the code for this for a very long time. I haven’t had a call for flash work for well over a year. It’s prob­a­bly an issue that some clever hacker could solve fairly quickly. I’m grat­i­fied that peo­ple are still able to make use of my script (and I am deeply trou­bled over the appar­ent ease with which Adobe aban­doned Flash), but I have resigned myself to the real­ity that it will be a num­ber of years before the web catches back up to where it was when Flash made any­thing pos­si­ble. I real­ize this is not a solu­tion to your prob­lem, and I apol­o­gize. For what it’s worth, the as3 code is heav­ily com­mented so you may be able to update the script on your own. I am deep into fin­ish­ing a very excit­ing HTML5 eBook tech­nol­ogy and given the approach­ing launch date, I sim­ply won’t be able to hack into the flip­book code at this time. Thanks for writ­ing. I hate to disappoint.

      • Thank you for your answer! Yes… you are so right about flash and every­thing else! Your tuto­r­ial is still the best option to work around for inde­sign swf. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi,Dave.
    first of all,thank you for your tutorial. :)

    However, I tried to embed the flip­book that I cre­ated in word­press page. it did not work out for me. I think it can not find the xml file. thank you for your help inadvance

  3. hi
    Dave I want to export my files but not in flash, I want to put it in my linked in, but the only for­mat is swf,can you please help me .

    • Sorry. Unfortunately, InDesign only exports flip books to Flash. Take a look at http://http://www.turnjs.com/ and see if it’s of any use to you. I know of an excel­lent non-flipping web-based eBook alter­na­tive that’s being launched this Spring but am bound by non-disclosure agree­ments not to pro­vide details. Join my mail­ing list; I’ll be mak­ing noise about it as soon as I’m able to.

  4. Hi Dave,

    Thank you very much for shar­ing this won­der­ful appli­ca­tion and for tak­ing the time to cre­ate the excel­lent tuto­ri­als. I’ve used it and it works perfectly.

    I just like to ask if a work around exists for hyper­links within the swf that fall behind the drag area. These don’t work because the area sen­si­tive to the cur­sor for drag­ging the spread pre­vents the hyper­links for being clicked.

    I can make the drag area very small but that makes it less inti­itive for the user.

    Many thanks,


    • Unfortunately not. Without access to the actual flash source, you pretty much have to live with what InDesign gives you. In this case, I was able to use action­script to draw a drag­bar rec­tan­gle but it is, by nature, on top of the content.

  5. Hi Dave, Thank you so much for the easy to under­stand tuto­r­ial. However, I am stuck! I mod­i­fied the bookScaler.fla file to be cus­tom for my book, but I can’t get my ver­sion to appear in my swf file. It’s still show­ing your orig­i­nal design. What am I doing wrong? Am I sup­posed to load it up some­where? Thank sin advance!

    • make sure your ver­sion of bookScaler.swf replaces the orig­i­nal. If you want, toss out the one that comes with the archive and then make sure your new, exported one lands in the right place.

  6. Hi Dave,
    fan­tas­tic tuto­r­ial and code! I’m using it in an iframe and was won­der­ing if it’s pos­si­ble to cen­ter and re-size the book when it changes to and from full screen? i’ve tried adjust­ing the xml, but i’m not an expert!
    if this isn’t pos­si­ble then thanks for bril­liant code anyway!


    • It should be cen­tered if you don’t use the iFrame. I think the prob­lem has more to do with load­ing the flip­Book as full frame inside the iFrame. Maybe you can have full screen mocde jump to a new win­dow sans iFrame? oth­er­wise, I’m just not sure.

  7. Hi Dave, love your work! I posted in an ebook thread, but wanted to repost here. We have incor­po­rated your flip­book code and it is work­ing well. But, it has been request by our admis­sions depart­ment that we add/create a keyword/text search fea­ture. Is this pos­si­ble through either action­script or another means that is open source?

    –Corey Wright
    Niagara County Community College

  8. Hi Dave

    Thanks for this awe­some scaler, great work and very very useful!

    I do how­ever have a slight prob­lem with the nav bar while the main swf is load­ing, it´s off cen­ter to the left, and I´ve stared myself blind in try­ing to find out how to cen­ter it on load, like it is when the main swf is loaded.

    Am I mak­ing any sense?

    Check it out here: http://www.caffenol-cookbook.com/hi-res/hires.php

    Like I tried to explain above, it only hap­pens while preloading.


    • I see what’s hap­pen­ing. Probably, the best fix will be to hide the navbar alto­gether until the load­ing is com­plete (con­sid­er­ing that until the book loads, there’s noth­ing to nav­i­gate through).

      • Thanks for your reply, I appre­ci­ate it!
        I´ve been look­ing just about every­where but can´t seem to find the related code to change for hid­ing the navbar dur­ing load.. Any pointers?


        • On line 256 it says: scaleControl.visible = false;

          I have to go through and see why that’s being set to true pre­ma­turely. Probably, it’s a mat­ter of mov­ing scaleControl.visible = true; to a dif­fer­ent func­tion but it’s been quite a while since I looked through this code. I may need a lit­tle time.

  9. Hi Dave,
    Great flip­book material!

    I have uploaded the five required files to this direc­tory: http://www.jakedouville.com/huckleberry-bay/ — but noth­ing loads. The xml file has the cor­rect source and every­thing. When I view it locally on my com­puter every­thing works fine, it just doesn’t work once uploaded to my server. What am I missing?

  10. Hi Dave,
    Thank you for the great flip-page con­trol.
    I have one issue and after review­ing some other posts I see oth­ers have the same prob­lem which I do not believe has been resolved. My issue is with the bookscaler tool­bar dis­ap­pear­ing after an ini­tial load of index/webpage file. If I reload the web­page the bookscaler tool­bar appears along the bot­tom as it should. I would like the tool­bar to be always vis­i­ble. Is there any workaround to this issue. I am using ver­sion 7 and am com­pletely aware that this is a work with con­tin­ual improve­ments. Thanks again and I look for­ward to any suggestions.

    • I’ve heard of this but I haven’t been able to repro­duce the prob­lem. I’ll poke through the code again and see if there’s some sort of workaround or “safety switch” I can add to double-check the posi­tion of the navbar.

  11. Hi Dave,

    I’m very grate­ful for this tuto­r­ial it’s superb – thanks!

    Is there any way, when the flip book is launched, that it goes straight to the first two page spread
    (i.e goes straight to page 2/3)

    (page one would be blank and unused)

    Kind regards,


    • The best way to do this would be to design page 1 as part of the “cover spread.” In other words, skip the book cover and then put your ini­tial pages up as the first spread.

      • Yes that’s it — many thanks,
        just one more thing
        – is there a way I can NOT show the bot­tom nav­i­ga­tion bar (as I’ve got my own nav­i­ga­tion)

        • you’ll have to mod­ify the action­script in the bookscaler.fla file. Set the vis­i­ble prop­erty to false where the posi­tion­ing of the navbar gets set up. All the code is commented.

  12. Dear Dave,
    Congratulations on the tuto­r­ial.
    I want to know how can I send the flip­book by email and which file. The scale­bar works prop­erly on my com­puter but I want that every­body could recieve the mag­a­zine in the way I am see­ing it.
    thanks in advance

  13. Hi!
    I’ve been look­ing around for a flip book tuto­r­ial for a long time, and came across this. I’ve had a look at a cou­ple of the videos and your advice looks really help­ful. I’ve never attempted some­thing like this before, so it’ll be a bit of a chal­lenge for me.

    I just won­dered whether it was pos­si­ble to change the ori­en­ta­tion of the flip? The cat­a­logue that i’m try­ing to cre­ate into a flip book has the spine at the top and the pages flick up. As I said, this is com­pletely new to me, and I wanted to check with peo­ple who actu­ally know what they’re doing!

    Thanks so much for your help, and also for the bril­liant tutorials!


    • I haven’t tried this, but if you open up my bookscaler.fla file, you’ll find a MovieClip inside con­tain­ing a UILoader Component. If you don’t know Flash, that sounds like tech­nob­a­b­ble, so the English ver­sion is, “down­load the free 30-day eval­u­a­tion copy of Flash from Adobe, open the file, and look for the small gray rec­tan­gle. Rotate that 90 degrees and the book should open like a chart book. However, you’ll be dis­play­ing a tall book on a wide mon­i­tor and you’ll have to design your pages in InDesign side­ways, antic­i­pat­ing that the book will be rotated before it’s dis­played. So…what you want to do is the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble and prob­a­bly even easy, but you’ll have to design around a few aes­thetic hurdles.

  14. Thanks you SO much for shar­ing this it’s taught me a lot!
    I have a ques­tion though:
    I would like my book to look like it’s sit­ting on a table so I’ve changed the back­ground in InDesign and Flash to look like a table. Flash is putting a drop shadow to the bot­tom of every spread which looks good when the book is open, but when it is shut I have a shadow to the left of the front cover (and right of the back cover) that I don’t want there. Is there any way of keep­ing this shadow, but apply it only to each page rather than spreads so it isn’t there when the book is shut?
    For now I will remove it alto­gether, but any help in this would be greatly appre­ci­ated. Thanks again.

    • The bookscaler has a drop­shadow fil­ter applied to the UILoader com­po­nent that loads the flip­book SWF. You could the­o­ret­i­cally write an asc­tion­Script that applied the drop­Shadow or not depend­ing on the frame num­ber of the flip­book SWF. I don’t think it would be all that dif­fi­cult, but you’d obvi­ously have to have some action­script­ing skills to make it happen

      • Ah, sounds good but I have no action script­ing skills since I gave them up at AS1! If any­one read­ing this feels inspired to write the script it would make an awe­some addi­tion. I’ve just removed it for now though.

        Thanks for your quick reply, and again for all your hard work on this, it has been so help­ful.

  15. Dave,
    Thank you so much for shar­ing this. It is just what I needed to enhance the online pre­sen­ta­tion of my company’s annual report. I’ll share the link once it is posted.

  16. Hi Dave,
    this is a great tuto­r­ial. But I have a prob­lem from the start! My flip­book — port­fo­lio has an enor­mous size, 28 mb — it con­tains a lots of raster images like pho­tos. I’ve tried to get a smaller size of those images, but then the qual­ity gets really low. And due to that, my flip­book loads really long on my www. If you have any advice, I will be grateful!

    • Usually, a printed port­fo­lio is built with files like TIFF and EPS. InDesign doesn’t give you many com­pres­sion options. To some extent, we’re locked into using what Adobe pro­vides in their export options, but we can hope­fully shave a bit of file size by using smaller files in the first place. Try using Fireworks or Photoshop to con­vert the folder full of images included in your flip­book to 75% JPEG files and then relink them into the doc­u­ment with the Links panel. Also, think about what size your flip­book is rel­a­tive to the size of a screen. If you designed at say, 8 x10 inches, a spread will fill a big mon­i­tor at roughly 100% scale. You may want to choose “72 dpi” for the export instead of 150; that will save a lot of file size. Of course, scal­ing bitmaps is always hit and miss. Sometimes, scal­ing the big ones down looks just as “not quite right” as scal­ing the small ones up.

  17. Hi Dave!
    I’ve been look­ing for a solu­tion like this for a loooong time — this is great!
    I’ve got one small prob­lem — how can I change/translate the text with­out using Flash? (my boss wont buy me the pro­gram …)

  18. I have a ques­tion about the swf it loads. Is it right that if there is a sound in it, it isn’t pos­si­ble to play it in there? i tried it, but can’t get it worked.

    For the rest, a nice flipbook!

    • Not sure why embed­ded sounds aren’t work­ing for you. At least as far as the bookscaler is con­cerned, every­thing is pure flash/as3. I haven’t used audio directly but did exper­i­ment with putting video into a flip­book. The audio there worked fine.

  19. Hello Dave,
    Thanks for all that you have done and setup! Great stuff!
    I have a ques­tion about the con­trols it shows for a moment when the page is load­ing but after load­ing it panel it does not show up until I clicked the max­i­mize screen button…or pull the win­dow open. Is there a line of code in the flash doc I could change for this?
    I do have the XML file set to “autoHideBottomNav”>false“

    • I thought I had that bug fixed! It shows up extremely inter­mit­tently. I’ll take a look this week and see if I can find the prob­lem. I have some workarounds in mind that involve set­ting a timer to check inter­mit­tently what the posi­tion of the con­trol bar is rel­a­tive to the screen.

  20. Thanks for kindly post­ing all of this great infor­ma­tion! You’re a life saver. Your tuto­ri­als are refresh­ingly clear and your sup­port­ing files worked per­fectly.
    I’ll will go straight to Amazon now and grate­fully pur­chase your book!
    All the best.

  21. Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for the tuto­r­ial. I really appre­ci­ate the trou­ble you’ve gone to to share your in depth knowl­edge. I hate to add to the ‘prob­lem’ com­ments but I have got­ten right to the end of the tuto­r­ial and when I test the index.html file I get the ‘To view The Pageflip, please upgrade your free Adobe Flash Player’ page instead of the flip­book. I watched the steps again and am still get­ting the same result. I really hate to trou­ble you, but I feel like i’m so close to get­ting this to work and per­haps it’s some­thing tiny yet obvi­ous to some­one with your amaz­ingly accom­plished skills. Flattery out of the way :-), I have uploaded my files for you to have a look at, should you find the time to do so. I feel it would be such a waste not to solve this.

    Thank you very much

    • You are prob­a­bly miss­ing the swfObject.js file. Without the javascript, the page won’t detect the flash. I’d be happy to look at your files but I’m not sure where you uploaded them to. Try re-downloading the whole col­lec­tion of files and then drop in your own flipbook.swf Otherwise, we’ll get it sorted out. It sounds like some­thing simple.

  22. Hmm… I have a small prob­lem with “bookscaler.fla” file…

    I have changed a nav­i­ga­tion design and try to re-complie file ( cre­ate new .swf).
    And flash show mes­sage as follow:

    TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a prop­erty or method of a null object ref­er­ence
    at Function/bookScaler_fla:MainTimeline/loadBook/bookScaler_fla:showAppropriateButtons()[bookScaler_fla.MainTimeline::frame1:590]
    at Function/bookScaler_fla:MainTimeline/loadBook/bookScaler_fla:setUpLoadedBook()[bookScaler_fla.MainTimeline::frame1:371]

    I use Flash CS5.5… Could you explain whats happen ???

    • Sounds like you deleted some of the nav but­tons. Now the script tries to attach actions to them and finds “null object ref­er­ences.” Instead of delet­ing ele­ments, try drag­ging them down under the nav­i­ga­tion bar. Or, find their instance names in the script and add

      buttonInstanceName.visible = false;

      to hide any you want to eliminate.

  23. Hi,
    First of all, great tuto­r­ial!
    I am new in inde­sign, and i have a prob­lem when try­ing to export the swf file. I started with a pdf of 1158 pages. When I try to export a page or 10 it all works fine, but when I try to export the entire file it loads till the last page and then says “failed to export file”. Is there any­thing I can do about this?

    • You have a num­ber of things work­ing against you here. First, you’re start­ing with a PDF instead of a pure InDesign file. There’s no telling what ele­ments of that might not be trans­lat­ing prop­erly. Second, your file con­tains a huge num­ber of pages. It might just be a mem­ory prob­lem, but it could be some­thing else; it’s hard to say. If you have Acrobat (not just the reader, but the Acrobat appli­ca­tion), try split­ting your PDF into smaller pieces and see if you get any bet­ter results. Otherwise, check indesignsecrets.com or one of the Adobe forums. The miss­ing piece here is the orig­i­nal doc­u­ment (Quark? Indesign?) used to gen­er­ate the PDF. If you can get the orig­i­nal text set up in Indesign, you will at least have elim­i­nated a pile of frus­trat­ing variables.

  24. Hi Dave,
    I down­loaded the 7th ver­sion of the flip­book scaler and I am try­ing to use it with url linked video from InDesign. When I zoom in it jumps to the right side of the page (not from the cen­ter) I’ve edited my xml and my action script to be “var centerLoadedFile:Boolean = false;” from read­ing pre­vi­ous posts and this didn’t seem to work. Help! how can I fix this, my project is due Thursday.
    Thanks a bunch

    • Tracy, I haven’t tried the bookscaler with video embed­ded in InDesign. It may be that adding video changes the dimen­sions of the flip­book swf in invis­i­ble ways. ON lines 805–814 in the action­script on Frame 1 of the main time­line you’ll find the fol­low­ing code:
      function positionBookOnStage() {
         flipbook.x = stage.stageWidth/2 - (flipbook.width)/2;
         if(centerLoadedFile) {
             flipbook.y = stage.stageHeight/2 - (flipbook.height)/2;
         if(preloaderClip != null) {
             preloaderClip.x - stage.stageWidth/2;
             preloaderClip.y = stage.stageHeight/2;

      flipbook.x = stage.stageWidth/2 - (flipbook.width)/2; con­trols the hor­i­zon­tal posi­tion of the book. Try sub­tract­ing some pix­els to the right posi­tion­ing until your book is cen­tered. For exam­ple, if your book is jump­ing 700 pix­els to the right, sub­tract 700 pix­els by adding another x adjust­ment on the next line like this:

      flipbook.x = (stage.stageWidth/2 - (flipbook.width)/2);
      flipbook.x -= 700

      The minus-equals nota­tion means take the exist­ing value of the x posi­tion and sub­tract 700 (Or what­ever num­ber works) from it. It’s pro­gram­ming short­hand for flipbook.x = flipbook.x - 700 (which will also work fine). Play with the num­bers until the cen­ter­ing is adjusted. If it doesn’t work, holler and we’ll get it sorted out. I’m curi­ous to see what adding video is doing to your InDesign SWF File.

      The sec­ond line

      • Hello Mr. Bricker,

        First of all, thanks for cre­at­ing an awe­some tool, for shar­ing it, and updating/supporting it!

        I have been tasked with cre­at­ing inter­ac­tive, con­tent rich cat­a­logues for an ind­su­trial equip­ment dis­trib­u­tor. I have used all sorts of con­tent in the doc­u­ment, includ­ing videos. I found out that your bookscaler has no prob­lem with video per se, but that it shifts as described above in pages that con­tain videos that use the inde­sign media controls.

        Here is a link to the doc­u­ment, so that you can see the prob­lem if you so wish. The pack­age is quite large, due to all its linked pdfs and videos, but the doc­u­ment itself is only 10Mb. It is in span­ish, but I think there shouldn’t be any prob­lem nav­i­gat­ing it. Oh and it is an exe file, so I don’t know if it would work on a Mac. Phew! Those are quite the caveats!


        Problematic videos with media con­trols can be found at pages 3 and 34, while other videos with­out media con­trols can be found at pages 20, 35, 36, and 40. Page 20 also con­tains another video in the “Tecnología Magnética” tab, with its own cus­tom con­trols, and they don’t present a prob­lem to the scaler.

        Again, thanks for the time you ded­i­cate to this tool Mr. Bricker! You are help­ing a lot of us big time!

        Eduardo Barillas

        • You are the sec­ond per­son to notice prob­lems with video. I can’t view your doc­u­ment on a mac, but I have an idea for a fix. As long as there’s no video on the front spread, I can use it as a mea­sure­ment instead of cen­ter­ing the cur­rently open spread (which I sus­pect has invis­i­ble con­tent off to the side some­where when video is dis­played). I’ll see if I can work out an update by the end of the week­end. If you’re able to email me your InDesign swf for test­ing, I’d appre­ci­ate it.

  25. Hi Dave,

    I’m using your flip­book scaler files on a mag­a­zine and it works great! I noticed you are plan­ning a fullscreen option soon. This would be per­fect for our appli­ca­tion, any idea when you would have that option ready? Not to pres­sure you or any­thing, but I’ll throw in a nice din­ner or…

    Thanks for your excel­lent work!


  26. Hi Dave,
    I just bought your One Hr. Self Publishing book so now I feel like I can rea­son­ably ask you a question!

    I want to change the text in the help box in the .fla file (I want to remove the page cor­ner ref­er­ence as I’ve dis­abled the inter­ac­tive page curl option in InDesign). I’m able to open the file and change the text, but not being a Flash expert (by a long stretch) I don’t know what set­tings to use to save the file. When I “export movie” to .swf and then go back to open the index.html file, I get only the three flash ele­ments over­lap­ping one another, no book.

    I looked through the flip­book tuto­r­ial as well as watched the video tuto­ri­als and I didn’t find that par­tic­u­lar infor­ma­tion. Can you tell by this descrip­tion what I’m doing wrong, and, I’m hop­ing, give me a quick and easy answer? I’m guess­ing it’s my lack of Flash knowl­edge that is my obstacle.


    PS — love this thing!! I hate the subscription-based and soft­ware options avail­able for flip­books and this lit­tle scaler is the only thing I need! Truth be told, I would have paid more than $4.99 (cost of your book).

    • Thanks for pick­ing up the book. I hope you find it use­ful. As long as your exported bookscaler.swf replaces mine, you should be able to mod­ify the help panel. Make sure all your lay­ers are vis­i­ble or “export hid­den lay­ers” is checked. If it doesn’t work out, email me your file and I’ll get you going.

  27. Hi Dave, sorry to keep both­er­ing, first thank you for the link, got every thing to work except for the “F” but­ton, still when you click it, it only goes to the sec­ond spread, but this time the “pre­vi­ous but­ton” don’t even get me back to the cover page (1st spread).

    I thought, may be the way I set up the inDe­sign file, cause the the cover, I set up as a start­ing page A, B, C and so on… for the auto folio and the 2nd spread right hand is folio page1, then I change using cover page as page 1 and still doesn’t work, please help. It think that my sec­ond spread is the first spread, but the ini­tial open­ing is on the cover (first spread).

    The XML file edits works great, but can you change stage color and drop shadow of the book­let? or you have to use Flash file for that and if you use Flash file for edits, I’m assum­ing, you won’t need the XML file, is this correct?

    Again thank you,

    • In Indesign, you have to set up every page as a spread, even the first one. So your cover is a right hand page with a left hand page next to it. Same for the back cover. It’s not how you would nor­mally set up a book for pub­li­ca­tion. If you look at the sam­ple files and videos, you’ll see how they’re set up.
      As for chang­ing the stage color, that’s done in the index.html file that loads the flash. The drop shadow has to be adjusted within the Flash (.fla) file.

      On one hand, it would be nice to make every­thing con­fig­urable via the XML file, but though that’s eas­ier than action­script for most peo­ple, it’s still kind of techie and intim­i­dat­ing for many. I’m hes­i­tant to make things more flex­i­ble at the expense of mak­ing the con­trols too scary.

      And it’s not a bother. I’m happy peo­ple are using the bookscaler. It brings a lot of peo­ple to the blog and hope­fully, they’ll find that use­ful, too.



  28. Hi Dave,
    I’ve been look­ing to get help on this for the past few years and give up on it, just found you a week ago and down­loaded your “brick­Pho­tos” zip file. I’m a tra­di­tional print designer and have an ok knowl­edge how some of the tech­nol­ogy works, was never hands on always have a devel­oper work­ing with me, your sam­ples is great, I’ve learn a lot.

    I got every thing to work, except the “F” but­ton, every­time I’ve click it, it goes to the sec­ond spread of the brochure (inside front and page1), I’m not sure what hap­pen, need some help, not sure what to adjust on your Flash sam­ple file or do I need to set up or adjust my inDe­sign file dif­fer­ently (I’m only on CS4 at the moment). Here is my link “http://www.josephpaternodesign.com/test1/testbrochure.swf”

    Also the sam­ple that I’ve down­load “brick­Pho­tos”, doesn’t have the .xml file only .html and .js files, could you set up, so we can down­load, the .xml file, it seems to be eas­ier to work with based on your instruc­tion man­ual (I’m assum­ing you don’t even need to go to the flash file?) Love to be able to use the nav­i­ga­tion on the bottom.

    many, many thanks,

    • The down­load link is http://tinyurl.com/4hco7gc. It con­tains the bookscaler flash files, the inDe­sign files and every­thing you need. You’re cor­rect: You don’t need to go into the flash files at all to set this up. Once you have the XML file, you can eas­ily set the but­tons to point to the right pages.

  29. Hi Dave,

    I’ve tried it on 2 macs with safari and fire­fox and also on pc run­ning ie. I’m get­ting the same thing hap­pen­ing on all. The scaler shows up where it is sup­posed to(at the bot­tom) while the file is load­ing. Once the file is loaded the scaler dis­ap­pears. On a mac I can jig­gle the bot­tom right cor­ner to resize the win­dow and the scaler will pop into view. On a pc I can’t get it to show up at all.

    I emailed you a link.

    Thanks so much!!

  30. Hi Dave,

    Thank you so much for shar­ing all this great infor­ma­tion! I have been search­ing for a way to cre­ate good look­ing flip books eas­ily and your site and instruc­tion is incredible.

    I do have an issue I was won­der­ing if you might shed some light on. I have been able to upload my flip­book and it is work­ing fine with one excep­tion. My scaler does not always show up once the book is loaded.

    My flip­book is large at 9mb, but it is all images and I can’t loose detail by siz­ing it down. I have the scaler set to always show on the bot­tom of the page. The page with the scaler shows up first with a timer in the mid­dle. Once the book loads the scaler dis­ap­pears. On a mac I can drag the bot­tom right cor­ner a bit and it will reap­pear, but on a PC I can’t get it to appear at all. Can you think of any way to fix this?

    Thanks so much!

    • Nothing I’m able to repeat. Have you tried it on machines and browsers? It sounds like the action­script is some­how fail­ing to detect your screen size. Email me a link to your files if you can’t find the prob­lem and it shows up on other machines.

    • Hi,
      I am hav­ing the same prob­lem and it has been dri­ving me crazy. The only thing that I have notice on a PC is that if you refresh the NavBar appears. On a MAC you just do not get a NavBar. I would love to find a solu­tion.
      Melissa Miller

      • There’s appar­ently a bug I’ll be fix­ing in an upcom­ing release. If you set the “auto­Hi­de­Nav” para­me­ter to true, the navbar will appear cor­rectly. Right now, it’s stay­ing below the screen. At least I know where to fix it now.

  31. Hi Dave,

    Firstly thanks for kindly shar­ing your knowl­edge on this sub­ject as this has been a great help to me how­ever I’ve got a cou­ple of ques­tions as I’ve come across a few prob­lems when try­ing to add the bookscaler to my flip­books. I’ve already designed and setup all the page con­trols in InDesign before export­ing as a .swf file and every­thing works fine, all my links to pages, next page and pre­vi­ous page inter­ac­tive but­tons and the page curl­ing etc. My clients have then asked me if I can place a zoom con­trol on the books and when I’ve tried using the bookscaler it loads in fine and is on the bot­tom and works fine apart from the fact that all the inter­ac­tive links that I’ve put in place pre­vi­ously (from InDesign file) now fail to work, even the page curl­ing doesn’t work. Are you able to give me a solu­tion to this please? Also I’ve tried edit­ing the flash file to make the bookscaler look dif­fer­ent to yours and this has proved dif­fi­cult as i would like to delete off every­thing apart from the zoom con­trol as I don’t need the other actions but when I do this the bookscaler sim­ply doesn’t work. Sorry to come back with so many prob­lems but is there any­way you can help please? Oh, the other thing is when I open up the index.html file the flip­book opens up zoomed in rather than set to the win­dow size even though auto­sizeat­start is set to true. Hope you can help. Thanks.

    • I’m not sure why the bookscaler would break the inter­nal inter­ac­tiv­ity of your inDe­sign file. The “go to page” func­tions don’t dis­play the page curl effect because they jump from one page/frame to another. I tried to hack the inDe­sign action­script but got nowhere with mak­ing that work.

      As for delet­ing the var­i­ous but­tons, you’ll break the script if you do it. Instead, I sug­gest using the bot­tom (rather than the float­ing) inter­face and then drag­ging the unwanted con­trols down below the screen. That way, the script will still “see” them, but they won’t be vis­i­ble. A final way to do it is to edit the script and set the vis­i­ble prop­erty of each but­ton to false.

      Try set­ting auto­SizeAt­Start to false. That will load the book at the size you exported it (100%) rather than scal­ing it to fit the window.

      Watch for an update soon. I’ll make the con­trols deletable with­out break­ing the script and I’ll add a full-screen option. Holler at me via email if you get stuck.

  32. I am still con­sum­ing this page and have yet to down­load and act upon the infor­ma­tion and also enjoy­ing brows­ing the rest of your site.

    Sorry if I have just missed this but are print con­trols within your flip­book or can they be added?

    • I didn’t add print con­trols as they are already built into the browser. There’s cur­rently no way to print the actual book, though I could add an option to link to a PDF file for that pur­pose. So far, nobody has asked for it but I’ve seen it in third party flip­book com­po­nents. Enjoy.

      • Hi Dave
        I have mul­ti­ple flip­books on my site but it seems I can only get the bookscaler work­ing with only one. Is there a code I can use on my xml to give the other flip books access? I use flash cat­a­lyst.

        • The XML specif­i­cally ref­er­ences the name of your flip­book swf file. It could be that the XML is get­ting cached in your browser. You may also need to pass in the file name of the flip­book swf as a vari­able passed by a but­ton or link and then reload the book and the xml. I sup­pose another route would be to make mul­ti­ple copies of bookscaler.swf (it’s not very big) that call the mul­ti­ple XML files and there­fore load mul­ti­ple books.

          • Hi Dave

            what do you mean by: You may also need to pass in the file name of the flip­book swf as a vari­able passed by a but­ton or link and then reload the book and the xml.


          • I mean you could write some action­script where instead of hav­ing the name of the flipbook.swf read directly out of the XML, it would be part of a list of vari­ables attached to the but­tons. When you click a menu but­ton for (exam­ple) “book1,” it could load the bookscaler.swf and pass in the vari­able “flipbookbook1.swf.” It can be done in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways but you’ll have to be pro­fi­cient with action­script to pull it off. For what it’s worth, the code in bookscaler.fla is com­mented so you can see what parts of the code accom­plish what.

  33. You are a man of vision.
    You did beau­ti­ful things where other were to nar­row minded.
    wish you well in any of your many tal­ents did.

  34. Thanks Dave
    your work in remark­able!
    I won­der if there could be a full screen tog­gle (on-off) but­ton in the swf file?
    I need to export sin­gle or few inter­ac­tive pages from inde­sign to web pages
    but the only thing miss­ing is the fullscreen but­ton.
    How frus­trat­ing!
    is it pos­si­ble?

    • Shouldn’t be too hard. I haven’t built in any updates for a while so it will be in the next ver­sion. Full-screen just requires a call to a javascript. The only prob­lem is that (at least in action­script ver­sion 2) input text is dis­abled in full-screen mode. This means that the auto-page entry wouldn’t work unless the book was being browsed in reg­u­lar form.

        • Yes, but if they want to enter a page num­ber in the search box, they won’t be able to. Everything else will work, but ide­ally, the best imple­men­ta­tion will hide the search box when the dis­play is in full-screen mode. Not dif­fi­cult, but it’s worth doing things right.

          • Thats Great!
            I believe read­ers doesn’t have to use the search wile in full screen.
            It’s great if they could search, find the page and put it on full screen to look in deeply, the tog­gle back to nor­mal view and go on read­ing.
            Anyhow it cer­tainly fan­tas­tic for those how pub­lish pub­li­ca­tions with only few pages.
            Looking enthu­si­as­ti­cally for your update.

          • Thanks, Udi. Another update I want to make hap­pen is small screen detec­tion. If the screen is small enough in size, we can assume the book is being viewed on a mobile device. If that’s the case, the con­trols can auto­mat­i­cally scale to fill the width of the screen and instead of show­ing the book as spreads, a sin­gle page can be viewed with pinch-to-zoom. Android users could view the flash natively and Apple users could read the book as an exported App. The real fan­tasy, beyond my pro­gram­ming skills unfor­tu­nately, is to develop a generic flip­book that could read and (beau­ti­fully) dis­play ePub files. That would add a nice spin to the mil­lions of eBook offer­ings on Google and other sources.

  35. Hi! Thanks for that :-) Very Helpful :)
    As my regards I give You small tip 😉
    Instand of:
    flipbook.bookLoader.content.gotoAndStop(flipbook.bookLoader.content.currentFrame + 1);

    goToNextFrame()” is metode of inDe­sign swf. If You use it, curl ani­ma­tion will use to flip page :-)


  36. I came across your tuto­r­ial and files. This is a great thing you’ve done to make this avail­able. I really appre­ci­ate your shar­ing this. I have been play­ing with the dan­ger­ous voodoo por­tion of your action script to mod­ify the book, but I’m just barely a novice and strug­gling along. I noticed that when you scale the book it auto­mat­i­cally cen­ters. Where can I affect this in the code? I’d like to pre­vent it from cen­ter­ing. Thanks.

      • To clar­ify:

        I turned off the cen­ter­ing in the XML as you sug­gested. This seems to pre­vent the flip­book from cen­ter­ing ver­ti­cally. However, the book still cen­ters hor­i­zon­tally on the spine when I use the zoom fea­ture, even with the cen­ter­ing turned off. Is there a way to pre­vent that?

        • In flash, inside bookscaler.fla, try putting “//” in front of line 263 where it says
          fllipbook.x = stage.stageWidth/2 - (flipbook.width)/2;
          (Your line num­ber may vary if you’re using an ear­lier ver­sion of bookscaler.)
          The “//” turns the line into a com­ment that won’t be read as code. Scaling should now by rel­a­tive to the upper left cor­ner of the gray box on the stage.
          Shoot me an email if that doesn’t do it.

  37. Congrats! this seems to be one of the neat­est solu­tions for flip­books in gen­eral and one of very few to be able to extend the Indesign-exported SWF.
    I am research­ing whether and how it would be pos­si­ble to make the Indesign-exported SWF com­mu­ni­cate with its envi­rone­ment via Javascript (exe­cute func­tions on click on ele­ments inside the SWF doc­u­ment), Indesign does not seem to accept links in the for­mat ‘javascrpt:dosomething();’. I saw that you man­age to load the swf on a spe­cific page, you men­tioned also that you have decom­piled the Indesign SWF to find the names of the but­tons… I am not a Flash per­son, so if you wouldn’t mind giv­ing me a hint how I can attach a javascript func­tion to those but­tons, I would be very gratefull.

    • I would love to decom­pile the but­tons and the whole action­script API for the inde­sign SWF, but so far, I’ve had no use­ful results. For exam­ple, it would be nice to have the page flip ani­ma­tion option­ally play when you use next/prev but­tons in the bookscaler. On the “flip” side (sorry), at least you could embed javascript calls in the bookscaler or embed swf ele­ments in inDe­sign (instead of, for exam­ple, jpeg but­tons) that had the javascript calls already embedded.

      • Thanks a lot for your answer. I see its quite com­pli­cated, If I find some­thing use­full, i’ll let you know although it does not look very promising…

  38. Love the tuto­r­ial, so far so good but one ques­tion is how do I change the stage color? I’ve gone into the .fla file and changed the stage color to the green I want but it still shows as grey in the final .html file.

    I’m sure it’s some­thing I’m just missing…hopefully.

    • You have to adjust the stage color inside index.html. Open it with any text edi­tor and you’ll see where col­ors are spec­i­fied as hex codes. Holler if you get stuck and tell me what color you want. I’ll set it up for you.

  39. Hello again. Couple of things:

    a) Is there a way of set­ting the con­trol bar to be locked to the bot­tom of the page rather than it hid­ing away. I know there’s the float­ing con­trol bar option, but I’d like it stuck at the bot­tom in the posi­tion it sits when it’s un-hidden.

    b) Is there a way of quickly zoom­ing in/out. Obviously the book scaler scales the entire book fine. But say you want to quickly zoom in on a cer­tain part of a page if an unclear image is there or some­thing sim­i­lar, and then once you’ve looked quickly zoom out, would that be pos­si­ble? Say with a dou­ble click to zoom, and again to zoom out.

    • a) Yes. That set­ting is included in the lat­est ver­sion of the bookscaler. You can use the bot­tom nav­i­ga­tion bar and turn auto­Hid­ing off. Customize the appear­ance of the nav­i­ga­tion bar in the flash source files if you care to.

      b) I don’t have a zoom fea­ture in the bookscaler, but I believe there’s one built into the inter­nal link­ing sys­tem within InDesign because there’s an optional zoom set­ting avail­able when you make links.

      • When I set auto­Hide­Bot­tom­Nav to ‘false’ and use­Float­ing­Nav to ‘true’, no con­trols pop up at all. What am I doing wrong?

        • auto­Hide­Bot­tom­Nav shouldn’t affect the float­ing nav­i­ga­tion at all. Make sure you don’t have any lay­ers in the flash set to invis­i­ble. If you’re just edit­ing the xml, shoot me a copy of your set­tings in an email to dave@davebricker.com so I can try to dupli­cate the error and fix any glitches that turn up.

  40. Hi,
    Great tuto­r­ial. Almost per­fect for what I’m after. There’s a few issues though, although they may just be me being stu­pid. Please enlighten me!

    Firstly, the swf always aligns to the left of the page, cut­ting off the left hand side of the spread. This means I have to drag the book into the mid­dle every time.

    Secondly, the swf is 20mb in size. How can include a pre­loader like you have on your novel example?

    Thirdly, the front and back cov­ers show the entire spread rather than just the cov­ers. How do I remove the blank pages?

    • 20MB is too heavy for an ebook/website. People with slower con­nec­tions will never wait. Consider export­ing the images at a lower res­o­lu­tion and/or com­pres­sion set­ting. The next ver­sion will have the pre­loader included. I’m work­ing out some other bugs in the same ver­sion so need a few more weeks. As for the swf align­ing left, make sure you’re using my index.html page to load the con­tent. So far, I haven’t seen any align­ment prob­lems that I can repeat. It may be that the align­ment is hap­pen­ing before the file loads com­pletely. There’s a delay built in where the script repeat­edly cen­ters the file, but in your case, I sus­pect it’s not long enough. See if mak­ing a smaller book helps (you have to do that any­way to make this use­ful. Otherwise, I can email you where to change the code to make the auto­matic cen­ter­ing script repeat more times.

    • There’s a video series on this page with some good info about mak­ing the book in InDesign. I watched them and found out that if you select all the pages, and uncheck “Allow doc­u­ment pages to shuf­fle” and “Allow selected spread to shuf­fle”, then add a sin­gle page at the front and drag it to attach to the first page, and do the same at the end, you will have all full spreads, not a sin­gle cover and end page. THEN what you do is, for the first and last pages, is put in a box that’s the color that you’re going to have your web-book stage. For exam­ple, black. Then, the pages will be there, but it won’t seem like it.
      InDesign only exports full spreads, there’s no way to actu­ally remove those extra pages, so you just have to hide them. :)

  41. This is alll­most exactly what I need!
    I have two fea­ture requests, for your next build. I appre­ci­ate every­thing you’ve done thus far!

    The first, I have no idea if it’s even pos­si­ble — but the links in the exported swf don’t give the pointy hand or any other indi­ca­tion when you mouse over them. I am hold­ing onto a slight hope that your swf wrap­per can pick those out and change the mouse to the pointy hand when moused over? I real­ize this is prob­a­bly not do-able.

    The sec­ond request is to allow the devel­oper to make a list of book­marks in the xml file that will dis­play off to the side, at all times. That would be superb!

    Thanks again for shar­ing this.

    • Somewhere, buried in the inDe­sign swf file is some sort of nextPage() func­tion that will play the page­flip tran­si­tion. If I can detect the names of the but­tons on the pages, I can dis­play the hand cur­sor and so on. I’m play­ing with flash decom­pil­ers to try to break into the code and make some of that work. As for book­marks, I’m think­ing of stor­ing them in a share­dOb­ject file — the flash equiv­a­lent of a cookie. They’d only work on the machine they were saved on, but I’ve thought about this fea­ture for a while. In the mean­time, I’ve already imple­mented the abil­ity to jump to a par­tic­u­lar page by adding it to the url (e.g. http://www.mybook.com?p=25). It should be easy enough to add book­marks to the browser itself, and that’ some­thing I’ll work on. Glad you like the bookscaler. A few small updates are com­ing soon.

      • Very cool! I didn’t know if it was even remotely pos­si­ble.
        What I’m con­sid­er­ing doing is mak­ing frames (ew) with one on the left to hold my own coded book­marks and the one on the right to hold the book.
        But! The ?p=10 page linky thing isn’t doing any­thing for me. It reloads the doc­u­ment, and puts the tar­get page num­ber into the “GOTO PAGE” box, but it doesn’t actu­ally GO there. I am using it on a live web server, not locally, so it’s not that, like I ini­tially hoped. Any thoughts as to why this would be happening?

        • I’ve seen a few instances where the link doesn’t work the first time, but then loads cor­rectly when you refresh. Your frames-based solu­tion should work fine once the book has loaded. I’ll be play­ing with a solu­tion for the next ver­sion such that if there’s a “?” in the web address, it will load the requested page repeat­edly until it can ver­ify the cor­rect page has been reached.

  42. Hi Dave, thanks for your reply to pre­vi­ous com­ment. I’ve opened the zip files into the same folder as my inDe­sign flip book folder and see a folder called –MACOSX and one called –brick­Pho­tos. The items listed in your scaler tuto­r­ial book page 3 don’t seem to be there. I’m new to Flash Pro so, if there’s some real obvi­ous stuff to miss, I’ll no doubt miss it. Should I have these fold­ers in Flash? When I boot up Flash Pro it sees the bookScaler.fla folder and opens with it there ready to go. Do I then edit the script in Flash as per your tuto­r­ial, and it finds my inDe­sign flip book? If so, I can’t seem to find the fold­ers men­tioned on p.3 and pre­sum­ably link them into the same folder as inDe­sign flip­book. Thanks for patience.

    • The MACOSX file has some­thing to do with me mak­ing the files on a mac. It’s nor­mally hid­den, so I sus­pect you’re on a PC (which isn’t a prob­lem, but the PC oper­at­ing sys­tem doesn’t know what to do with the MACOSX file). The brick­Pho­tos stuff relates to the inDe­sign demo files. The Flash file for the book scaler is in the root direc­tory. I’ve gone through sev­eral revi­sions of the bookscaler and you may have an older ver­sion where the files are orga­nized dif­fer­ently. Try re-downloading from http://tinyurl.com/4hco7gc You won’t have to change any­thing about your own flip­book file to use the upgraded version.

      Also, in the lat­est ver­sion, you don’t need to edit any­thing in Flash (though you still have that option). Just mod­ify the bookScaler.XML file in any text edi­tor and the rest will be automagic. The man­ual at http://theworldsgreatestbook.com/flipmanual/ explains exactly how to do that as does the last video in the tuto­r­ial series.

  43. I have been play­ing with your page flip file. Works great except when I com­bine it with SWF’s pro­duced from InDesign. When I place but­tons on the page (next/previous/end/first), only the end/first work. The next/previous/goto but­tons don’t. Well some­times they seem to, but not con­sis­tently. Sample file at http://www.universitymarketing.ilstu.edu/flipbook2/

    I am try­ing to retain the abil­ity to have the page turns when the page flips. Thoughts?

    • I’m sur­prised you got the first and last page but­tons work­ing with the page flip ani­ma­tion. If you’re will­ing, shoot me your FLA file and I’ll try to fix the prob­lem. If I can fig­ure it out, I’ll build an XML-option into the next ver­sion to dis­play the page flip or not. Sometimes, I wish it was pos­si­ble to embed action­script right into inDesign.

  44. Hi Dave, many thanks for post­ing the flip­book mate­r­ial. I’m try­ing to get an illus­trated children’s one together with an illus­tra­tor part­ner. The images are all dif­fer­ent mil­lime­ter sized jpegs, 72 ppi, and I’m won­der­ing how to best decide what dimen­sions to set my doc­u­ment. Any tips on what the main con­sid­er­a­tions are digi-design wise? If I set the doc size to the same as the jpeg, the image is rather fuzzy. Many thanks anyway.

    • The bookscaler (in its cur­rent iter­a­tion) scales up as high as 200% so I use high-res images (as if I was prepar­ing a real book for print) and then export at 144dpi. If you’re import­ing 72dpi images, the res­o­lu­tion is only going to get worse as you increase the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. Remember, you can’t scale an image up to a higher res­o­lu­tion. Use higher qual­ity source files and the prob­lem will resolve itself.

  45. Your tuto­r­ial is great! Thanks a lot! I’m really fas­ci­nated because it seem’s the only one that tries to achieve asthetic stan­dards!
    There’s only a lit­tle “thing”. I can’t down­load the files although I’m a mem­ber of filden.
    (“Fatal error: Call to a mem­ber func­tion set() on a non-object in /sites/live.fileden.com/templates/newtemp/tpl_dashboard.php on line 21″)
    Would you be so kind to tell me an alter­na­tive for down­load­ing?
    However — thank you very much for this help!
    (sorry for my ter­ri­ble english)

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