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Flash Menu Factory Online Help

In order to take advantage of all the powerful features of FMF we strongly recommend you to read this entire guide. We have tried to keep it as small as possible. It is also a good idea to print it and use it for future reference.

Contents

Quick Start   Top

 

If you want to quickly test FMF, just follow these simple steps:

 

1. Click on the FMF Shortcut on your desktop.

2. Start creating your menu items by clicking the "Add item" or "Add sub-item" icons.

3. Edit your menu item’s Text   and Link (URL) by filling the corresponding blanks in the "Menu Item Properties" window.

 

5. Select the skin you like from the "Skin Browser" window.

6. To save your menu in flash format, click on the "Export" icon. If you want to re-edit your menu later you must save it using the "Save" icon.

 

Creating your Menu's Structure   Top

 

FMF displays your menu in two views: The "Menu Preview Window" and the "Menu Structure Window"

 

1. Menu Preview Window

 

This view displays your menu exactly as it will be displayed in your website. Note that you cannot edit the menu items in this window. Use the zoom buttons or the slider to enlarge or shrink the preview window. This icon will reset the size of the window back to the normal size.

 

 2.  Menu Structure Window

 

In this window you can define your menu’s structure. You can add, move, rename or delete menu items.

 

Menus consist of main items and sub-items. Main items are for example the familiar "File", "View", "Help" etc. A main item might have one or more sub-items. For example, "File" might have the "Open", "Save", "Exit" etc sub-items.

 

Adding items and sub-items

 

Click on the Add item" or "Add sub-item" icons.

 

Expand and Collapse icons

 

The Collapse icon will hide the sub-items of the menu.

Click on Expand to reveal them again.

 

Adding Separators

 

A separator is usually a horizontal line that logically groups menu items together for clarity. To add a separator, just click on the "Separator" button.

 

Deleting items

 

To delete a menu item, first select it by clicking on it, then click on the "Delete Item" icon.

 

Renaming items

 

To rename an item click on it twice (but not as fast as double-clicking.) Then, type any name you wish and press enter. Also you can change the item’s name by editing the corresponding Text field in the Item Properties form.

Moving items

 

You can move the menu items, by a simple "drag-and-drop" action. To "drag-and-drop" an item, first click on it, then keep holding the mouse button down you can move it to the desired position.

                                                                                                             

Item Properties

 

Here you can set important parameters about your menu items.

 

Text

Give a descriptive and brief text (e.g. "Our Products")  that will  appear your final flash menu.

 

Link

Type the full address that the user will be redirected when it clicks on this item. It can be absolute e.g. http://www.example.com/products.html or relative products.html

 

Target

Target specifies the frame or window in which the linked page should load. You can also choose from the following reserved target names:


_blank: Loads the linked file into a new, unnamed browser window.
_parent: Loads the linked file into the parent frameset or window of the frame that contains the link. If the frame containing the link is not nested, the linked file loads into the full browser window.
_self: Loads the linked file into the same frame or window as the link. This target is the default, so you usually don’t need to specify it.

_top: Loads the linked file into the full browser window,

 

Icon

 

This will add an icon to the left of the menu text. This serves as a visual aid to the user. If one of the preset icons does not fit your purpose, you can choose an external file (available in PRO version only). Acceptable image formats for your icon are GIF, JPEG, BMP, PNG, PNG-8, or PNG24 with optional transparency.

 

Selecting an Appearance for your Menu

  Top

 

Skin Browser

 

This window shows you all the available menu designs called "Skins". By clicking on the desired skin’s thumbnail you can see immediately the resulting menu in the preview window.

 

Additional information about the type of menu is displayed as well as some designer comments about the use of this menu. In Lite version there is one more column that indicates the availability of the menu skin according to your version of FMF (Lite or PRO).

 

You can click on the title of every column to sort the skins as you prefer.

 

Available menu types are:

(H&V) Horizontal & Vertical: Menu items can be arranger either vertically or horizontally. Click the desired orientation Horizontal  or Vertical  .

 

Horizontal: Your typical menu.

 

Vertical: A sidebar like menu.

 

Tabs: A different type of menu that looks like the tabs of a file. This is one of the most useful navigation elements.

 

 

Preview Menu

By clicking on the preview button , FMF will generate the flash menu and display it in the preview window in its final form. In older computers this might take a couple of seconds. If your computer is fast enough, you may check the "auto preview" selection, so you do not have to click on "preview menu" each time you make a change.

 

 

Customizing your Menu   Top

  

Customizing Main Menu Items

 

Font

 

Here you have the option to change your menu’s font. The good new is that, you do not have to worry about using fonts that do not come as standard in windows. You can select any font you wish and rest assured that will be displayed correctly in any computer.

 

Alignment

 

Click on the corresponding icon to align your text Left , Right or Centered just like in a word processor.

 

Color

 

Lets you select a color for your menus’ text

 

Mouse over Color

 

The color of your items can change when the user passes the mouse pointer over an item. Here you choose this particular color.

 

Mouse Over Sound

 

This is the sound that will be heard when the user passes the mouse pointer over a item. For customizing this sound, read the next section.  

 

Load external sound file (PRO version only)

 

FMF comes pre loaded with dozens of sound effects that can spice up your menu. If these are not enough, you can choose your own sounds by clicking the "Use external sound file" option. Your file must be in .wav or .mp3 format.

 

Orientation Vertical/Horizontal

 

Your menu’s layout can be either Horizontal or Vertical.

  

Horizontal : Menu items will be arranged in a single horizontal row. This is similar to the typical Windows menus.

Vertical : Menu items will occupy several lines in a vertical orientation. This will produce a "sidebar" look. This is somewhat similar to the Windows "Start menu".

 

Note: Depending on the menu design, you cannot always combine all the possible main/sub-item orientation.

 

Selection Animation

 

FMF can display an animated image over the current item. You can select one of the many presets to emphasize the user’s selection.

  

Customizing Menu Sub-Items

 

Font

 

Here you have the option to change your menu’s font. The good new is that, you do not have to worry about using fonts that do not come as standard in windows. You can select any font you wish and rest assured that will be displayed correctly in any computer.

 

Alignment

 

Click on the corresponding icon to align your text Left , Right or Centered just like in a word processor.

 

Color

 

Lets you select a color for your menus’ text

 

Mouse over Color

 

The color of your items can change when the user passes the mouse pointer over an item. Here you choose this particular color.

 

Mouse Over Sound

 

This is the sound that will be heard when the user passes the mouse pointer over a item. For customizing this sound, read the next section.  

 

Load external sound file (PRO version only)

 

FMF comes pre loaded with dozens of sound effects that can spice up your menu. If these are not enough, you can choose your own sounds by clicking the "Use external sound file" option. Your file must be in .wav or .mp3 format.

 

Orientation Vertical/Horizontal

 

Your menu’s layout can be either Horizontal or Vertical.

 

Popup movement

 

Menu sub-items can be revealed to the user in a number of interesting ways.

 

Just select one of the available effects:

  • Simple

  • Roll Vertical

  • Pop Up

  • Pendulum

  • Roll Horizontal

  • Rotate

  • Skew

  • Scale Vertical

  • Scale Horizontal

  • Scale Both

  • Slide In

  • Slide Down

  • Slide In Split

  • Slide Down Split

  • Slide Both

  • Vibration

  • Pop Scale

Popup Speed

 

Define how quickly menu sub-items will be revealed to the user after a main item click.

 

Sub-item layout

 

Your menu sub-items can be arranged either Horizontally or Vertically.

 

Horizontal : Menu sub-items will popup in a horizontal row below main items. 

Vertical : Menu sub-items will popup vertically. This is similar to the typical Windows menus.

 

Note: Depending on the menu design, you cannot always combine all the possible main/sub-item orientation.

 

General Settings   Top

 

 

Background animation

 

A variety of animated backgrounds are available for use. These animated backgrounds substitute the default background of the selected menu and they can change dramatically the appearance of your menu.
Hint: Adjust the transparency of your menu to make the animated background more visible.

 

Background Color

 

This is the background color of your menu. Choose one that matches the overall design of your site. If you publish your menu for the web and you select "transparent background", then background color has no effect.

 

Auto Size

 

Auto Size sets the dimensions of your flash menu automatically. This will be computed from your selected font size, number of items etc.

 

Width/Height

 

FMF menus are flexible and can be scaled to any size. By specifying the width and height of your menu will override the normal size.

 

Align Menu

 

Your menu can be aligned in two ways: Center and Left.

 

Add logo

No website design would be complete without a site ID (logo) prominent in the navigation section. Using the "add logo" option, FMF will add your company’s logo or any other image name on the left of the menu.

 

Colorize Menu

FMF offers a unique and quick way to match any menu design with the color scheme of the rest of your site. Colorize will "tint" the whole menu with any color tone your wish. You can choose the amount of colorization by moving the corresponding slider.

 

Equal Width Menu Items

 

By checking this option, your menu’s items will have equal width, giving your menu a uniform and symmetrical look.

 

Maximize Sub-item Width 

By checking this option, your menu’s sub-items will have the same width as their corresponding main item.

 

Smooth Text

By checking this option will give your text a nice smooth (anti-aliased) look.

Un-check this option, for sharp pixelized text or a more computerized look.

 

Text Shadow

By checking this option will give your text a slight three-dimensional look. MOUSE OVER

 

Add Pre-loader

Although FMF menus load very quickly, it is always useful to give your users a visual feedback while your menu is loading. Just check this option and FMF will display a progress bar while your menu is loading.

 

Menu Transparency

FMF can adjust the transparency of the main menu items. This is very useful when you use an animated background and you want to make it more visible.

 

 

Advanced Settings (PRO version only)   Top

 

Adjusting those parameters will give you full control over the appearance of the menus. Normally you will not need to adjust those parameters very often.

 

For Main Menu Items:

 

Spacing: Distance between main menu items

 

Top Margin: Blank space on the top of the menu. Useful for displaying some background animation (E.g. an animated sky.)

 

Bottom Margin: Blank space in the bottom of the menu.

 

Horizontal Margin: Menu distance from the left and the right of the page.

 

Button Vertical Border: Menu text vertical border.

Button Horizontal Border: Menu text horizontal border.

 

For Submenu items:

 

Top Offset: Vertical distance between the main menu bar and the subitems.

Left Offset: Horizontal distance between the main menu bar and the subitems.

 

Button Vertical Border: Menu text vertical border.

Button Horizontal Border: Menu text horizontal border.

 

Creating Web Buttons   Top

 

FMF provides a handy way to create web buttons. To enter this mode click the "Button Mode" icon. FMF will adjust all the parameters needed (margins etc)  for button creation.

Notice that the Menu Structure view disappears from FMF window since it is not needed. In order to define the button's text, links etc use the Item Properties window.

 

Generating Sitemaps   Top

 

FMF can automatically produce an HTML Sitemap for your webpage.

 

 

A Sitemap serves as an index for your website. This can be very useful to your visitors as well as to search engine robots that can better index you site.

 

Saving and Loading you Work   Top

 

New

Selecting New will erase your menu, settings and create a new blank menu to start with.

 

Save/Save As…

 

This will save your menu in FMF format (.fmf .) That means that you can later re-open this file for editing. Note that if you export (save) the file in Flash format (.swf) only, you cannot re-open it later for making changes.

 

Open

 

Loads a previously created menu in FMF (a menu you have previously saved in .fmf format).

 

Export (Save) Flash Menu   Top

 

This will save your menu in Flash (.swf) format. Note that if you export (save) the file in Flash format (.swf) only, you cannot re-open it later for making changes. It is strongly recommended save your file in (.fmf) format as well.

 

Publishing your Menu in the Web   Top

 

FMF provides an easy way to integrate your menu with your web pages.

 

The publish option will create two files: a blank .html page, and a flash .swf file. The .html code is also show in this window in order to copy/paste it as necessary.

 

When your export the file you must specify the following options in order to define the appearance of your menu in your web pages:

 

 

Positioning Method

 

Simple

Menu will be placed at the top of your webpage. This is suitable for tabbed style menus.

 

Inside a Layer

Menu will be placed  in a transparent overlay over your pages. This is suitable for normal style menus.

 

Inside a Floating Layer

Menu will be animated as floating. It will always be visible at the top of your webpage regardless if the user has scrolled down the page.

 

Add Hide/Show Button

Optionally the menu can be hidden (minimized) with the use of a floating button.

 

Left Top

Your menu will be displayed at certain coordinates in the web page. Define the display position in pixels by defining the Left and Top offsets.

 

Z-Index

If your menu is defined inside a layer, this is the Z-Index (depth) of the layer. Z-Index 1 is the deepest (backmost) layer.

 

Flash Menu filename

This is the file name of the .swf file

 

Transparent Background 

This option will make the background color of your menu transparent, so that the underneath web page is displayed.

 

Preview Web Page

Clicking this button will open a browser window and show you how your menu will look in your webpages.

 

Save Web Page with Flash menu

When finished, click on this button to save your work.

 

Highlight current page in menu   Top


In FMF you can highlight the current menu item (that corresponds to the current page) to give your visitors a reference point with which to navigate to your site.

Create your menu in FMF as normal. Then in code that you insert in your html page in order to load the flash menu you must add the variable "tab=" and the number of the menu you want to open. In the following example the third menu will be highlighted.



Example:

<object classid= "clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D -11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase= "http://download.macromedia.com/ pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version= 7,0,19,0" width="738" height="185">
<param name="movie" value="menu.swf?" >
<param name="quality" value="high" >
<param name="wmode" value="transparent">
<param name="menu" value="false">
<param name= "flashvars"value="tab=3" >
<embed src="menu.swf" quality="high"  flashvars="tab=3" pluginspage= "http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"  type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="738" height="185" wmode="transparent" menu="false" ></embed>
</object>

If you work with asp (or any other language) you can add the variable in the ling and then retrieve it from the query string. For example, you can add the query string ?tab=3 at the end of the link in a menu button and then alter the above code as bellow:

ASP Example:

<object classid= "clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"codebase= "http://download.macromedia.com/pub/ shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab #version= 7,0,19,0" width="738" height="185">
<param name="movie" value="menu.swf" >
<param name="quality" value="high" >
<param name="wmode" value="transparent">
<param name="menu" value="false">
<paramname="flashvars"value="tab=<%=request.QueryString("tab")%>" >
<embed src="menu.swf" flashvars="tab=<%=request.QueryString("tab")%>" quality="high" pluginspage= "http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="738" height="185" wmode="transparent" menu="false" ></embed>
</object>

 

Copyright © by Epinoisis Software. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.




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Epinoisis Software © 2017

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