Priyank Sharma

Reduce the size of your .FLA files!

Jun 26, 2009

[dropcap]F[/dropcap] lash is being used extensively around the web since a long time now. From websites to banners to full-fledge applications, and a lot more. I myself use a lot of Flash for all the banners + websites I design. While there are a lot of softwares out there that help you reduce the size of your published flash files (.SWF), there are none that assist you in compressing the size of the source files (.FLA). Although, we can always ZIP the file or maybe take it one step ahead by archiving it in .RAR or maybe the new .ZIPX compression standard introduced by WinZip, what if we wanted to bring down the size of the .FLA file itself?

[custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″ accent=”true”]Here’s how it works[/custom_headline]

When you import any assets (images, sounds, videos) into the flash environment, it gets saved as part of the file. The more stuff you import, more the file size increases since Flash has to keep it available for immediate use in its library (I’m sure most designers/developers already know about this). However, when you remove something from the library, the file size does not decrease. This is unknown to most people.

[custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″ accent=”true”]I’ll make it simpler[/custom_headline]

Suppose you import a 5 MB video file into your Flash movie and save it, you will notice that an additional 5 megs gets added to the original file size of the .FLA. If you import another 5 MB video, another 5 megs gets added. Now suppose, you don’t require video 2 in the flash movie anymore and delete it from the library and continue to save the file, you won’t notice an expected decrease of 5 megs in the .FLA. Ideally the size should reduce, but it doesn’t.

[custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″ accent=”true”]The solution[/custom_headline]

Go to File -> Save As… Give the .FLA file another name and see the difference in the file size. The unnecessary weight is thrown off and you have a clean .FLA file at your disposal. Simple, isn’t it?

This would make more sense if you are dealing with a flash movie which has huge amounts of assets in it. Like having 15 videos imported in the library and then removing 10 of those, would make a huge difference if you re-save the file.

Adobe Flash icon by Siristhius

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