Editing a SWF file

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Fiddler70, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Fiddler70 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2010
    Hi, I know Flash is no good ;-) but a friend has a Flash site that needs only a bit of updating. Original FLA file lost (is 7 years old site) so downloaded the SWF file. Downloaded a trial version of Adobe Flash and SWF decompiler.

    The decompiled SWF opens in Flash I can edit it etc. No problem. But when I publish, Flash can only publish as a movie, so the file just plays the whole site in like 4 seconds.... No time to push any buttons...

    Is this because the decompiler is in demo mode? And does not pick up certain cues in the SWF file? Or is Flash just to make videos?

    How is it possible that Flash cannot simply open an SWF file? Why do I need a separate decompiler?

    Probably stupid questions. I normally use RapidWeaver. But was hoping I can help my friend with the updating of some details in the site.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. UTclassof89, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

    UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    Just like Photoshop can't recreate text layers from a flattened JPEG, Flash isn't built to recreate layers from a compiled SWF.

    I've never had much luck with decompilers myself, and the structure of the original FLA could play a part in your troubles: it could be importing other SWFs at runtime.

    Without the FLA, you're hosed.

    (You'll no doubt get a lot of "that's one of the reasons Flash sucks" responses here. But the fault lies with the original designer not making the app extensible, not with the Flash technology. As a Flash developer, I LOVE the fact that it's very difficult for people to repurpose my work)
  3. Fiddler70 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2010
    Hi, thanks for the reply. That's very useful to know. So it really depends on how accurately the decompiler reverse engineers the SWF file.

    I do see a time line with many layers and frames in Flash, and I am able to click on buttons while they whizz past after I publish.

    What I don't understand is that in the Flash application at publish time they always talk about movie... Is that just the way Flash sees these sites? Or is this because of some info missing in my FLA file?
  4. morespce54 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2004
    Around the World
    Hate to be a party downer... but really, not much chance you'll get much out of a decompiled SWF (except maybe for graphics). As mentioned above, no matter how accurately the decompiler "reverse engineers" the SWF file, you'll be left with plain, linear and unscripted file... Since most of Flash magic is done with action-script, you're pretty much out of luck here. Best option would probably be to rebuild the whole site with the decompiled file...

    best of luck.

    BTW, you can publish FLA in .flv and other different movie formats but most likely, Flash is referring to SWF file as movie.
  5. pelsar macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    basically your SOOL...as they say...the decompilers as much as i remember when i tried, cannot preserve the programming, so all you get are the images
  6. Fiddler70 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2010
    Trillix Flash Decompiler decompiled my SWF file brilliantly, including scripts and all other details. It was a limitation of the demo version not to include the actionscript.

    I was able to open, edit and publish it in Adobe Flash. So all is well.

    The Trillix application was very easy to use. Gives you loads of info even before decompiling. Did not like the Sothink decompiler that much.

    Thanks for input and help.

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