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Macromedia Studio MX 2004 with Flash Pro

Working in multimedia and web design, I’m always looking for the most complete, reliable tool to achieve my goals. Well Studio MX 2004 is definitely one of them. It covers all aspects of web development and design. The package includes the latest version of Flash (create rich and interactive applications), Dreamweaver (professional web site and application builder), Freehand (create illustration and layout for print and web), Fireworks (design, optimize and integrate web graphics) and ColdFusion (web application and development for the Windows version of Studio MX 2004 only). Ok, let’s have an overview of what Studio MX 2004 is about.

  • Dreamweaver MX 2004
  • Flash MX 2004 PRO
  • Fireworks MX 2004
  • FreeHand MX
  • ColdFusion MX 6.1 Developer Edition

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The first thing you’ll notice is the new completely customizable and intuitive user interface that maximize usable workspace which is actually common to all Studio MX 2004 tools so you can get easily familiar with them, also in the same time enhancing productivity and workflow. We now have a new start page window that offers quick access to recently used file, help resources, tutorials, quick tours and even a variety of templates to work with. And with a seamless integration that allows you to share and manipulate projects between Studio MX 2004 applications, it makes project management much easier. So if you already have experience in the web domain, you’ll feel right at ease with Studio MX 2004.

But great news for those who are just starting to get involve with Internet technology, Studio MX 2004 has to be one of the most accessible creation tool available. Help and technical support are at the tip of your finger…literally. Each application has a complete tour guide, lessons and tutorials to get you started and they are pretty straight-forward and easy to follow. You will actually enjoy learning and experimenting with what Studio MX 2004 has to offer. And if that’s not enough, you have a worldwide community of users available at Macromedia’s website that is virtually an endless resource center. And then there is the Macromedia exchange and the extension manager that basically allows you to view and download a complete variety of components, scripts, custom tags and content to add features to Macromedia applications and extend their functionality.

For example: you can find advance techniques tutorials, integrate code samples to your project or create projects from source files. The best part of all this is that most extensions are free! So whatever obstacle you encounter working with any application of Studio MX 2004, you can be sure that the solution is somewhere in there.

Now let’s take a quick look on what’s new with the tools of Macromedia Studio MX 2004. These are just quick overviews of some of the new features available.

Flash MX 2004/Flash MX 2004 Professional

The first thing you need to know about Flash MX 2004 is that there is two versions available, the standard version and the professional version. The difference between them is that the professional version has more advance features such as form-base development, a Flash video exporter and improved video encoding and also mobile and device development. I’ll focus more on what’s new in the standard version for now.

Timeline Effect

You can now quickly and easily create common animation with the timeline effect and a new behavior window without having to repeatedly adding keyframes therefore saving you time.

Enhance Productivity

You can now use cascading style sheet you create in Dreamweaver MX 2004 to your Flash projects, a new history panel, a built-in Spell-Checker and a Search and Replace.

Action Script 2.0

A more stable programming model and an object-oriented programming support.

Improved Performance

With an enhanced compiler and the new Macromedia Flash Player 7, runtime performance is up to 10x faster. Better graphic manipulation, video playback and a better memory use.

Dreamweaver MX 2004

Cross-Browser Validation

Use this cool Cross-Browser Validation to dynamically check the compatibility of your pages with all the leading browsers.

Built-In Graphic Editor

Crop, resize a make small edits within Dreamweaver with Macromedia Fireworks technology.

Increase support for latest technologies

Work with Coldfusion, J2EE, new PHP server behaviors, .NET, XML namespace support and all other leading server technologies.

Enhance Coding Tools

Code faster and better with new right-click coding tools.

Fireworks MX 2004

Performance Improvement

Faster runtime, better scale and transform manipulation and improve data-driven graphics wizard.

New Effects

Contour gradients, dashed strokes, Live Effect noise.

New Photo Retouch and Animation Tools

Correct red eyes, Live Effect motion blur and a Replace Color tool.

New Drawing Tools

Create auto-shapes that include a variety of unusual shapes that are full customizable and easy to manipulate.

Freehand MX

Multiple Attributes

Apply infinite stroke, fill and effect attributes to a single vector or text object.

Object Panel

Easily control and change objects properties with the Object Panel that regroups all your visual elements including multiple attributes.

Live Effect

Apply complex manipulation and effects without affecting the original object.

New Creation Tools

Create 3d appearances with the Extrude tool with complete control over its attributes including rotation, lighting and shared vanishing points.

Coldfusion MX 6.1

Updated Platform Support

Deliver support for Windows Server 2003 and IIS, Red Hat Linux 7.3,8 and 9, SuSe 8, Solaris 9 and AIX 4.3.3, 5.1

Simpler Installation

Redesign cross-platform installer, enhanced web server configuration wizard and new free installation support.

Performance and Stability Improvement

Increase productivity with a faster CFML compiler, over 170% faster than Coldfusion 5, updated JDBC/ODBC drivers and java virtual machine v1.4.2, improved upgrade and migration tool and increased backward compatibility.

So there you have it, a quick look at what Macromedia Studio MX 2004 is now capable of. And this is a just sample of the features available, believe me, there is much more you can learn and use with these tools. So if you read all the way to here my guess is that you’re interested to found more about it. I suggest you go to the Macromedia website and take a closer look and download the trial demos for each application, they’re free and you get the full version software for 30 days. So have fun in your creativity and give Macromedia Studio MX 2004 a try!

Carlos-David Donoso

Web Target PC


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