How to install Flash components

During my days of customer support I’ve come across clients who asked for directions on installing the Flash components made by JumpeyeComponents. There are people who are just starting to work with Flash and are having trouble understanding key concepts or simply don’t know how some operations are made. This is why I thought it would be good to have detailed instructions on how to install .mxp files (Flash components setup files).

For starters, you need to have the installation file of the component, which comes in the form of a .mxp file. If you purchase a package of some sort, first you need to open that archive and retrieve the .mxp file(s). All Flash components are installed by a separate application called the Extension Manager. Usually, this application is installed together with other Adobe products (like Adobe Flash) but that is not necessary. So if you do not have the Extension Manager, you can download it from Adobe’s site: http://www.adobe.com/exchange/em_download/. If you are still using Macromedia Flash 8, you can use Macromedia Extension Manager 1.7 and you can download it from the same location. Please note that if you want to install Flash CS3 and ActionScript 3.0 components, you can only use Adobe Extension Manager 1.8 and Adobe Flash CS3. The previous version of Extension Manager will not be able to install components for Flash CS3.

Adobe Extension Manager

Before installing a component, it is recommended to close Flash CS3. Once you make sure that you have all the necessary applications installed and you have the component’s setup (.mxp) file, you can open that file simply by double clicking on it.

mxp file

Once the Extension Manager opens it will ask you if you really want to install the component. The window will display the manufacturer’s disclaimer or license agreement. If you agree to it, the installation process will go on, but if you decline the agreement, the component will not get installed.

Disclaimer and license agreement

Once the component is fully installed, a message will let you know about it.

Installation complete

Just press Ok and the newly installed component will appear in the components list.

Installed component

Now, you can open Flash CS3 and select Create new Flash File (ActionScript 3.0) from the welcome screen or selec File -> New from the menu (Ctrl+N on Windows or Command+N on Mac OS) and select Flash File (ActionScript 3.0) from the New Document window. You need to create a new ActionScript 3.0 file because FlashEff is a ActionScript 3.0 component and will not work in a ActionScript 2.0 project. Finally, if you open the Components panel (Ctrl+F7 on Windows and Command+F7 on Mac) you will see that the FlashEff component was installed, together with the patterns it has.

Flash CS3 Components panel

Also, in the case of the FlashEff component, there was a new Flash panel installed: the FlashEff panel. You can access it from the Window menu -> Other panels -> FlashEff Panel.