Common questions about Director

Working with Director and Shockwave

Product comparisons

Working with Director and digital video

Extending Director or Shockwave Player

Using Director with databases

Creating CDs and DVDs


Do I need to buy Director for Macintosh and Windows?
"Projectors" are the self-contained executable applications created by Director. These are the files you deliver to your end users to run on their computers.

Director MX 2004 introduces the capability to create cross-platform projectors . This means that Windows version of Director can make a projector for Macintosh OS X and the Macintosh version of Director can create projectors for OSX, OS9, and Windows.

Director's native file format (the file used while authoring) is cross platform. This means you can do a majority of your development on one platform or the other and open the file in Director on either platform to create a Projector. Due to unavoidable inconsistencies between platforms, experienced developers will always test their content early and often, on all target platforms.

If you are developing only for Shockwave (browser-based playback), you can author this on just one platform. As you develop, it is strongly advised you test your content on all target platforms and browsers.


What is Shockwave?
Shockwave Player is the Web standard for entertaining, engaging, and rich media playback. It lets you view interactive Web content like games, business presentations, entertainment, and advertisements from your Web browser. You've probably seen Shockwave Player in action on top business and entertainment sites like,,, Palm Computing, and thousands of other Web sites.


What's the difference between a Shockwave movie and a Director movie?
A Shockwave movie is simply a Director movie saved for Shockwave delivery. The Shockwave format compresses the media in your Director movie so that it is as small as possible. Shockwave movies also stream in such a way that playback can start immediately while downloading continues in the background.


How do I create Shockwave movies?
Director offers an option to publish your movie as a Shockwave movie. Creating a Shockwave movie out of your Director movie is just a few mouse clicks away!


Does Director create HTML Web pages?
Director is not an HTML editor; therefore, it does not create HTML Web pages. When saving your Director movie as a Shockwave movie, Director does provide an option to create a very simple HTML document with your Shockwave movie embedded. This can be useful for testing your Shockwave movies in browsers before embedding them in your own HTML documents created outside of Director.


What file types does Director Support?
Director supports the following files for import: SWF, W3D, Animated GIF, DIR, BMP, GIF, JPEG, LRG (xRes), Photoshop PSD (3.0 or later), MacPaint, PNG, TIFF, PICT, Targa, AIFF, WAV, MP3, SWA, AU, DVD-Video, MOV, AVI, RA, RAM, RTF, HTML, ASCII, PAL, Photoshop CLUT.
Macintosh only:
PICS, Scrapbook, System 7 sounds.
Windows only: WMV, WMA, FLC, FLI.


What kind of files does Director Create/Export?
Director files are saved with the DIR extension and can be opened and edited on either the Macintosh or Windows platform from within Director. In addition once a file or project has been completed it can be saved as a DXR which is a read-only, uneditable version of the DIR. Director projectors are executable versions of a Director file. Projectors include the Director runtime engine inside and therefore do not require installation of a plug-in. Projectors have the extension EXE on Windows. On Macintosh, projectors have no extension by default. A DCR is a Shockwave version of a DIR published via Director. Director casts can be saved as a regular Director cast, CST, a protected Director cast, CXT, or a Shockwave cast, CCT. In addition Director can export to digital video: MOV on Macintosh and AVI or MOV on Windows computers.


What are the differences between Director and Macromedia Flash?
Macromedia Flash and Director are both used to create powerful rich-media content. While the two products have some cross-over in features and uses, each has its own strengths.

Director uses a bitmap-based animation engine and supports interactive real-time 3D. It offers greater sound and video control and excels on fixed media delivery formats (CD, DVD-ROM, kiosk, desktop). Macromedia Flash uses a vector-based animation engine. It excels in web delivery and creating Rich Internet Applications.

Greater Media Support
Director and Shockwave are much more "media rich" than Macromedia Flash. Director supports a greater number of media types (over 40). Macromedia Flash supports a smaller variety of audio, graphic, and video formats.

Extensibility (Xtras)
Media support and other features in Director and Shockwave movies can be dynamically expanded through player add-ons ("Xtras"). Required Xtras for a movie can be automatically downloaded to the user when needed. There is no mechanism that exists for extending the functionality of the Macromedia Flash player.

Additional information
Learn more about when to use each tool;as well as the benefits of using them together at the Macromedia Flash and Director Resource Center.


What are the differences between Director and Dreamweaver?
Director is not an HTML editor or site management tool. Dreamweaver, however, is designed for these tasks and has quickly become an industry standard. Shockwave movies created in Director may be embedded in an HTML document and viewed in a browser. Although not required, Dreamweaver allows you to easily embed Shockwave movies into an HTML document and edit the HTML document to your liking using it's award-winning editing features.


Does Director edit digital video?
Director is not a digital video editor. A dedicated digital video editing application is required if your editing requirements go beyond simple timing edits. You can use Lingo to control the start, loop, and end points of a video.


Does Director create special effects for digital video?
No special effects for digital video files are available in Director.


Can Director do digital video compositing?
Director will allow you to create masks for a video using shapes you create. You can also layer graphics in front of digital video. It cannot, however, add or remove elements within the digital videofile itself.

What digital video file formats are supported in Director?
Digital video in QuickTime, AVI, and Real Video file formats are supported in Director. MPEG-1 digital video is supported via QuickTime Player (version 3 or later required on Macintosh, version 5 or later required on Windows). It is possible to use additional digital video file formats; however, this requires the use of third party Xtras which are sold commercially, and can be found at the Macromedia Director Exchange.


Can digital video be used in Shockwave movies?
QuickTime, AVI, and Real Video media can be played inside Director and Shockwave movies. Unless using a true streaming server (QuickTime RTSP server or Real Server), the media files must be downloaded entirely into a local cache on the users machine. Media quality and performance will vary according to connection speed, file size, and hardware. MPEG video can also be used, either via the QuickTime player, or third party Xtra.

How can I stream digital video in Shockwave movies?
Director/Shockwave supports streaming QuickTime which was introduced with QuickTime 4. This requires that the QuickTime movies are delivered from an RTSP server (HTTP servers will not deliver true streaming QuickTime movies). Visit Apple's QuickTime site for more information and requirements.


Where can I find third party Xtras to work with Director?
The following resource websites contain information about third party Xtras:

Macromedia Director Exchange

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Can Director be used as a database?
Not by itself. There are third party Xtras sold commercially which allow Director to communicate with databases.


Can Director be used to create a front end application for a database?
Third party Xtras can be purchased which allow Director to communicate with databases. Assuming such a third party Xtra is in use, Director can be used to create an interface or application that communicates with a database.


What databases are supported?
Since Director has no support for databases itself, a third party Xtras which are sold commercially must be used. For listings of Xtras available for Director, visit:

Macromedia Director Exchange


 Can Director create a CD-ROM?
Director can create content that goes onto a CD-ROM. Director itself cannot actually burn a CD-ROM. You will need CD-ROM burning software and CD-ROM burning hardware for your computer in order to put your Director movie onto a CD-ROM.


Can Director make an Autostart or Autorun CD-ROM?
As discussed above, Director does not actually create CD-ROMs. Autorun is a Windows feature and not a feature specific to a Director movie. AutoStart is the equivalent on the Macintosh and is also a feature external to Director movies. You should consult your CD burning software manuals for instructions on how to implement the Autorun or Autostart features on your CDs.


Can Director create a DVD-ROM or a DVD-Video?
Just like a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROM can hold any kind of data. Therefore Director movies can be put onto a DVD-ROM. Director itself cannot actually burn a DVD-ROM. You will need DVD-ROM burning software and hardware for your computer in order to put your Director movie onto a DVD-ROM.

DVD-video format is different from a DVD-ROM. Director does not have an export option for DVD format.

Note: DVD video is a new media type available in Director MX 2004. Please see DVD video capabilities in Director MX 2004 (TechNote 19156) to learn more about using DVD in Director. For more information about the DVD format and Director, please refer to Director and DVD (TechNote 13466).

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Additional information

Please refer to the Adobe Director FAQ at our Web site.


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