Working with Animate and Flash Builder

Adobe Animate (formerly Flash Professional CC) and Flex® can be used together in a variety of ways, including creating custom graphics and components in Animate for use in Flex®. The following tutorials demonstrate several of the ways Animate® and Flex® can be used together.

 The Design View workflow between Animate and Flash Builder is deprecated. On initiating this workflow from Flash Builder 4.6, an exception is thrown in Animate.

Some of the workflows of Flash Builder may not be interoperable with the latest versions of Animate (2017 onwards). 

Editing and debugging ActionScript with Animate and Flash Builder

Before you begin

In order to enable these Animate/Flash Builder workflows, ensure that the following conditions are true:

  • Both Flash CS5 and Flash Builder 4 are installed.

  • To launch a FLA file from Flash Builder, your project must be assigned the Animate project nature in the Package Explorer panel.

    For more information about assigning project natures in Flash Builder, see Flash Builder Help.

  • To launch a FLA file Flash Builder, your project must have a FLA file assigned to be used for testing and debugging in the Animate properties of the project.

Testing, debugging, and publishingin Animate from Flash Builder

To perform testing or debugging in Animate with a file you are editing in Flash Builder 4:

  • From the Flash Builder development perspective, choose Run > Test Movie or Run > Debug Movie. Note that each menu item has a Animate icon next to it. Once the SWF window or debug session is closed, focus will return to Flash Builder unless there are compiler errors in frame scripts inside the FLA file associated with the project. Information about all errors is sent to the Errors panel in Flash Builder.

To publish the FLA file associated with the current project in Flash Builder:

  • From the Flash Builder development perspective, choose Project > Publish Movie. Note the Animate icon next to the menu command.

Editing AS files in Flash Builder from Animate 

To create a new ActionScript 3.0 class or interface and assign Flash Builder as the editor:

  1. Choose File > New.

  2. Choose an intent of your choice from the tabs at the top of the screen such as Character Animation, Social, Game, Education, Ads, Web, and Advanced. In the New Document dialog box, choose ActionScript 3.0 class or ActionScript 3.0 interface.

  3. In the Create ActionScxript 3.0 dialog box, select Flash Builder as the application to create the file and click OK. Flash Builder opens.

  4. In Flash Builder, choose a FLA file or XFL file to be associated with the ActionScript file and click Finish.

To open and edit an AS file in Flash Builder from Animate:

  1. In the Library panel, right-click a symbol associated with the class or interface and choose Properties.

  2. In the Symbol Properties dialog box, click Edit Class Definition.

  3. In the Edit ActionScript 3.0 dialog box that appears, verify that the editor assigned to the AS file is Flash Builder and click OK.

    If Flash Builder is not assigned to edit the file, select Flash Builder as the application to edit the class file and click OK.

    Flash Builder opens to edit the file.

Creating components for Flex

In Adobe Animate, you can create content for use as components in Adobe® Flex® applications. This content can include both visual elements and Adobe® ActionScript® 3.0 code.

Creating components in Animate for use in Flex allows you to take advantage of the flexible graphic design capabilities of Animate while still utilizing the capabilities of Flex.

In order to create Flex components in Animate, you must install the Flex Component Kit for Animate. You install the component kit using Adobe Extension Manager. Some versions of the component kit may not support all features of Adobe Animate, so be sure to download the latest version of the component kit from

For more information about using Flex and Animate together, refer to the Flex documentation on the Adobe web site at

To create a Flex component in Animate:

  1. Be sure you have Adobe Extension Manager installed. To download Extension Manager, visit the Extension Manager download page at

    By default, Extension Manager is installed with the Adobe Creative Suite applications.

  2. Download and install the Flex Component Kit, available at Be sure to quit Animate before installing the component kit. For information about installing extensions with Adobe Extension Manager, see

  3. Launch Animate. Two new commands appear in the Commands menu, Convert Symbol to Flex Component and Convert Symbol to Flex Container.

  4. In Animate, create a movie clip symbol containing the artwork and ActionScript 3.0 code you want to include in the Flex component. The content must be contained in a movie clip symbol before conversion to a Flex component.

  5. Before converting the movie clip to a Flex component, be sure that it meets the following requirements for compatibility with Flex:

    • The frame rate of the FLA file should be 24 fps and should match the frame rate of any Flex projects that will make use of the component.

    • The registration point should be located at the 0, 0 point in the movie clip.

       To ensure that all content in the movie clip has a registration point of 0, 0, click the Edit Multiple Frames button at the bottom of the Timeline, select all frames in the movie clip timeline, select all of your content in all the frames, and move it to 0, 0 in the Property inspector.

  6. Select the movie clip in the Library panel and choose Commands > Convert Symbol to Flex Component.

    Animate converts the movie clip to a Flex component, changes its icon to a Flex icon in the Library, and imports the FlexComponentBase class compiled clip to the Library. Animate embeds the FlexComponentBase into the Flex component SCW file created in the next step.

    Note the progress messages displayed in the Output panel while Animate converts the movie clip.

  7. Choose File > Publish to create a SWC file containing the compiled Flex component. Animate also creates a SWF file from the main FLA file, but you can ignore the SWF file if you choose. The published component SWC file is now ready for use in Flex.

  8. To use the SWC file in Flex, do one of the following:

    • Copy the SWC file from Animate and paste it into the bin folder of your Flex project.

    • Add the SWC file to library path of your Flex project. For more information, see the Flex Builder documentation at

Using Flex metadata

If you are writing ActionScript 3.0 code to be used in Flex, you can place metadata in the code to embed external files in any published SWF that includes the ActionScript code. Usually, these [Embed] metadata declarations are used to embed image files, fonts, individual symbols, or other SWF files into the SWF.

Remember that metadata is “data about data.” You add metadata to ActionScript on the line immediately preceding the line of code that the metadata applies to. The compiler then takes the metadata into account when compiling the line of code that follows it.

For example, to embed an image called button_up.png that is stored in the directory one level above the ActionScript file, you would use the following ActionScript:


private var buttonUpImage:Class;

The [Embed] metadata tag tells the compiler to embed the file named button_up.png in the SWF file and that the file should be associated with the variable named buttonUpImage.

For more information about embedding assets with metadata in Flex, see Embedding Assets in the Flex 3 Developer Guide at

If you use a feature that requires the Flex SDK, such as [Embed] metadata, at compile time Animate prompts you to add the Flex.SWC file to the Library path of your FLA file. The Flex.SWC file contains compiled classes needed to support Flex metadata. Click Update Library Path in the dialog box to add Flex.SWC to the Library path. You can also add the Flex.SWC file to the Library path in the ActionScript publish settings later.


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