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Teach yourself Visually Flash CS3 Professional

Teach yourself Visually Flash CS3 Professional

Teach yourself Visually Flash CS3 Professional is a book that targets those completely new to Flash, and even takes into account that the reader might not know the difference between a double and a single click.

TITLE: Teach Yourself VISUALLY Flash CS3 Professional
AUTHORS: by Sherry Kinkoph Gunter
PUBLISHER: Visual (October 1, 2007)
ISBN: 978-0470171233
PAGES: 336 Color
CD: No
PRICE: £13.99 UK / $19.79 USA / $13.32 CAN
Click here to order

With that in mind, I sat myself down and read one of the most basic books I've ever read in Flash. I was actually exited, because this is one of the most beautifully illustrated Flash books I've ever seen.

Teach yourself Visually Flash CS3 Professional explains just about every tool in Flash in detail. The writer uses illustrations and screenshots to clarify every example, and with 321 pages of explanations, I don't think I'm exaggerating if I say that there must be over 1200 illustrations or images in this book. Every image is in full colour!

Each tool is explained well, and after each explanation follows one or two “common questions” which of course is answered. This is a great addition. The questions are those I would expect from someone new to Flash, and the answers are usually right on the spot. The book does not have a narrative form, but it is written more like a reference book. You can quickly find the explanations of every tool in the book using the index, and you don't need to read the book in chronological order to understand the different tools.

With that said, the books has some clear drawbacks.

Some illustrations used differ so much from what they are supposed to illustrate that it might confuse a newcomer to Flash. The examples used in the book are good, as they illustrate what every tool does. However, I strongly believe there should have been practical examples with downloadable source files. This would allow the reader to follow the explanations without creating a lot of artwork. The book has some errors when explaining some of the tools, and when explaining functions, the book states that every parameter to a function must be within "hyphens". This would of course not work when numbers or any other non-string object are passed to a function. The book also has some other errors, and a few of the explanations are outright terrible (to name two: The shape tween and shape hints explanations).

I don't think this is the best book to learn Flash CS3 Professional from. The biggest reason for this is that the book contains some very obvious errors, something this kind of book never should have. This is however a beautiful book, richly illustrated and well written. The tools are well explained, and the book has very many clever touches to add to the learning process, but lacks some touches that would make the experience great.

The reader will be able to learn most of the Flash tools from this book, and with that in mind this is a good book. However - not being able to follow along with the explanations removes some of the possibilities to learn well and quickly. I would probably recommend some other book if someone asked me, but I would not discourage someone from buying it.


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