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Review: HTML / XML Table Renderer

As a developer you encounter different issues when working on a project. One of them is to create a html replica of a table in Flash. To have features such as column span and row span, cellspacing and padding and many others that allows you to manage your table in Flash like in HTML.

I faced a similar situation myself and thought to spare you of precious time to do such a work, by sharing with you a useful source.

It seems that somebody spent his time and managed to create it for us. It’s about the Flashtuning HTML Table Renderer component that provides an advanced XML/HTML table rendering engine for Flash, complete with CSS support and advanced features such as row and column spans. The component can render all common types of content (text, SWF files, images and Flash library objects) and allows embedding custom fonts and offers advanced text rendering controls.

Requirements

The Table Renderer is available in two versions one for Actionscript 2.0 and the other for Actionscript 3.0. You choose what is the best for your needs. You can download a trial version (click on the Free Download link above the examples) that has a limit of 4 X 4 for the tables, as a trial limitation. To get the full version with no restrictions you need to purchase a license for $9.00.

Features

  • Support for all common HTML tags and attributes and CSS properties supported by Flash
  • Images/SWF/library objects inclusion into table cells
  • Easily integrate your own custom actions like roll overs, drag & drop, tool tips
  • Link to custom ActionScript functions from within the table
  • Percentage/fixed widths/heights support for the table and/or individual cells
  • Alpha levels for borders and backgrounds
  • Font embedding support: you can specify custom library fonts for the table and/or individual cells using the cellfont attribute
  • Built in Help Book automatically that can be accessed anytime via the Flash Help Panel

How to use it

We’ll set up a simple HTML table in Flash.

1. Start Adobe Flash and open a new document.

2. Open the Components panel ( Window/Components). You will find the component in the Flashtuning folder.

3. Drag the component (FtTableRenderer) from the Components panel to the stage. The component graphic symbol should now be displayed on the stage.

4. Create an XHTML file which includes a table definition using your preffered HTML / Text editor.

5. Switch back to Adobe Flash, select the component on the stage and configure its parameters in the Parameters panel or in the Component Inspector panel ( Window/Component Inspector):

Instruct the component to use the newly created table.html file as the XML/HTML Source File.

6. Test the scene (Control/Test Movie).

(!) Make sure the HTML source is properly formatted (the tags and attributes need to be closed and lowercase) and the cells colspan need to be valid for the table to render correctly.

Conclusion

The possibilities to use such a great component are vast, all you have to do is explore and use your imagination. I think any Flash developer should have it and considering the price I would say it’s a great deal.

Author: Alin

Passionate about web and graphic design, photography and climbing. Follow me at Twitter , Facebook and Google+

  • Marion MacDonald

    I purchased this component but find that accented characters are not handled. Any suggestions?

  • for special characters you must use the UTF-8 format. copy and paste this line of code at the top of the XML file.


    < ?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

  • musitechnica

    Is there a way to use this extension in Flex?