25 August 2010
XFL is a new file format available to Adobe Flash Professional CS5. Similar to the interchange file format available in Adobe Creative Suite 4, XFL files store the same information as a FLA file but in XML format.
XFL is a collection of XML files saved in a folder, including the publish setting information and other project assets (JPEG, GIF, FLV, MP3, WAV, etc.). This set of uncompressed files in the folder structure (which also contains the XFL file) differs from a compressed XFL document file (available in Flash CS4 Professional and later). A compressed XFL document still uses the .fla file extension and behaves as a flat file. An XFL file (with associated assets) is essentially the uncompressed version of the compressed interchange format in Flash CS4 and CS5.
Both versions (uncompressed XFL files and compressed interchange FLA document files) can be used with Flash projects, but the files in the folder of the XFL file format remain in their original file formats, whereas FLA files are rolled into a single FLA file.
Other Adobe Creative Suite 5 applications such as Adobe InDesign and Adobe After Effects can export files in the XFL file format. This allows you to work on a project first in a separate application and then open the XFL file and continue working with it in Flash.
You can open and work with an XFL file in Flash CS5 just as you would with a FLA file. When you open an XFL file in Flash, you can then save the file as a FLA file. You cannot save XFL files from within the Flash CS5 authoring environment.
The following video tutorials demonstrate exporting from InDesign and AfterEffects to Flash CS5 using the XFL file format:
To open an XFL file in Flash:
To learn more about working with XFL files, see the section titled Opening XFL files in the Flash documentation.