Requirements

Prerequisite knowledge

Experience with Adobe Flash and Adobe Connect is recommended.

User level

Intermediate

Adobe Connect 8 enables licensed customers to define their own list of custom images or stamp symbols that can be drawn as shapes on the whiteboard in an Adobe Connect meeting.  For instance, one organization may want to use military symbols on the whiteboard to improve collaboration; others may want to use medical symbols, geographical symbols, or a logo.

This article explains how to create a custom stamp using any kind of symbol, including symbols that are specific to your organization or industry.

Using symbols in a meeting

Before exploring how to create a symbol, it helps to understand how symbols are used on the whiteboard during a meeting.  Meeting participants use the whiteboard shapes tool to select rectangles, ellipses, arrows, and other shapes (see Figure 1).  The custom stamp you create will be appended to the whiteboard shapes tool menu. 

Once selected, the symbol icon will appear as the default shapes menu icon (see Figure 2). The custom symbol can be resized on the whiteboard just like any other shape.

Creating a new stamp symbol

You need Adobe Flash Professional to create the symbol. The sample files for this article include the star.fla file, which you can open to see how the star symbol was created.  Note that the ideal size for a symbol is 20 x 20 pixels.

When creating your own symbol, you’ll need to follow these steps to configure it correctly:

  1. In the Symbol Properties dialog box, provide an appropriate name for the symbol class in the Name field.
  2. Select Movie Clip as the Type.
  3. In the Linkage section, select the Export For ActionScript and Export In Frame 1 options (see Figure 3).
  4. Click OK.

If you want to enable the user to color part of the symbol using the color picker, that part must be a Movie Clip with the instance name bg (see Figure 4). Selecting a new color from color picker will color only that part, leaving the other parts as they were.

For the final step in Adobe Flash, publish the symbol as a SWF file; for example, star.swf.

Adding the symbol to StamperSymbolsInfo.xml

Before you can access the custom symbol in a Connect meeting, you’ll first need to add an entry to the StamperSymbolsInfo.xml file in the /appserv/common/meetingAS3/shell directory. (This directory also contains the meeting.swf file.) If StamperSymbolsInfo.xml doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create it. If the file already exists, you just need to add a new entry for the custom stamp symbol that you created.

Here is a sample entry:

<symbol id="symbol_star" label="Star" icon="symbol_star" source="stamperSymbols/symbolSwfs/star.swf" isDefault="false"/>

Each entry (see Figure 5) must have the following properties (Note that these properties are case sensitive):

  • id: uniquely identifies the symbol
  • label: the text shown in the menu
  • icon: the name of symbol class in the Library
  • source: the path to the SWF (relative to the XML file)
  • isDefault: a Boolean flag, which is now deprecated but still required

Reusing symbols from a previous version of Connect in Connect 8

If you used custom symbols in an earlier version of Connect, they would have been published in StamperSymbols.swf.  You can reuse these symbols in Connect 8 by extracting them one at a time from StamperSymbols.fla (or whichever FLA file was used to publish StamperSymbols.swf).

Follow these steps to reuse symbols from an earlier version of Connect in Connect 8:

  1. Create a separate FLA file for each symbol present in StamperSymbols.fla (or the file used to publish to StamperSymbols.swf).
  2. Publish each symbol to a corresponding SWF file.
  3. Make a new entry in StamperSymbolsInfo.xml for each new symbol.

Where to go from here

For more information on extending the functionality of Adobe Connect for end users, visit the Adobe Connect Developer Center.