Best Buy
  • Price: 225

  • Company: Tivity Software

  • Pros: Requires no coding. Full PSD file support and import, plus a library of pre-built, customizable elements and components. State Modifiers replace scripting.

  • Cons: PSD file import restricted to seven layers. Documentation is slightly confusing, and absent timeline will deter some users.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10 We rate this 9 out of 10

Plenty of multimedia-authoring applications these days offer the ability to export your projects to the SWF Flash file format. The difference here lies in the process.

Tivity Software makes the bold claim that Xtivity generates fully interactive SWF Web projects all without coding, timeline, symbols, or movie clips. Instead, it uses a layout program-style workflow for creating and updating projects in real-time.

In Xtivity, you work with boxes, building blocks of the project that contain one item of content each, such as graphics, photos, text, SWF elements, movies, or blocks of colour.

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In terms of content support, Xtivity beats everyone except Macromedia’s original pioneer. Selecting the various boxes (or selecting the relevant layers from the palette on the side) allows you to add actions to the content, with categories such as motion, resize, group, and audio. 
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Group boxes are also available. These are used to apply one action to a series of child boxes grouped together. Triggers for the action can be set via an attributes panel, including all the usual mouse-down and roll-over functions, as well as more advanced options such as scene mouse move and external triggers. 
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If you’ve ever used QuarkXPress or InDesign or worked with text boxes in Illustrator, you’ll find it quite easy. 
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