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I haven’t posted in a while because I am full time in development of localized Flash applications in 11 languages with Flash 8 / AS2. The objective was that I include embedded fonts with externalized xml and css content. (Embedded fonts are required since I cannot modify properties with device fonts such as rotation and scaling.) Then I created tags in my xml file to correspond to labels in my animations. This was a tricky job, but I got it worked out.

The hardest aspect of localization development was to embed fonts into flash. There are many sites that addresses localization in flash development. (I realized that such development is getting to be an art form.) The Adobe site unfortunately doesn’t really help that much in this respect.

The free Fontastic engine at is a good site. He also gives a quick overview of the intricacies of localization with Flash since Flash Player 7. There are video tutorials, but it has been very difficult to get in touch with the web administrator. I even tried to use three different emails to renew my video subscription but to no avail. Anyways, I had to move on and continue development.

Fontastic inspired me to use font symbols in external libraries. Later, I found that in my development that I was restricted to use only 255 characters. This is great for latin based characters (e.g. English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese…) Maybe with exception to French. I needed to include the “oe” character, by creating a new font. (I use fontCreator by High Logic. )

Since I had to develop for Japanese, Chinese, and Greek, I was forced to include Unicode. So I thought about scouring the web one last time. But lo and behold, there was the What the Zend framework is for PHP, the Casa framework is for Flash AS2. (An AS3 is in the works as we speak.) I began using the FontManager class and removed all references to my font library symbols. I had successfully ported over to Japanese and am working on Greek and Chinese.

Notable Links:

Flash and CSS:

Flash Shared Font Libraries:
Flash and Unicode:

Flash and Device Fonts: (A hack)

Dynamic Fonts with Flash:


  1. Did you had to deal with locale sorting in your project? There is no support for that in actionscript even if i did found some unreleased librarys for this…

  2. I am not sure how to understand your question. If I understand correctly, that you change languages dynamically on the fly? To answer your question, I would say no.

    We were not required to do this. We created 3 e-learning courses in 11 different languages. Essentially, it is the same code base but with different xml data. So there will be a project folder for “English” (EN) another for “French” (FR) etc… I had one folder for all my flash animations and used an ANT script to copy them over to each language.

    I have read some blogs that dynamically detects which country the calling IP is from and inserted that country string into flash variables in the object tag. (I just can’t remember which blogs though, sorry. I am not a PHP or ASP developer.)

  3. Sorry, i should have written locale based sorting (see

  4. Nice post Dave.

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