Book Information
Title: Flash MX Express.
Author(s): Leon Cych, et al.
Published by: Friends of Ed.
RRP: USD $24.99 (Less at Amazon)
Format: Mass-market paperback
User Level: Beginner.
Review By: tg, for

At a glance: 6/10

Written for the Flash beginner, this book is for someone who has never used flash before. It is a condensed yet thorough explanation of the Flash tools at a condensed price. This book is not for someone who wants to learn actionscript.


This book gives the beginner a very quick over-view of the basics of Flash MX. The first few chapters quickly cover all the basic tools found in the tool panel, and supplies some very simple files for playing around with and trying things out. The book then moves on to cover some of the basic Flash objects, timelines, frames, layers, panels, buttons, movie clips and graphics. Once through all of these the books gets to some very basic actionscripting (the emphasis is on basic). If you go through the first 6 tutorials in our tutorial section here at, you will have covered more actionscript then this book does. Once done with actionscript, you get a good once over on using bitmaps and sound in flash. The book also covers the ins and outs of publishing your movies in flash, then finally touches on some of the new features like components and video.

As with all Friends of Ed books, this one is very easy to read and understand. FOE seams to have the fantastic ability of making technical books both easy and fun to read. The instructions given in the book are pared down, with not a lot of extra content to confuse the issues. Friends of Ed also supply lots of screen shots to keep the beginner up to speed with what is being explained. The screen shots supplied cover both PC and Mac including shortcut keys for both, so both platforms are equally covered.

I thought the book was at times a little too condensed. I think many parts of the book could have gone into a little more detail (especially a little more actionscript). The ‘projects’ could have been more robust. Most were very simple fla files that just emphasized on tool or idea. At least it would have been nice if they had built on each other as the reader moves through the book.

Over all this is a book for the beginner, to show them how to use the actual tools in the authoring environment. If you are new to flash, and don’t know where to start, this is a good jumping in point. You will come away with a good understanding of the tools, a vocabulary to get you going and hopefully some enthusiasm for your future projects. All though the book was easy to read and understand, I finished the book wishing for just a little more information.