Technical Support FAQs

Please review these technical FAQs to see if your question is answered on this page. If your question is not addressed here, please see the contact information for our Technical Support department.

Download Problems
Installation and Start-Up Problems

Unlocking the15-day trial or paid-for version of SWiSHmax software

General Application Problems

Output Problems   Publishing SWiSHmax Files Other Problems

Download Problems
If you're experiencing difficulties downloading SWiSHmax, please read the following before contacting us.

Factors that effect downloading the paid-for version of SWiSHmax:
Please click here to review common problems that occur when downloading the paid-for version of SWiSHmax software.
Factors that effect downloading the trial version of SWiSHmax:
Please click here to review common problems that occur when downloading the trial version of SWiSHmax software.

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Where can I find the downloaded file on my system?

When you use a Web browser to go to CrystalGraphics’ web site and download the SWiSHmax software, typically the browser will prompt you for a location where you want to save the file, and it provides a default filename of "SetupSwishmax.exe." During the download process, we recommend that you create a C:\Download folder, and download the file into that folder. If you are still unable to locate the SWiSHmax installer after you have downloaded it, try the following:

  • Click on the Windows Start button>Search (or Find) tool and choose the "File/Folder" option.
  • Enter SetupSwishmax.exe for the filename that you want to find
  • Once you locate the folder where the SWiSHmax installer was downloaded, you can proceed with installation of the software onto your local hard drive.

    To install the SWiSHmax software onto your local hard drive, double click on the downloaded file. The installation process should then automatically install the file. Note: There is no difference in functionality between the trial version and paid-for version of the downloaded SWiSHmax software; the trial version simply limits the use of the software to 15 days. Thereafter, you may purchase the software and be sent a "Site Key," which will allow you to continue using the software without any hindrance of limited time use.
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Installation and Start-Up Problems 

What should I do if I experience problems installing SWiSHmax?

  1. Make sure that your hardware and system software meet SWiSHmax system requirements. For instance, make sure there is adequate disk space available on your local hard drive (you should have a minimum of 7 MB).
  2. Close all other programs currently running while you install SWiSHmax. If you downloaded the SWiSHmax software from the Internet, to start the installation process, double click on the SWiSHmax installer file (i.e. Swishmax.EXE) or go to the Windows Start menu and use the Run command (typing in the appropriate name of the SWiSHmax installer file). If you are installing the SWiSHmax software from CD, insert the CD into the CD-ROM drive. An Autorun program should automatically display a menu of choices, including the option to install SWiSHmax. Click on this option to start the installation of SWiSHmax. If you do not see the Autorun program display, you can initiate the SWiSHmax installer by going to your Windows desktop, double-click on "My Computer" and select the CD-ROM drive in which the SWiSHmax CD is inserted. Open the SWiSHmax folder and double-click on SetupSwishmax.EXE.
  3. Whether you experience problems installing the downloaded version or CD-ROM version of SWiSHmax, run the installer on another computer that also meets the system requirements of SWiSHmax. If, after attempting to install the software on another machine, the installer generates errors or exhibits unexpected behavior, it is likely damaged (If you are installing from CD, examine the CD for any possible physical flaws), so download the file again. Before installing again (after re-downloading the file), be sure to delete any partially or fully installed copy of SWiSHmax.

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What should I do if SWiSHmax does not recognize the "Site Key" code entered?

  1. Make sure that you are opening SWiSHmax on the same computer that you registered your SWiSHmax software. Note: The SWiSHmax software generates a unique "Site Key" ID code for each computer on which SWiSHmax is installed.
  2. Whether you are trying to activate the 15-day free trial version of SWiSHmax or unlocking a paid-for version of SWiSHmax, make sure you have obtained an appropriate site key code.

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What should I do if SWiSHmax does not start?

Make sure you launch SWiSHmax on a system that meets the minimum system requirements --

IBM or compatible Pentium/AMD processor (900 MHz or greater), 512 MB RAM or greater. 1024 x 768, 16-bit display (32-bit recommended)

Windows 2000 SP (Service Pack) 4+
Windows XP SP2+ x32 and x64 Editions
Windows Vista all SP x32 and x64 Editions
Windows 7 x32 and x64 Editions

NOTE: SWiSH Max4 requires the latest Adobe Flash Player installed on your system for internal preview.

If you still are having problems installing and starting SWiSHmax, please contact us and advise the following: 
  • Were there any error messages displayed? What were the details of these messages?
  • Were you running any other programs while installing SWiSHmax?
  • What type of system do you have (CPU, operating system, RAM, video card, and hard drive space)?
  • Has SWiSHmax been installed on your machine before? If so, did you delete the previous copy’s files or install the software in a different folder from the original?

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General Application Problems

What should I do if I cannot I see the 'Export' panel?

The Export panel is hidden when you first install SWiSHmax. You can show the Export panel by selecting Panels >| Export from the main menu.

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What should I do if I cannot I see the 'Tint' panel? 

The Tint panel is hidden when you first install SWiSHmax. You can show the Tint panel by selecting Panels > Tint from the main Menu.

Use the View > Toolbars menu to turn on additional toolbars. Use Tool > Customize to add, move or remove buttons from toolbars.

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How can I set the panels and toolbars to the default layout?

You can restore the panels to the default layout by selecting Panels > Reset to Defaults. You can restore the toolbars to the default layout by selecting Tools > Customize the select "Reset All" on the toolbars tab.

If the above methods do not restore your panels and toolbars to the default layout, try the following:
1. close SWiSHmax if it is running
2. press the Windows 'Start' button and select Run...
3. type "regedit" (without quotes) into the Open edit box and press OK to open the Registry Editor
4. in the Registry Editor open the folder: My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\
5. select the folder, right-click and select Delete
6. close the Registry Editor
7. restart SWiSHmax.

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What should I do if the cursor continues to 'jump' even after I've turned off the Grid?

You may have till have Snap to Grid turned on even though the Grid itself is no longer displayed. These are separate options under the View menu. You can have the Grid hidden and snapping turned on. Conversely, you can have the Grid visible, but no snapping. Use View > Snap to Grid to turn Grid snapping on or off. You can also alter the Grid settings from the Movie panel.

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What should I do if the masking applied does nothing?

Masking only occurs when the movie or scene is playing. When you are editing, masking is turned off automatically, so that you can see both the mask shape and the objects being masked.

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Why do objects turn into sprites when I group them?

Objects in a group cannot have their own effects, unless they are (inside) a Sprite. If any of the objects you are trying to group already have effects, then that object is first converted to a Sprite so that your effects will not be lost.

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What should I do when the sprite appears off center in the 'Layout' panel, or is not visible at all?

When you expand a Sprite to edit it, the system of co-ordinates in the Layout panel changes from scene coordinates to Sprite co-ordinates. This will make the objects in the Sprite go off center. Use the View > View at tool set to 100% or View > Fit Objects in Window to recenter the Layout panel.

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Output Problems

Why do the effects start one frame into the animation?

This is so effects can be joined together seamlessly without the object 'sticking' for one frame between the effects. If you need the initial frame of the effect, simply shift the effect one frame to the right, and select "Place Effect" to insert an effect in the first frame.

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What should I do if the letters 'stick' to the edge of the movie when I import my SWiSHmax animation into Flash?

You probably have the "Do not animate off-stage objects" option checked on the Movie Export Panel. Uncheck this option and re-export your SWiSHmax movie. 

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What should I do if the fonts display incorrectly when opening a SWiSHmax movie that was created on another machine?  

You may not have the same font(s) installed on your machine. Missing fonts will be displayed as Times New Roman. You need to install all the fonts used in the SWiSHmax movie onto your computer. Note: Fonts do not need to be installed to play SWiSHmax animations over the internet.

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What should I do if my imported SWF file does not play in Flash?

There is a bug in Flash when importing a SWF that has masking. Even though it may appear to be okay inside Flash itself, when Flash generates a SWF file, nothing is visible. To avoid this, ensure that the [x] Mask off-stage objects option is turned off in the Export Movie panel.

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What should I do if my movie gets slower and slower as it plays?

If you fade objects out, they remain on the stage completely transparent (with zero alpha). Even though you cannot see them, the Flash player still has to do expensive transparency calculations on them, and that will slow things down.

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What should I do if objects have strange 'holes' in their appearance?

When you have several completely transparent objects overlapping another object, the playback may display as if there are "holes" in the objects. This can happen if you use a Fade Out effect and do not put a "Remove" effect immediately after the Fade Out. If you do not apply the remove effect, the object remains stays on the stage (with zero transparency). In fact, it is still active (for example if it is a button). If you do not require the object to be active and you want it to be invisible, you should apply a Remove effect after the Fade Out effect. This can also greatly improve movie playback performance.

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What should I do if my imported SWF file causes Flash to crash?

There is a bug in Flash where it will not import some valid SWF files. In particular, it will crash if a SWF file does not have a particular record that is not actually required in a SWF file. There are two situations in which SWiSHmax leaves out this optional record. The first is when you select the [x] Solid shape with overlap filled checkbox on the Shape Panel. This option tells SWiSHmax to export a shape as a font, which has different behavior for self-overlapping shapes. The information Flash requires is not applicable and so is not exported. The second is when you explicitly turn off the font info record with the [x] Allow import of text as text object checkbox on the Export Movie Panel. This tells SWiSHmax to omit the optional record for all text, which reduces the size of the resulting SWF file. For further information, please read the Help documentation regarding Importing a SWiSH Movie into Flash.

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Publishing SWiSHmax Files


SWiSHmax creates flash format files (.swf) for playback on the world wide web. They are mostly compatible with the Flash 3 player, and entirely compatible with the Flash 4, Flash 5 and Flash 6 player. Since version 4 of the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers, such players have been built in (and users usually do not need to download a player).

How to publish a file to the web

In order for any SWiSHmax created animation to work, both a .html file and a .swf file must be produced and uploaded to your web server. The HTML file serves as a container for the .swf file. It will 'refer' to your .swf file. The reference tells the browser how big to display the file, and which player to use (this will always be the Flash player in SWiSHmax's case). If you are adding a SWiSHmax animation to your web page, you will need to copy the necessary tags into your web page. In SWiSHmax the menu option sequence File > Export > HTML to Clipboard will copy the tags to the clipboard so you can paste them into your page. If you don't know html or don't have an editor, you can get a .html page fully made up for you, by using File > Export > HTML. In SWiSHmax, you will need to use File > Export > SWF to create the .swf files. Keep the two files in the same directory. Upload them both to your web server. Unfortunately we cannot give generalized instructions for uploading, as many web servers are different. However if you are using ftp to upload your files, you must upload the .swf file in binary mode otherwise it will be corrupted. All FTP programs have options for this.

Why won't my movie play?

My browser (Internet Explorer) sits there with a black window, and downloads the file for 10 minutes! My browser (Netscape) displays a broken link or tries to download the plugin again!
Cause: .swf file has not been uploaded to the web server.
Remedy: upload the .swf file as well as your .html file to your server
Cause: .swf file is corrupted on the server.
Remedy: upload the .swf file again via ftp and binary mode
Cause: your object and embed tags have the wrong filename
Remedy: edit your object and embed tags to have the correct file name
Cause: MIME types on your server are missing or incorrect
Remedy: visit this page at Macromedia for procedures to resolve this

My movie plays in the Netscape web browser but not in Internet Explorer
Cause: the object tags are missing. This commonly occurs with older versions of Microsoft Frontpage, which produce only embed tags when importing a .swf file to a Frontpage managed website.
Remedy: use the File > Export > HTML to Clipboard to get a full set of tags for your file, and paste that over your current object and embed tags in your html editor.

My movie plays in Internet Explorer but not in Netscape
Cause: the embed tag is missing
Remedy: use the File > Export > HTML to Clipboard to get a full set of tags for your file, and paste that over your current object and embed tags in your html editor.
Cause: the filename contains unusual characters such as spaces.
Remedy: Rename the file in SWiSHmax to have only alpha numeric . - and _ characters, re-export the file, and recreate your tags (the File > Export > HTML to Clipboard option). Paste in your updated tags.

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Other Problems

What should I do if a warning message displays when I try to select an Adobe PostScript font?

Due to a bug in Adobe Type Manager 4.0 (and earlier) for Windows NT, use of PostScript fonts may cause SWiSHmax to close. To fix this, you can either: (a.) Update to ATM 4.1 or later (ATM Lite is a free download); or (b.) Turn off ATM 4.0, and convert your PostScript fonts to TrueType using Windows NT TrueType Converter. If you opt to do (b.), do the following:

1. Turn off ATM 4.0
2. Restart Windows NT
3. Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Fonts > File > Install New Font
4. In the 'Install Type 1 Font' dialog box turn on Convert Type 1 Font to TrueType and Install Type1 Font Files for use on a PostScript printer. Turn off Copy Type 1 Font Files to Fonts Folder
5. click Yes.

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How do I contact Technical Support?
For all registered users, CrystalGraphics' products include 30 days free technical support, starting from your first contact with the Technical Support department. If you were unable to find what you need above, please have your product serial number available, and contact CrystalGraphics Technical

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