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11018 - How to improve your skills in Authorware

by - Joseph Ganci

1. Look at ALL the show-mes that come on the Authorware CD. Those helped me tremendously to learn new techniques in AW, and I hungrily go look at each of them whenever a new version comes out. My approach: study a show-me thoroughly, then try to recreate it on my own with the show-me closed. If I get stuck, I close my file, go back and study the show-me, and try it again. Not using the show-me as a crutch while doing it on my own is a sure way to learn it.

2. Study the descriptions of each system variable and function in AW. It doesn't matter that you don't understand each one or that you can't see an immediate use for it. Studying the descriptions at least once a month will catalog them in your mind so that when a need arises, your memory will be jogged to the existence of a function or variable that will help. You may not remember what it was called, but you will remember that it exists, and that will help you find it more quickly. This has also helped me a lot.

3. Download every example from every AW website and do the same thing as you did with the show-mes. Check out our site -, and of course all the other ones on the AW web ring.

4. Join the Aware list and read the questions and answers that are posted every day. Instructions for this are found in the links section of as well. I'm always learning new techniques from here as well. There's also a daily digest that you can get rather than have lots of email land in your inbox, but I find it harder to discipline myself into reading it. Setting up a filter in Outlook so that all your Aware mail goes into a specific folder upon arrival will help your inbox not get cluttered and will organize all your Aware mail so that you can read it at your leisure.

5. Join the Macromedia Authorware newgroup, which is also very active. You'll learn lots there, the messages don't arrive in your mailbox, and they're nicely organized as well.

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