General Printing Question

At my day job we do a lot of interactive timelines for courtroom use. Historically our work process has mainly been with Illustrator, and Flash is a relative newcomer, used to create work that previously was done in PowerPoint or Acrobat.

Our Flash usage has lagged because printing (for the purpose of in-house proofing, editing and marking up) has not been as user friendly as Illustrator and PPT. I recently set up a print function that I’ve been using as a container for all our Flash work, but because of the ingrained workflow, the basic work is still created in Illustrator, then I have to laboriously recreate all the Illustrator elements, or make jpegs and dump them into Flash. This makes for a less-than-elegant workflow and a lot of duplication of effort. Some of the Illustrator work imports cleanly into Flash, but not all of it as there are a lot of transparency masks, pattern fills etc.

The drawback to the printing code is that Flash printing defaults to portrait layout (which is strange for a program where approximately 100% of the content is designed for screen display, but that’s neither here nor there!) so I have to include instructions for whoever wants to print that they must manually change the printer settings to landscape for each print. this is still way less than optimal compared to Illustrator, PPT and other apps.

I’ve looked for an automatic way to enable users to simply hit Ctrl-P and you get a print of what you see on the screen. The solution I’ve developed is about 80% there but it needs to be more seamless.

I’d be interested in any suggestions for streamlining this process. Thanks!