Adobe Animate

interactive multimedia content authoring app

Adobe Animate (formerly 2005 Macromedia Flash) is a rich internet application distributed by Adobe Systems. Adobe Flash and Adobe Flash Player were used to create and view animated content that could be placed on web pages. Adobe Flash was used commonly on the Internet by web browsers.[1]

Adobe Animate
Original author(s)FutureWave
Developer(s)Adobe Inc.
Stable release
2023 (23.0.0) / October 18, 2022; 20 months ago (2022-10-18)
Written inC++, ActionScript, JavaScript, Haxe, Python
Operating systemWindows 10 v20H2 and later

macOS 11.7.7 Big Sur and later

iPadOS 13 and later
Available inEnglish
LicenseTrialware software as a service Edit this on Wikidata

Flash was created by FutureWave (a multimedia company) in 1995. Then it was called "FutureSplash Animator" (this was Flash 1.0). FutureWave along with Flash were soon bought by Macromedia around 1997, who in December 2005 was again bought by Adobe Systems. From Flash version 2 to 8 it was called "Macromedia Flash", now it is called "Adobe Flash".

In 2012, Adobe discontinued the Solaris version of Flash Player, and made the Linux version only for Google Chrome. The Android version was removed from Google Play.

In 2016 they changed their name to Adobe Animate and they also changed their icon In 2020, Adobe discontinued Adobe Flash, because Adobe claims that WebGL, HTML5, and WebAssembly serve as good alternatives for Adobe Flash.[2]

Adobe AIR allows the creation of Flash-based mobile games, which can be published to the Google Play and the Apple App Store.[3][4][5]


Release Year Icon Description


1996 Initial version of Flash released in May, 1996 with basic editing tools and a timeline.[6][7]

Flash 1

1996 A re-branded version of the FutureSplash Animator, released on December 18, 1996, under the name Macromedia Flash 1.0. The name "Flash" was created by blending the words Future and Splash.[8][7]

Flash 2

1997 Released with Flash Player 2, new features include synchronized WAV and AIFF sound support, enhanced bitmap editing, Macromedia FreeHand integration, TrueType and PostScript fonts support, color transformations, auto-trace and the object library.[9][10]

Flash 3

1998 Released with Flash Player 3, new features include shape tweening, the movie clip element, JavaScript plug-in integration, PNG support, sprite animation, vector & bitmap transparency, bandwidth profiling and an external stand-alone player.[11]

Flash 4

1999 Released with Flash Player 4, new features include a redesigned user interface, internal variables, an input field, improved timeline (smart guides, outline color mode), advanced ActionScript, publish settings panel and MP3 audio streaming.[12]

Flash 5

2000 Released with Flash Player 5, new features include pen and sub-selection tools, ActionScript 1.0 (based on ECMAScript, making it very similar to JavaScript in syntax), XML support, Smartclips (the precursor to components in Flash), HTML text formatting added for dynamic text.[13]

Flash MX (6)

2002 Released with Flash Player 6, new features include context-sensitive properties panel, timeline folders, improved color mixer, a video codec (Sorenson Spark), Unicode, v1 UI Components, compression, ActionScript vector drawing API.[14]

Flash MX 2004 (7)

2003 Released with Flash Player 7, new features include screens (forms for non-linear state-based development and slides for organizing content in a linear slide format like PowerPoint), small font size rendering, timeline effects, updated templates, high-fidelity import and video import wizard.[15]

ActionScript 2.0 was released with this version, enabling object-oriented programming but lacking the easier "Script assist" method of writing code. JavaScript for Flash (JSFL) allowed users to write scripts to automate tasks within the Flash editor. New programming features included: web services integration, MP3/FLV media playback components, XML data service components, data binding APIs, the Project Panel, V2 UI components, and Transition libraries.[16]


Flash 8

2005 Released with Flash Player 8, new features include graphical filters (blur, drop shadow, glow, etc.) and blend modes, easing control for animation, enhanced stroke properties (caps and joins), object-based drawing mode, run-time bitmap caching, FlashType advanced anti-aliasing for text, On2 VP6 advanced video codec, support for alpha transparency in video, a stand-alone encoder and advanced video importer, cue point support in FLV files, an advanced video playback component, and an interactive mobile device emulator.[17]

Macromedia Flash Basic 8, a "lite" version of the Flash authoring tool targeted to new users who only wanted to do a basic drawing, animation, and interactivity. The Basic product was eventually stopped.

Adobe Flash Professional CS3 (9) 2007 Flash CS3 is the first version of Flash released under the Adobe brand name, and features improved integration with Adobe Photoshop, enhanced QuickTime video export, filter and motion tween copy-paste support, improved vector drawing tools becoming more like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Fireworks.[18]

ActionScript 3.0 was released with this version, along with ActionScript Virtual Machine 2.0 (AVM2) for faster code execution and garbage collection[19] New programming features included: strongly typed variables with type safety, runtime errors, improved events, display list instead of "depth" system, and many new classes (Socket, ByteArray, Loader, RegExp, etc.).[20] AS3 allowed entire applications to be written in code, without needing the Flash timeline.

Adobe Flash Professional CS4 (10) 2008 Flash CS4, released on September 23, 2008, introduces a new object-based motion-tween, renaming the former frame-based version as classic tween. Additions include basic 3D object manipulation, inverse kinematics (bones), a vertical properties panel, the Deco and Spray brush tools, motion presets and further expansions to ActionScript 3.0 (Vector arrays). CS4 allows the developer to create animations with many features absent in prior versions.[21][22]
Adobe Flash Professional CS5 (11) 2010 Flash CS5 was released on April 12, 2010, and launched for purchase on April 30, 2010. Flash CS5 Professional includes support for publishing iPhone applications.[23] However, on April 8, 2010, Apple changed the terms of its Developer License to effectively ban the use of the Flash-to-iPhone compiler[24] and on April 20, 2010, Adobe announced that they will be making no additional investments in targeting the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5.[25]

Other features of Flash CS5 are a new text engine (TLF), new document templates, further improvement to inverse kinematics, new Deco tool effects, live FLV playback preview, and the code snippets panel.[26][27]

Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5 (11.5) 2011 Flash Professional CS5.5 was released in 2011. It includes improved support for publishing iPhone applications, following Apple's revision of their iOS developer terms.[28] Flash CS5.5 also contains several features to improve mobile app workflows across devices. Some examples are content scaling and stage resizing, copy and paste layers, sharing symbols across FLA files, symbol rasterization, incremental compilation, auto-save and file recovery, and integration with CS Live online services.[26]
Adobe Flash Professional CS6 (12) 2012 Adobe Flash Professional CS6 was released in 2012. It includes support for publishing files as HTML5 and generating sprite sheets.[29] This is the last 32-bit version and last perpetually licensed version.
Adobe Flash Professional CC (13) 2013 Flash Professional CC was released in June, 2013, as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud rebrand. Changes include a native 64-bit scene rendering engine, HiDPI user interface with Dark/Light themes, unlimited pasteboard size, live preview in shapes, fills and strokes, new distribute to keyframes option, full-screen mode, center stage button, multiple selection support for layer properties, guides, masks, etc. Minor performance improvements and bug fixes, and the removal of legacy features such as ActionScript 2 support, as well as the removal of the bone tool, deco tool and spray brush tools. As part of the Creative Cloud suite, Flash CC offered users the ability to synchronize settings and save files online.[30]
Adobe Flash Professional CC 2014 (14) 2014 Flash Professional CC (2014) was released on June 18, 2014. It includes variable-width strokes, SVG export, and WebGL publishing for animations, as well as a redesigned Motion Editor.[31]
Adobe Flash Professional CC 2014 (14.1) 2014 Flash Professional CC (2014.1) was released on October 6, 2014, featuring expanded WebGL publishing abilities, brush custom settings (angle, flatness), and the ability to import external SWFs.[31] Also, a new software development kit (SDK) enabling extensibility for custom platforms without depending on the Flash runtime, to reach more viewers.
Adobe Flash Professional CC 2015 (15) 2015 Flash Professional CC (2015) was released on June 15, 2015, with the return of the bone animation tool (inverse kinematics), import H.264 videos with audio, export bitmaps as spritesheet for HTML5 Canvas, brush scaling with stage zoom, universal document type converter, improved audio workflows, improved Motion Editor, panel locking, faster saving of FLA files, auto-recovery optimizations, organize imported GIFs in a library, library search by linkage name, invert selection, paste and overwrite frames. Programming features include code snippet support for WebGL, improved Custom Platform Support SDK, latest Flash Player (version 17.0), AIR SDK (version 17.0) and CreateJS libraries.[32]
Adobe Animate CC 2015 (15.1) 2016 Adobe Animate CC 2015 (15.1) was released on February 8, 2016, shifts away from the "Flash" branding signifying the ability to animate content and publish to video, HTML5 and Flash. It includes tagged color swatches, Adobe Stock and Creative Cloud Libraries, vector art brushes, 360° rotatable stage and stage resizing with proportional content scaling, export video up to 4K resolution (for HiDPI or Retina Displays), HTML5 Canvas improvements (TypeKit support, text as outlines, custom templates).[33][34]
Adobe Animate CC 2015 (15.2) 2016 Adobe Animate CC 2015 (15.2) was released on June 20, 2016. Introduces the frame picker, layer opacity, expanded vector art brushes (pattern brushes, vector brush smoothing and tiling), improved web publishing options, custom colored onion skinning, advanced PSD and AI import options, HTML5 Canvas improvements (support for HiDPI and Retina Displays), updated Adobe Stock libraries panel. Latest Flash Player (version 21), AIR SDK (version 21).

A sub-release was launched in August (15.2.1) adding Google Fonts support for HTML5 Canvas, brush size customization to up to 200 instead of the original 8 and important bug fixes.[35][36]

Adobe Animate CC 2017 (16) 2016 Adobe Animate CC 2017 was released in November 2016. Introduces a built-in camera tool, easing presets, stage clipping and stage outline, SWF archive format for layered file support in After Effects, pressure and tilt support for vector art brushes, timeline enhancements (display time along with frame numbers, extend or reduce the time for a selected frame span, scale frame span with frames per second (fps)), reusable components in HTML5 Canvas. Latest Flash Player (version 25), AIR SDK (version 25).[37][38]
Adobe Animate CC 2018 (18) 2017 Adobe Animate CC 2018 was released in October, 2017. Introduces advanced layers, layer depth, camera improvements, timeline improvements (animation scrubbing on stage, time-based markers, tween span conversion to 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s or custom from the contextual menu), actions code wizard for HTML5 canvas, component parameters panel, conversion to other document types (WebGL, ActionScript 3.0, Adobe AIR (Desktop, Android, iOS)), texture atlas enhancements (support for color effects and masks in Unity), enhanced ease presets (property-wide custom easing)[39][40]
Adobe Animate CC 2019 (19) 2018 Adobe Animate CC 2019 (19.0) was released in October, 2018, features a new home screen, layer parenting, auto-lipsync, layer effects, VR authoring and publishing (Beta), vector and bitmap deformations with the asset warp tool, texture publishing for HTML5 canvas, improved integration with After Effects, export to WebGL-glTF formats (standard and extended).[41]
Adobe Animate CC 2019 (19.1) 2018 Adobe Animate CC 2019 (19.1) was released in December, 2018, features pressure / tilt support for the eraser tool, paint bucket drag fill, SVG export improvements, Adobe Fonts support (formerly Typekit).[42]
Adobe Animate CC 2019 (19.2) 2019 Adobe Animate CC 2019 (19.2) was released in April, 2019, features layer blend modes, Google AMPHTML Ad support (Beta), frame picker enhancements (pin symbol), brush-eraser sync settings, texture atlas enhancements (set resolution, optimize dimensions, export to multiple sprites and j.son file optimizations), faster save times, audio effects (right / left channel settings, fade in / out, fade to right / left, custom) enhanced asset warping and image handling improvements.[43]
Adobe Animate 2020 (20.0) 2019 Adobe Animate 2020 (20.0) was released in November, 2019, features a redesigned user interface, basic and expert workspaces, enhanced properties panel (tool, object, frame and doc tabs), customizable toolbar, advanced settings for onion skinning, timeline layer coloring, new GPU fluid brush, integrated hands-on tutorial, enhanced video export with Adobe Media Encoder, faster save times and timeline play.[44]
Adobe Animate 2020 (20.0.3) 2020 Adobe Animate 2020 (20.0.3) was released in April, 2020, features stream/split audio and blend modes support for HTML5 Canvas, Windows Ink support (Beta) and custom range video export.[45]
Adobe Animate 2020 (20.5) 2020 Adobe Animate 2020 (20.5) was released in June, 2020, features auto-keyframe option, introduction of the assets panel, quick social share, hands-on tutorial creator and selective texture publishing.[46]
Adobe Animate 2021 (21.0) 2021 Adobe Animate 2021 (21.0) was released in October, 2020, adds quick publishing for video, animated GIF and HTML5 canvas formats, improved assets panel (default and custom tabs), timeline and symbol enhancements (customizable timeline tools, convert layers to symbol and break apart symbol options via the context menu, reverse play and loop support for graphic symbols and new copy-paste tween options), advanced rigging (Beta), Windows Ink support, bone tool enhancements (leaf-node constraints and split / merge armature spans), latest Flash Player (version 32), AIR SDK (version 32).[47]
Adobe Animate 2021 (21.0.7) 2021 Adobe Animate 2021 (21.0.7) was released in June, 2021, features an enhanced Paint Fills Only brush mode, last frame looping option for graphic symbols and important bug fixes.[48]
Adobe Animate 2022 (22.0) 2021 Adobe Animate 2022 (22.0) was released in October, 2021, adding scale, skew and flip propagation to layer parenting.[49]
Adobe Animate 2022 (22.0.2) 2021 Adobe Animate 2022 (22.0.2) was released in December, 2021, features an improved asset warp tool with bone rigging capabilities. Additions include soft and hard bones, freeze joints, a mesh density slider, warp background processing and minor bug fixes.[49]
Adobe Animate 2023 (23.0) 2022 Adobe Animate 2023 (23.0) was released in October, 2022, adds rig edit mode, flexi bone and envelope deformations to the asset warp tool. Warp objects can now be managed from the library panel.[50]


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