Flash CS4 Professional ActionScript 2.0

getURL function

getURL(url:String, [window:String, [method:String]]) : Void

Loads a document from a specific URL into a window or passes variables to another application at a defined URL. To test this function, make sure the file to be loaded is at the specified location. To use an absolute URL (for example, http://www.myserver.com), you need a network connection.

Security note: For Flash Player 8 and later, for local content running in a browser, calls to the getURL() function that specify the "javascript:" pseudo-protocol (for example, getURL("javascript:someFunction()")) are only permitted if the SWF file and the containing web page (if there is one) are in the local-trusted security sandbox.

Security note: In Flash Player 9 and later, when code in a SWF file that is running in the local-with-filesystem sandbox calls the getURL() function and specifies a custom window name for the window parameter, the window name is transfered into a random name. The name is in the form "_flashXXXXXXXX", where each X represents a random hexadecimal digit. Within the same session (until you close the containing browser window), if you call the function again and specify the same name for the window parameter, the same random string is used.

Availability: ActionScript 1.0; Flash Player 2 - The GET and POST options are available only in Flash Player 4 and later versions.


url: String - The URL from which to obtain the document.

window: String [optional] - Specifies the window or HTML frame into which the document should load. You can enter the name of a specific window or select from the following reserved target names:

  • _self specifies the current frame in the current window.
  • _blank specifies a new window.
  • _parent specifies the parent of the current frame.
  • _top specifies the top-level frame in the current window.

method: String [optional] - A GET or POST method for sending variables. If there are no variables, omit this parameter. The GET method appends the variables to the end of the URL, and is used for small numbers of variables. The POST method sends the variables in a separate HTTP header and is used for sending long strings of variables.


This example loads an image into a movie clip. When the image is clicked, a new URL is loaded in a new browser window.

var listenerObject:Object = new Object();
listenerObject.onLoadInit = function(target_mc:MovieClip) {
 target_mc.onRelease = function() {
 getURL("http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/flashpro/", "_blank");
var logo:MovieClipLoader = new MovieClipLoader();
 this.createEmptyMovieClip("adobe_mc", this.getNextHighestDepth()));

In the following example, getURL() is used to send an e-mail message:

myBtn_btn.onRelease = function(){

In the following ActionScript, JavaScript is used to open an alert window when the SWF file is embedded in a browser window (please note that when calling JavaScript with getURL(), the url parameter is limited to 508 characters):

myBtn_btn.onRelease = function(){
 getURL("javascript:alert('you clicked me')");

You can also use GET or POST for sending variables. The following example uses GET to append variables to a URL:

var firstName:String = "Gus";
var lastName:String = "Richardson";
var age:Number = 92;
myBtn_btn.onRelease = function() {
 getURL("http://www.adobe.com", "_blank", "GET");

The following ActionScript uses POST to send variables in the HTTP header. Make sure you test your documents in a browser window, because otherwise your variables are sent using GET:

var firstName:String = "Gus";
var lastName:String = "Richardson";
var age:Number = 92;
getURL("http://www.adobe.com", "_blank", "POST");

See also

loadVariables function, send (XML.send method), sendAndLoad (XML.sendAndLoad method)