Importing cast members

Importing lets you create cast members from external media. You can either import data into a Director movie file or create a link to the external file and re-import the file each time the movie opens. Linked files let you display dynamic media from the Internet, such as sports scores, sounds, and weather pictures. Linking makes downloading movies faster. For more information about linked files, see About linking to files.

Director can import cast members from almost every popular media file format. See About import file formats.

You can import files by using the Import dialog box, by dragging files from the desktop to a Cast window, or by using Lingo or JavaScript syntax.

  1. In Thumbnail view, select an empty position in a cast.

    If no cast position is selected, Director places the new cast member in the first available position in the current cast in Thumbnail view. In List view, Director places the new cast member at the end of the list.

  2. Select File > Import.

    Importing cast members
  3. Do one of the following:

    • To import a file from the Internet, click Internet and enter a URL in the Find URL text box.

    • To import local files, select the type of media to import from the Files of Type (Windows) or the Show (Mac) menu.

  4. To select files to import, do one of the following:

    • Double-click a file.

    • Select one or more files, and click Add.

    • Click Add All.

    You can switch folders and import files from different folders at the same time.

    Note: You can import a text file as a text or a script. To add the same text file as text and as a script, you must repeat the procedure to add the text file in the other format. Unlike previous versions of Director, you will not be able to add the text file twice to the import dialog box, and import each instance in a different format.
  5. From the Media menu at the bottom of the dialog box, specify how to treat imported media:

    Standard Import
    Imports all selected files, storing them inside the movie file but not updating them when changes are made to the source material. If you select the option to import from the Internet in step 3 and an Internet connection is available, Director retrieves the file immediately.
    Note: All digital video files, such as DVD, Windows Media, QuickTime, RealMedia®, and so on, are linked automatically to the original external file (see the next option, Link to External File), even if you select Standard Import.

    Link To External File
    Creates a link to the selected files and imports the data each time the movie runs. If you choose to import from a URL through the Internet, the media is dynamically updated. For more information, see About linking to files.
    Note: Text and RTF files are always imported and stored inside the movie file (see the Standard Import option), even if you select Link To External File.

    Include Original Data For Editing
    Preserves the original data in the movie file for use with an external editor.

    When this option is selected, Director keeps a copy of the original cast member data and sends the original to the external editor when you edit the cast member. This option preserves all the editor’s capabilities. For example, if you specify Photoshop to edit PICT images, Director maintains all the Photoshop object data. For more information, see Launching external editors.

    Import PICT File As PICT
    Prevents PICT files from being converted to bitmaps.

  6. When you finish selecting the files, click Import.

    If you’ve imported a bitmap with a color depth or color palette that differs from the current movie, the Image Options dialog box appears for entering additional information. See Choosing import image options.

Import files by dragging

  1. In the Explorer (Windows) or on the system desktop (Mac), select files to import.

  2. Drag the files from the desktop to the desired position in the Cast window Thumbnail view or to the Cast window List view.

    If you drag the files to List view, the imported files are added at the bottom of the list.

Import files with Lingo or JavaScript syntax

 Use the importFileInto method to import a file. Set the fileName Cast Member property to assign a new file to a linked cast member. For more information about this property, see the Scripting Reference topics in the Director Help Panel.

About import file formats

Director can import files in all the formats listed in the following table. For information about additional file formats Director might support, see the Director Support Center website at




Type of file

Supported formats

Animation and multimedia

Flash movies, animated GIF, PowerPoint® presentations, Director movies, Director external cast files


BMP, GIF, JPEG, LRG (xRes), Photoshop 3.0 (or later), MacPaint, PNG, TIFF, PICT, Targa

Multiple-image file

Windows only: FLC, FLI

Mac only: PICS, Scrapbook


AIFF, WAV, MP3 audio, Shockwave Audio, Sun™ AU, uncompressed and IMA compressed

Digital Video

DVD, Windows Media (WMV), QuickTime, AVI, RealMedia®


RTF, HTML, ASCII (often called Text Only), Lingo, or JavaScript syntax


PAL, Photoshop® CLUT

About linking to files

When Link To External File is selected in the Import dialog box, Director re-imports media every time a movie runs. (To open the Import dialog box, select File > Import). Linking makes it easy to use bulky media such as long sounds and is especially useful for showing media that changes frequently from the Internet. Linking also makes downloading movies faster because users can choose to view linked files, so the files do not download unless they’re needed.

When you link to an external file, Director creates a cast member that stores the name and location of the file. Saving a movie saves only the link to the linked cast member. Keep linked files in a folder that’s close to the original movie file. Paths are restricted to 4096 characters by the system. URLs can be as many as 260 characters. If you store a file that is too many folders away from the movie or you use a very long URL, it might not link correctly.

When distributing movies with linked media, use the following guidelines:

  • If you distribute a movie, you also must include all linked cast member files, and they must be in their expected locations.The Copy Linked And Dependent Files option in the Publish Settings dialog box ensures that the linked media are automatically placed in the relative location during publishing. If you have disabled the Copy Linked And Dependent Files option, copy the linked files to the same folder as the projector or in a folder inside the Projector folder. The behavior is the same as in Director MX 2004 if this option is disabled. In addition, the Xtra extensions that are used to import the media must be present when the movie runs (either on the user’s computer or included in your movie). For more information, see Setting Xtra cast member properties.

  • When you link to media on the Internet, the media must be present at the specified URL when the movie runs. Provide for link failure because you can’t guarantee that an Internet transaction will be successful.

  • To retrieve media from the Internet during playback, Director requires that the projector include certain Xtra extensions. To include these Xtra extensions automatically, click Add Network in the Movie Xtras dialog box. Movies playing in web browsers do not require these Xtra extensions.

    Note: Select Edit > Preferences > Network to define standard network settings for the Director authoring environment. If you are using a Mac OS® X operating system, select the Director menu, instead of the Edit menu, to access Preferences.