How to embed a text file in Flash

Reading some comments about the “Word Play” Flash Game Contest on this blog and on some forum threads, I noticed people can’t import a big list of words into Flash.

So here I am with a complete example :)

First, put your txt file in the same folder of your Flash project.

Then, the main file can be something like this one:

Really nothing new except the words variable at line 6 that belongs to a class called embedded_text, that is the key class of this example.

Let me show it:

What? That easy?

Yes… the magic is at line 3 where I specify the path and the mime type of the file to embed. And I’ll have it ready to use into my Flash project

I can’t show you the final result because displaying thousands of words would crash the browser, but if you download the example, you can click on it and scroll the mousewheel to see all words I am using in the game I am developing to enter the contest.

Download the source code and enjoy.

  • Hawdon


    Thanks a lot!

  • From what I’ve heard, that only works in Flex (or else I read Essential Actionscript 3.0 wrong).

  • Actually, HiddenSpartan, I am pretty sure the Embed metatag (used here) is supported in Flash CS3+. It does for me, anyway.

    And, you can get the Flex SDK for free at

    • jackinbeans

      Flex isn’t supported any longer. As the keepers are trying not to support Adobe, hence Flex a great tool, is only supporting original work; a grandfather clause if you will.

  • Any chance of getting an Actionscript 2.0 example :(

  • The Contest link at the very end of the article is broken.

  • @HiddenSpartan

    From what I’ve heard, that only works in Flex

    Flash CS4 uses the MXMLC compiler, so you can use the meta data tags / commands.

  • HiddenSpartan: This works in Actionscript 3 without Flex Builder though it does require installation of the free Flex SDK, and a non Flash-IDE compiler (e.g., FlashDevelop, Command Line w/ ANT). I know that Flash CS3 did not support embed directives, though I understand that CS4 supports at least Font embedding… so maybe this works in Flash CS4?

    I don’t imagine that an AS2 example exists; perhaps you could try using an include statement.

    I used something similar to this for compressing xml into a swf (it’s like a 90% savings on file size when you enter the xml directly as a string in an AS class… it’s a bit less compression using the method described above, because the class compiles with a class or two from the mx package (where flex sdk comes in)

    Anyhow, this is a cool and very under-documented trick.

  • Idden

    Nice Work around.
    You gain speed but lose a flexibility. If you want to change the word list, you will have to compile the swf again.

    @Roland It doesn’t work in AS2 but you can try swfmill to do somthing similar:

  • Radi

    Hey, thanks for the info. this is really what I’m looking for! ^^

  • Nathan

    When I tried it out nothing happened

    I’m using Flash CS3

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  • Alpesh Vaghasiya

    Same Here. I also try in Flash CS3 nothing is working.

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  • Hi,
    A small note on the tutorial –
    you don’t need to create the embedded_class manualy, i’d rather consider creating it directly in the code (for better code organisation).

    Here’s the example:

    [Embed(source = ‘../../../assets/texty/who_am_i.txt’, mimeType = ‘application/octet-stream’)]
    private var src_who_am_i:Class
    public function f_who_am_i():void
    var text_source:ByteArray = new src_who_am_i() as ByteArray;
    text_field.text = text_source.toString()


  • You could also do something like:

    private var embeddedWords:Class;
    public var words:String = String(new embeddedWords as ByteArray);

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  • Liviu

    The example ZIP doesn’t work because the document class,, was not included.

    I am failing to embed any file in my FLA, using Flash CC. Anyone else has experienced this? The ByteArray created always has a length of 0.