Learning Director
I  N  T  E  R  A  C  T  I  V  E    D  E  S  I  G  N    F  O  R  U  M 
Issue 13   |   July 2000  

(updated 11/01)

If you're a book-person (not everyone is), I recommend Director 8 and Lingo
by Scott Wilson and Richard Salvatierra.

it takes a cookbook type approach that is easy to follow, even for rank beginners.

Director 8 and Lingo cover


My previous favorite,
Director Demystified, by
Phil Gross and Jason Roberts is more comprehensive, perhaps to the point of being overwhelming.
Director8 Demystified cover




Students at the KSUCDA workshop I taught last week did great work, but could only scratch the surface of Director's capabilities. Here's the list of learning resources I prepared for them. Hope you find it useful, too.

So, you've invested in Macromedia Director, the multimedia authoring software that can do just about anything, but you don't know how to learn its many capabilities & features. Mostly you have to dive in and start making stuff with it. Help is available in many forms and many places.

ENROLL IN A COURSE at a college or university. Learning in a group is often better than learning alone because you benefit from other perspectives and ideas. The course may be titled something interesting like "Multimedia Authoring" or, where I teach, "Interactive Multimedia."

USE THE HELP FILES built into the program ("Help" in the menu at the top of your screen). Go through the "Show Me" movies and test each technique yourself as you watch it. Help also includes an alphabetical and searchable index.

READ A BOOK, starting with the manuals that came with your copy of Director. Of the many third-party books about Director, I've found the Director Demystified series useful. At 1200+ pages you get a lot for your money, including a companion CD-ROM with demo files that will help you along. [buy Director Demystified at].

If you're a beginner, you may prefer Director 8 and Lingo by Scott Wilson and Richard Salvatierra. It's smaller and more expensive than Demystified, but may be a better investment. The authors use a simple step-by-step approach with plenty of instructions, sample files and screen shots. The demo exercise on working with lists made this mysterious technique much more understandable to me than the many other explanations I've read. [more about Director 8 and Lingo at]

TALK TO OTHERS who work with Director. Swap Lingo scripts & techniques like guitar players pick up new licks from each other.


Home of all things Director, including a great selection of Tips and Demos, both of which will answer many of your questions. The downloadable demo movies are a great way to learn: run the movie, then look at the Score & Scripts/Behaviors to see how it was done. You can also search the archives of Direct-L, the listserv for serious Lingo users. The sheer quantity of search results returned can be overwhelming, and with no context or summary provided, it's sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack.

Director Online
Multimedia Handyman, Lingo Lounge, Using Director, DOUGthreads (online discussions)... lots of ideas, techniques, and comments in a very readable style and format. Good search function. And by the way, a killer JobBoard that has listings from around the world.

Macromedia Director Support Center
Watch Show Me movies (in Shockwave format), then download actual Director files to study. Read articles in the Learn section, and/or search TechNotes for your question. Search results display in question/answer format, making it easy to tell if it's found what you need.

An helpful site created by Jervis Thomas, brother of Lingo creator John Thomas. Email DaLingoKid your question and you may see your answer in the form of a small demo movie on the site.