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A Flex app, running in the Flash Player in a browser, is forbidden by security constraints from accessing any client assets, like the local file system. Period.
If you can run your Flex app under AIR instead, then you CAN acess the local file system.
As you mentioned, you would need to pass the data back to your web server, and have it send the data back to you as a file attachment when you clicked your 'Save (Download)' button. That said, you may also need to massage the html to be a little more standard, especially if you have used bullets and things like that. I don't use php or I would give you an example of the server side save to file/db/memory, then use apache send_file to return the results, which would pop the Save as dialog.
yeah, I suppose I can simply limit the options to things such as Underline and Bold. I haven't played with AIR much...or Flex, really as a matter of fact. I'm quite a newbie. It seems that the Flex/AIR software is the best way to accomplish what I want to accomplish. Thanks for the input