Try searching google using terms like "Flash publish animated GIF" I used to have a link to one blog that had a helpful series of steps but I can't find it now--if you find one with a black beackground that might be it. Here's one result that might still be helpful and is fairly recent...
I had done quite a bit of searching online before posting. Everything I found covered the basics but nothing explained the problems I am having. The link you included pretty much is just an overly verbose explanation of each option for publishing a gif. It's pretty obviuos what "transparent" and "opaque" background mean. Doesn't take a paragraph to explain that for anyone that's spent any time with graphics programs before. Same with looping.
I did a little experimenting. It doesn't like text. If I put a circle and a rectangle of different colors and cut a hole in one of them all on the same layer and publish that, it all works. I get a transparent background and in a webpage it loops just once. But if I put any text on it, the whole thing falls apart. Even if I convert the text to a graphic. The only thing that I seem to be able to do to get this to work is to break the text apart so that it's no longer text at all. That's a problem of course if you want to change fonts or spelling or add a word or something.
Does anyone have an explanation and a viable solution for the problems I'm encountering?
There are a variety of settings beyond the transaparent vs opaque one that need to be set properly. That is what you need to be paying attention to in all that stuff you call verbose.
Look, I appreciate that you are making an effot to help, but I hope you realize that most pages like that are just there to attract advertisers. They are mostly nonsense. Filled with fluff and little that's actually helpful. Often copied verbatim from the help file of some application. Not the least bit beneficial. There are tons of "how to" sites out there that say next to nothing and still use a lot of words. I run into them countless times each day. It's beyond irritating when you're trying to learn how to do something. This paragraph on that page you referred me to is a perfect example:
Set other options for your animated GIF publication. Optimize the color of the GIF to remove unused colors so that the image size will be reduced. Set "Dither Solids" so that the colors will be mixed in the current existing palette. Other options you have to set up are Interlace, Smooth, and Remove Gradients. Set all of them very well so that your animated GIF will be published at its best quality.
Just look at the grammar in the last sentense. It doesn't even make sense and offeres zero useful information. Probably came out of the entirely useless Adobe help system that's fond of defining a term with the term itself.
Back to the GIF settings. I've chosen nearly every combination of settings on the GIF publish tab. Nothing I do works. The only thing that solved the problem (and it's a crummy solution) was to change the text to a broken apart graphic. I'm sure you are more expert in Flash than I am and so you likely know how to solve this. Have you created a simple example with text and successfully published it as a GIF? You don't even need to tween the text. It can be sitting still on it's own layer and it still fouls things up. If so, what settings are you using to make this work right? That inforamtion would be very helpful!
Again, is there anyone out there that has specifically dealt with this problem and can offer a specific, viable solution?
Well I think I found my answer. It can't be done. This is from a few years ago but I'm guessing that the folks at Adobe have never bothered to remedy this problem.
That's what I was going to say - it can't be done. Animated gigs, at best can only handle simple flattened images with, at best, a simple transition. And my experience when making them from flash creates way bigger file sizes than they need to be. I suggest you look into web 2.0 stuff like jQuery, Ajax etc. They don't have the flexibility of layer based flash animation, but can still do some slick animations and transitions.