Macromedia has admitted a problem that causes the application icons in Studio MX 2004 and Contribute 2 to "bounce" in the Dock but never actually launch.

The company has posted details of the problem and how to fix it.

The issue affects Mac users who have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.2.8 or OS X 10.3 Panther.

According to the company's notes: "Some customers who have used the Archive and Install or Erase and Install features of Mac OS X have had problems running some or all of the Macromedia applications that use activation.

"This includes the applications that are part of Studio MX 2004 and Contribute 2. The most common symptom of this issue is that when you click the application icon in the dock, the icon bounces as though it is launching, but it does not launch."

A spokesperson for Macromedia UK said: "When Contribute 2 went through its product cycle we had no sight of Panther. We will endeavour to solve the problem, though."

The MX 2004 problem exists despite Macromedia's Web site indicating that: "Panther and the MX 2004 product family have been engineered to work seamlessly together."

Macromedia recommends that customers Delete the Library/Preferences/Macrovision folder, restart the application, and reactivate the product. If this does not work, reinstall the product and activate it again. The application should then launch as expected.

The company had previously suggested that the issue could be corrected by "logging in as a root (System Administrator) user". But it now advises that, as the root is the ultimate account, a user is able to "mangle any file on the machine, no matter where it exists".

Macromedia users are also facing another limitation, thanks to Expose: the function keys F9, F10, and F11 are no longer available in applications as they are reserved for Expose functions.

Macromedia said: "There is no workaround available for this issue. Users may want to investigate changing their Macromedia application's keyboard shortcuts if possible to avoid these function keys."