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 How to Create Document in Flash

How to Create Document in Flash

Take a tour of the user interface

Select panel sets and arrange panels

Use tools to create Flash content

Undo changes

View the Timeline

Change background and Stage size

Change your view of the Stage

View the Library panel

Add graphics to the Stage

Add video

View object properties

Add video control behaviors

Use the Movie Explorer to view the document structure

Test the document

Find help

Summary

 

Basic Tasks: Create a Document

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You're about to experience the power of Macromedia Flash Basic 8 and Macromedia Flash Professional 8. You'll see how, in a few minutes, you can create a compelling web experience that combines video, text, graphics, and media control behaviors.

 

Take a tour of the user interface

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First, you'll open the starting FLA file that you'll use to complete this lesson. Each lesson includes one start file, and a finished file that demonstrates how the FLA file should appear upon completion of the lessons.

  1. To open your start file, in Flash select File > Open and navigate to the file:

    • In Windows, browse to boot drive\Program Files\Macromedia\Flash 8\Samples and Tutorials\Tutorial Assets\Basic Tasks\Create a Document and double-click document_start.fla.

    • On the Macintosh, browse to Macintosh HD/Applications/Macromedia Flash 8/Samples and Tutorials/Tutorial Assets/Basic Tasks/Create a Document and double-click document_start.fla.

    NOTE The Create a Document folder contains completed versions of the tutorial FLA files for your reference.

    The document opens in the Flash authoring environment. The document already includes two layers in the Timeline. To learn more about layers, select Help > Flash Tutorials > Basic Flash > Work with Layers.

    One of the layers is named Guides, which contains items to assist you in placing objects correctly on the Stage. The other layer is named Content. This is the layer in which to place the objects that will compose your document.

  2. Select File > Save As and save the document with a new name, in the same folder, to preserve the original start file.

    As you complete this lesson, remember to save your work frequently.

     

Select panel sets and arrange panels

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The Default Workspace Layout panel set arranges your workspace in a way that facilitates taking lessons. You'll use this layout for all lessons that you take in Flash.

  • Select Window > Workspace Layout > Default.

    You can move panels around, and resize them, as follows:

    • You can undock a panel by clicking the upper-left corner of the panel, in the title bar, and dragging the panel to another location in the workspace.

      If the panel snaps against a border, it is docked in a new location (or docked in the same location, if you moved it back). Otherwise, the panel is undocked.

    • You can resize an undocked panel by dragging the lower-right edge out to enlarge the panel.

     

Use tools to create Flash content

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The white rectangular Stage area is where you can arrange objects as you want them to appear in your published file.


NOTE You can open several documents at once and use document tabs, above the Stage, to navigate between them.


The Tools panel, next to the Stage, offers a variety of controls that let you create text and vector art. To learn more about tools in the Tools panel, select Help > Flash Tutorials > Creating Graphics: Draw in Flash and Help > Flash Tutorials > Text: Add Text to a Document.

  1. Click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel. Click the Stroke color box in the Tools panel colors area, and select any color except white.

  2. Drag around the Stage, without releasing the mouse, to draw a line.

    You've created Flash content. Your finished document will be much more impressive.

 

Undo changes

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Flash can undo a series of changes to your document. You'll undo the artwork that you just created.

  1. To see the undo feature in action, first open the History panel (Window > Other Panels > History).

    The Pencil tool appears in the panel, because using the tool was your last action.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Select Edit > Undo Pencil Tool.

    • Press Control+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Macintosh).

    Your scribbles disappear from the Stage. The History panel now shows a dimmed Pencil tool, which indicates the undo action was executed.

    Flash, by default, is set to undo 100 of your changes, in reverse order of execution. You can change the default setting in Preferences.

  3. To close the History panel, click the pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the panel and select Close Panel.

 

View the Timeline

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Just above the Stage, you see the Timeline and layers. You can create and name layers, and then add content to frames on layers to organize how your Flash content plays as the playhead moves across the frames.

  • Move the mouse pointer over the area that separates the Stage from the Timeline. When the resizing handle appears, drag up or down slightly to resize the Timeline as necessary.

  • The playhead (the red indicator line) is on Frame 1 in the Timeline. The keyframes are designated by small circles in the frames, which are filled, indicating there's content in those frames. You can add a keyframe to a document when you want the Flash content to change in some way in that frame.

 

Change background and Stage size

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The Stage provides a preview of how your Flash content will appear in your published file. You'll change the size of the Stage to accommodate artwork designed for a larger Stage, and you'll change the background color of the Stage.

  1. In the Tools panel, click the Selection tool.

  2. On the Stage, click anywhere in the gray workspace that surrounds the Stage, or on the background area of the Stage, so that no objects are selected.

    The Property inspector, under the Stage, displays properties for the document when no objects are selected.

  3. To change the Stage background color, click the Background color box and select a light shade of gray, such as gray with the hexadecimal value of #CCCCCC.

  4. To change the Stage size, click Size in the Property inspector. In the Document Properties dialog box, enter 750 for the Stage width, and then click OK.

    The Stage resizes to 750 pixels wide.
     

Change your view of the Stage

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You can change your view of the Stage without affecting the actual Stage size of your document.

  1. In the Stage View text box, above the right side of the Stage, enter 500%. Then press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh).

    Your view of the Stage enlarges to 500%.

  2. In the Stage View pop-up menu, which you access by clicking the control to the right of the text box, select 100% to view the Stage in dimensions that correspond to the size of the published Flash content.

 

View the Library panel

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Flash content that you import or that is a symbol is stored in your Library panel. To learn more about symbols and instances, select Help > Flash Tutorials > Basic Tasks: Create Symbols and Instances.

  • To view the Library panel, select Window > Library.

    We've already imported library items and created symbols for objects that you'll use in this lesson.

    NOTE Flash also contains a library of buttons that you can use in your document. To view this library, after taking this lesson, select Window > Common Libraries and select the Buttons library.
     

Add graphics to the Stage

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To add library items to your document, you verify that you're adding the object to the correct layer, and then drag the item from the Library panel to the Stage.

  1. In the Timeline, click the Content layer name to select that layer. With the Selection tool selected, drag the Title movie clip, which contains a bitmap image and vector graphic, from the Library panel to the Stage and align it on top of the gray bar at the top of the Stage that contains the word Title.

    In Flash, you can work with bitmap images, which describe graphics using pixels, and vector art, which uses mathematical representation to describe art.

  2. With the Content layer still selected, drag the text symbol from the Library panel to Stage, and align it with the Trio ZX2004 text that's already in place as a guide. You can use your keyboard arrow keys to nudge the text into place.

    The title text is actually a graphic created from text.

     

Add video

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The Library panel includes an imported Flash video file (FLV). You'll add the video to your document, and Flash will add the necessary frames to play the video.

  1. Verify that the Content layer is still selected in the Timeline. From the Library panel, drag the ggb_movie_for_trio_new video to the dark gray Video guide on the Stage.

  2. A dialog box appears that indicates Flash will add 138 frames to the Timeline for the video. Click Yes.

  3. Drag the playhead across the Timeline to view the video.

 

View object properties

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When you add an object to the Stage, you can select it, and then view and change its properties in the Property inspector. The type of object selected determines which properties appear.

 For example, if you select a text object (not a text graphic, which you use in this lesson), the Property inspector displays settings such as font, type size, and paragraph formatting, which you can either view or change. If no object is selected, the Property inspector displays properties for the entire document.

  1. On the Stage, with the Selection tool selected, click the Title graphic.

    The Property inspector (Window > Properties) shows specifications, such as height, width, and Stage coordinates, for the movie clip.

  2. On the Stage, click the bounding box for the video movie clip that you dragged to the Stage and view its attributes in the Property inspector.

  3. In the Instance Name text box of the Property inspector, enter video as the instance name.


NOTE An instance is an occurance of a symbol on the Stage. Because ActionScript, the Flash scripting language, often refers to instance names in order to perform operations on instances, it is a good practice to name the instances you create. To learn more about naming instances, select Help > Flash Tutorials > ActionScript: Write Scripts.

 

Add video control behaviors

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Behaviors let you add complex functionality to your document easily, without having to know ActionScript, the Flash scripting language. You'll now add behaviors for video control.

  1. In the Timeline, click Frame 1 of the Content layer to select it, if it's not already selected.

  2. On the Stage, click the Play movie clip instance (which looks like a play button) to select it. In the Behaviors panel (Window > Behaviors), click Add (+) and select Embedded Video > Play.

  3.  To learn more about symbols and instances, select Help > Flash Tutorials > Basic Tasks: Create Symbols and Instances.

  4. In the Play Video dialog box, verify that Relative is selected. Select video, which is the instance name that you gave to the video clip, and click OK.

  5. On the Stage, click the Pause movie clip instance to select it. In the Behaviors panel, click Add (+) and select Embedded Video > Pause.

  6. In the Pause Video dialog box, again select the video movie clip, and click OK.

  7. On the Stage, click the Rewind movie clip instance to select it. In the Behaviors panel, click Add (+) and select Embedded Video > Rewind.

  8. In the Rewind Video dialog box, select Video.

  9. In the Number of Frames to Step Back text box, enter 20.

    The Number of Frames to Step Back text box indicates how many frames the playhead should move back when the user clicks the Rewind button.


NOTE Additional video control behaviors let you fast-forward, hide, and show a video.

 

Use the Movie Explorer to view the document structure

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The Movie Explorer helps you arrange, locate, and edit media. With its hierarchical tree structure, the Movie Explorer provides information about the organization and flow of a document.

  1. Select Window > Movie Explorer.

    If necessary, enlarge the Movie Explorer to view the tree structure within the pane.

    The Movie Explorer filtering buttons display or hide information.

  2. Click the pop-up menu in the title bar of the Movie Explorer, and select Show Movie Elements and Show Symbol Definitions, if they're not already selected.

  3. Configure the filtering buttons, along the top of the Movie Explorer, so the only ones selected are Show Buttons, Movie Clips, and Graphics; Show Action Scripts; and Show Video, Sounds, and Bitmaps.

    If you move your mouse pointer over a button, a tooltip displays the name of the button.

    Examine the list to view some of the assets included in the document, and to see their relationship to other assets.

  4. In the Movie Explorer pane, expand Actions for Play to view ActionScript that Flash created when you added the Play video control behavior.

  5. To close the Movie Explorer, click its close box.

 

Test the document

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As you author a document, you should save and test it frequently to ensure the Flash content plays as expected. When you test the SWF file, click the video control buttons to see if the video stops, plays, and rewinds as expected.

  1. Save the document (File > Save) and select Control > Test Movie.

  2. The Flash content plays in a SWF file window. Although .fla is the extension for documents in the authoring environment, .swf is the extension for tested, exported, and published Flash content.

  3. When you finish viewing the SWF content, close the SWF file window to return to the authoring environment.

 

Find help

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The lessons provide an introduction to Flash, and suggest ways that you can use features to create exactly the kind of document required. For comprehensive information about a feature, procedure, or process described in the lessons, see the Help tab of the Help panel (Help > Flash Help).
 

Summary

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Congratulations on creating a Flash document that includes graphics, a video, and video control behaviors. In a few minutes, you learned how to accomplish the following:

  • Tour the user interface

  • Dock and undock panels

  • Change the background and Stage size

  • Change your view of the Stage

  • View your document library

  • Add graphics to the Stage

  • Add video

  • View object properties

  • Add video control behaviors

  • Use the Movie Explorer to view the document structure

  • Test the document

  • Find help
     

 

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More Topics:

Working with Flash Documents

How to work in Flash WorkSpace

Working with Projects in Flash

Process to Build your First Application in Flash

Using Symbols, Instances and Library Assets in Flash

How to Build Video Player in Flash

How to Work with Color, Strokes and Fills in Flash

How to Create Document in Flash

What is Vector and Bitmap Graphics in Flash

How to Create a Banner in Flash, Part 1

How to Work with Text in Flash

How to Create a Banner in Flash, Part 2

How to Use Imported Artwork in Flash

How to Create a Banner in Flash, Part 3

How to Work with Graphic Objects in Flash

How to Work with Layers in Flash

How to Use Filters and Blends

Working with Graphics in Flash

What is Accessibility Features in Flash

How to Create Motion (Shape Tween & Motion Tween) in Flash

How to Create an Application in Flash

What is Masking in Flash

How to Work with Video in Flash

How to Use Layout Tools in Flash

What are Behaviors in Flash

How to Work with Sound in Flash

How to Create Symbols and Instances in Flash

What is ActionScript in Flash

How to Write ActionScript With Script Assist in Flash

How to Add Button Animation and Navigation in Flash

What is Data Integration in Flash

How to Work with Screens

How to Create a Presentation with Screens

What is Extending Flash

How to Create Multilanguage Text in Flash

How to Create Graphics: Draw in Flash

What is Flash Lite

Ways of Data Integration

How to Create Graphics: Create a Timeline Animation in Flash

Getting Started with Flash Lite in Flash

How to Publish Flash Documents

How to Create Graphics: Making Animations with Easing

Learning Flash Lite 1.X ActionScript in Flash

How to Export Flash Content and Images from Flash

How to Create Graphics: Applying Gradients in Flash

Process of Writing and Editing ActionScript 2.0 in Flash

How to Create Accessible Content in Flash

How to Create Graphics: Apply Graphic Filters and Blends

What is Data and Data Types in Flash

Process of Printing from SWF Files in Flash

Using ActionScript: How to Use Script Assist mode in Flash

Learn Syntax and Language Fundamentals in Flash

How to Create E-learning Content in Flash

Using ActionScript: How to Write Scripts in Flash

Working with Functions and Methods in Flash

Process of Using Templates in Flash

Using ActionScript: Process of Adding Interactivity in Flash

What are Classes in Flash

Control Tag Summary of XML to UI in Flash

Using ActionScript: How to Create a Form with Conditional Logic and Send Data in Flash

What is Inheritance in Flash

What is Data Integration: Overview

Using ActionScript: How to Work with Objects and Classes in Flash

Overview on Interfaces in Flash

What is Data Integration: Using XML for a Timesheet

How to Work with Text and Strings in Flash

How to use Handling Events in Flash

What is Data Integration: Using XUpdate to Update the Timesheet

Learning Animation, Filters and Drawings in Flash

How to Work with Movie Clips in Flash

How to Create Interaction with ActionScript in Flash

How to Work with Images, Sound, and Video in Flash

How to Work with External Data in Flash

What is Security in Flash

How to Debug Applications in Flash

List of Error Messages in Flash

Using Object-Oriented Programming with ActionScript 1.0 in Flash

How to Write Scripts for Earlier Versions of Flash Player in Flash

List of all Keyboard Keys and Key Code Values for using in Flash

Terminology

Introduction to Components in Flash

What are Components in Flash

How to Create an Application with Components

How to Work with Components in Flash

How to Handle Component Events in Flash

How to Customize Components in Flash

How to Create Components in Flash

What is Collection Properties in Flash