What is Software? | What is Education? | What is Technology? | What is Research? | What is Wi-Fi? | What is Communication? | What is Customer Service?

Free SEO Tutorials & Help

Tutorials:   Adobe Flash   Adobe Photoshop   CorelDRAW   SEO  

Site Map

Website Development | Cable & Broadband Magazine | Solutions for Higher Education | Auction Anything Online

Adobe Flash Help & Tutorials

 Back to Topics

 

How to work in Flash Work Space

How to work in Flash WorkSpcae

Using the Stage

Zooming

Moving the view of the Stage

Using the Timeline

Changing the appearance of the Timeline

Moving the playhead

Changing the display of frames in the Timeline

Using frames and keyframes

Using layers

Creating layers and layer folders

Viewing layers and layer folders

Editing layers and layer folders

Organizing layers and layer folders

Using guide layers

About the main toolbar and edit bar

Using the Tools panel

Selecting tools

Customizing the Tools panel

Using the grid, guides, and rulers

Using rulers

Using guides

Using the grid

Using panels and the Property inspector

About the Property inspector

About the Library panel

About the Actions panel

Using panels

Setting preferences in Flash

Customizing keyboard shortcuts

Using context menus

Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment

About Flash authoring accessibility on the Macintosh

Selecting panels or the Property inspector with keyboard shortcuts

Selecting controls in a panel or the Property inspector using keyboard shortcuts

Navigating dialog box controls using keyboard shortcuts
(Windows only)

Selecting the Stage or objects on the Stage using keyboard shortcuts

Navigating tree controls using keyboard shortcuts

Working with library items using keyboard shortcuts

 

How to work in Flash WorkSpcae

TOP

The following sections provide a detailed introduction to the tools, panels, and other elements of the Flash workspace.

Using the Start page

Whenever Flash is running with no documents open, the Start page appears. The Start page provides easy access to frequently used actions.

The Start page contains the following four areas:

Open a Recent Item lets you open your most recent documents.You can also display the Open File dialog box by clicking the Open icon.

Create New lists Flash file types, such as Flash documents and ActionScript files. You can quickly create a new file by clicking the desired file type in the list.

Create from Template lists the templates most commonly used to create new Flash documents. You can create a new file by clicking the desired template in the list.

Extend links to the Macromedia Flash Exchange website, where you can download helper applications for Flash, Flash extensions, and related information.

The Start page also offers quick access to Help resources. You can take a tour of Flash, learn about Flash documentation resources, and find Macromedia Authorized Training facilities.

To hide the Start page:

  • On the Start page, select Don't Show Again.

To display the Start page again, do one of the following:

  • (Windows) Select Edit > Preferences and select Show Start Page in the General category.

  • (Macintosh) Select Flash > Preferences and select Show Start Page in the General category.

 

Using the Stage

#TOP

The Stage is the rectangular area where you place graphic content, including vector art, text boxes, buttons, imported bitmap graphics or video clips, and so on when creating Flash documents. The Stage in the Flash authoring environment represents the rectangular space in Macromedia Flash Player or in a web browser window where your Flash document appears during playback. You can zoom in and out to change the view of the Stage as you work.


The grid, guides, and rulers help you position content precisely on the Stage. For more information, see Using the grid, guides, and rulers.

This section contains the following topics:

  • Zooming

  • Moving the view of the Stage
     

Zooming

TOP

To view the entire Stage on the screen, or to view a particular area of your drawing at high magnification, you can change the magnification level. The maximum magnification depends on the resolution of your monitor and the document size. The minimum value for zooming out on the Stage is 8%. The maximum value for zooming in on the Stage is 2000%.


To magnify or reduce your view of the Stage, do one of the following:

  • To zoom in on a certain element, select the Zoom tool in the Tools panel, and click the element. To switch the Zoom tool between zooming in or out, use the Enlarge or Reduce modifiers (in the options area of the Tools panel when the Zoom tool is selected) or Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Macintosh).

  • To zoom in on a specific area of your drawing, drag a rectangular selection on the Stage with the Zoom tool. Flash sets the magnification level so that the specified rectangle fills the window.

  • To zoom in on or out of the entire Stage, select View > Zoom In or View > Zoom Out.

  • To zoom in or out by a specified percentage, select View > Magnification, and select a percentage from the submenu or select a percentage from the Zoom control at the upper-right corner of the Timeline.

  • To scale the Stage so it fits completely in the application window, select View > Magnification > Fit in Window.

  • To display the contents of the current frame, select View > Magnification > Show All, or select Show All from the Zoom control at the upper-right side of the application window. If the scene is empty, the entire Stage appears.

  • To display the entire Stage, select View > Magnification > Show Frame or select Show Frame from the Zoom control at the upper-right corner of the Timeline.

  • To display the workspace surrounding the Stage, select View > Work Area. The work area is shown in light gray. Use the Work Area command to view elements in a scene that are partly or completely outside of the Stage area. For example, to have a bird fly into a frame, you would initially position the bird outside of the Stage in the work area and then animate it into the Stage area.
     

Moving the view of the Stage

TOP

When the Stage is magnified, you may not be able to see all of it. The Hand tool lets you move the Stage to change the view without having to change the magnification.

To move the Stage view:

  • In the Tools panel, select the Hand tool. To temporarily switch between another tool and the Hand tool, hold down the Spacebar and click the tool in the Tools panel.

  • Drag the Stage.
     

Using the Timeline

TOP

The Timeline organizes and controls a document's content over time in layers and frames. Like films, Flash documents divide lengths of time into frames. Layers are like multiple film strips stacked on top of one another, each containing a different image that appears on the Stage. The major components of the Timeline are layers, frames, and the playhead.

Layers in a document are listed in a column on the left side of the Timeline. Frames contained in each layer appear in a row to the right of the layer name. The Timeline header at the top of the Timeline indicates frame numbers. The playhead indicates the current frame displayed on the Stage. As a Flash document plays, the playhead moves from left to right through the Timeline.

The Timeline status display at the bottom of the Timeline indicates the selected frame number, the current frame rate, and the elapsed time to the current frame.

NOTE When an animation is played, the actual frame rate is displayed; this may differ from the document's frame rate setting if the computer can't calculate and display the animation quickly enough.

 

You can change the way frames appear in the Timeline, as well as display thumbnails of frame content in the Timeline. The Timeline shows where animation occurs in a document, including frame-by-frame animation, tweened animation, and motion paths.

Controls in the layers section of the Timeline let you hide, show, lock, or unlock layers, as well as display layer contents as outlines.

You can insert, delete, select, and move frames in the Timeline. You can also drag frames to a new location on the same layer or to a different layer.

This section contains the following topics:

  • Changing the appearance of the Timeline

  • Moving the playhead

  • Changing the display of frames in the Timeline

Changing the appearance of the Timeline

TOP

By default, the Timeline appears at the top of the main application window, above the Stage. To change its position, you can dock the Timeline to the bottom or either side of the main application window, or display the Timeline as its own window. You can also hide the Timeline.


You can resize the Timeline to change the number of layers and frames that are visible. When there are more layers than can be displayed in the Timeline, you can view additional layers by using the scroll bars on the right side of the Timeline.

To move the Timeline when it is docked to the application window:

  • Drag the gripper at the left of the word Timeline in the panel title bar.

To dock an undocked Timeline:

  • Drag the Timeline title bar to an edge of the application window. Press Control and drag to prevent the Timeline from docking.

To lengthen or shorten layer name fields:

  • Drag the bar separating the layer names and the frames portions of the Timeline.

To resize the Timeline, do one of the following:

  • If the Timeline is docked to the main application window, drag the bar separating the Timeline from the Stage area.

  • If the Timeline is not docked to the main application window, drag the lower-right corner (Windows) or the size box in the lower-right corner (Macintosh).
     

Moving the playhead

TOP

The playhead moves through the timeline as a document plays to indicate the current frame displayed on the Stage. The Timeline header shows the frame numbers of the animation. To display a frame on the Stage, you move the playhead to the frame in the Timeline.


When you're working with a large number of frames that can't all be displayed in the Timeline at once, you can move the playhead along the Timeline to easily display a specific frame.

To go to a frame:

  • Click the frame's location in the Timeline header, or drag the playhead to the desired position.

To center the Timeline on the current frame:

  • Click Center Frame at the bottom of the Timeline.

  •  

Changing the display of frames in the Timeline

TOP

You can change the size of frames in the Timeline, and add color to sequences of frames to highlight them. You can also include thumbnail previews of frame content in the Timeline. These thumbnails are useful as an overview of the animation, but they require extra screen space.



Frame View pop-up menu



Short and Normal frame view options

To change the display of frames in the Timeline:

  1. Click Frame View in the upper-right corner of the Timeline to display the Frame View pop-up menu.

  2. Select from the following options:

    • To change the width of frame cells, select Tiny, Small, Normal, Medium, or Large. (The Large frame-width setting is useful for viewing the details of sound waveforms.)

    • To decrease the height of frame cell rows, select Short.

    • To turn the tinting of frame sequences on or off, select Tinted Frames.

    • To display thumbnails of the content of each frame scaled to fit the Timeline frames, select Preview. This can cause the apparent content size to vary.

    • To display thumbnails of each full frame (including empty space), select Preview in Context. This is useful for viewing the way elements move within their frames over the course of the animation, but previews are generally smaller than with the Preview option.

 

Using frames and keyframes

TOP

 keyframe is a frame in which you define a change to an object's properties for an animation or include ActionScript code to control some aspect of your document. Flash can tween, or automatically fill in, the frames between keyframes you define in order to produce fluid animations. Because keyframes let you produce animation without drawing each individual frame, they make creating animation easier. You can easily change the length of a tweened animation by dragging a keyframe in the Timeline.

The order in which frames and keyframes appear in the Timeline determines the order in which they are displayed in a Flash application. You can arrange keyframes in the Timeline to edit the sequence of events in an animation.

Working with frames in the Timeline

In the Timeline, you work with frames and keyframes, placing them in the order you want the objects in the frames to appear. You can change the length of a tweened animation by dragging a keyframe in the Timeline.

You can perform the following modifications on frames or keyframes:

  • Insert, select, delete, and move frames or keyframes
  • Drag frames and keyframes to a new location on the same layer or on a different layer
  • Copy and paste frames and keyframes
  • Convert keyframes to frames
  • Drag an item from the Library panel onto the Stage to add the item to the current keyframe

The Timeline provides a view of tweened frames in an animation.

Flash offers two different methods for selecting frames in the Timeline. In frame-based selection (the default) you select individual frames in the Timeline. In span-based selection, the entire frame sequence, from one keyframe to the next, is selected when you click any frame in the sequence. You can specify span-based selection in Flash preferences.

To specify span-based selection:

  • Select Edit > Preferences.
  • Select the General category.
  • In the Timeline section, select Span based selection.
  • Click OK.

To insert frames in the Timeline, do one of the following:

  • To insert a new frame, select Insert > Frame.
  • To create a new keyframe, select Insert > Keyframe, or right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the frame where you want to place a keyframe, and select Insert Keyframe from the context menu.
  • To create a new blank keyframe, select Insert > Blank Keyframe, or right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the frame where you want to place the keyframe, and select Insert Blank Keyframe from the context menu.

To select one or more frames in the Timeline:

  • To select one frame, click the frame. If you have Span Based Selection enabled in the Preferences dialog box, clicking one frame selects the entire frame sequence between two keyframes.
  • To select multiple contiguous frames, Shift-click additional frames.
  • To select multiple discontiguous frames, Control-click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) additional frames.

To select all frames in the Timeline:

  • Select Edit > Timeline > Select All Frames.

To delete or modify a frame or keyframe, do one of the following:

  • To delete a frame, keyframe, or frame sequence, select the frame, keyframe, or sequence and select Edit > Timeline > Remove Frame, or right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the frame, keyframe, or sequence and select Remove Frame from the context menu. Surrounding frames remain unchanged.
  • To move a keyframe or frame sequence and its contents, drag the keyframe or sequence to the desired location.
  • To extend the duration of a keyframe animation, press Alt and drag (Windows) or press Option and drag (Macintosh) the keyframe to the frame that you want to be the final frame of the sequence.
  • To copy a keyframe or frame sequence by dragging, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Macintosh) and drag the keyframe to the new location.
  • To copy and paste a frame or frame sequence, select the frame or sequence and select Edit > Timeline > Copy Frames. Select a frame or sequence that you want to replace, and select Edit > Timeline > Paste Frames.
  • To convert a keyframe to a frame, select the keyframe and select Edit > Timeline > Clear Keyframe, or right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the keyframe and select Clear Keyframe from the context menu. The Stage contents of the cleared keyframe and all frames up to the subsequent keyframe are replaced with the Stage contents of the frame preceding the cleared keyframe.
  • To change the length of a tweened sequence, drag the beginning or ending keyframe left or right. To change the length of a frame-by-frame animation sequence,
  • To add an item from the library to the current keyframe, drag the item from the Library panel onto the Stage.
  •  
Using layers

TOP

Layers are like transparent sheets of acetate stacked on top of each other on the Stage. Layers help you organize the artwork in your document. You can draw and edit objects on one layer without affecting objects on another layer. Where there is nothing on a layer, you can see through it to the layers below.

To draw, paint, or otherwise modify a layer or folder, you select the layer in the Timeline to make it active. A pencil icon next to a layer or folder name in the Timeline indicates that the layer or folder is active. Only one layer can be active at a time (although more than one layer can be selected at a time).

When you create a new Flash document, it contains only one layer. You can add more layers to organize the artwork, animation, and other elements in your document. The number of layers you can create is limited only by your computer's memory, and layers do not increase the file size of your published SWF file. Only the objects you place into layers add to the file size. You can also hide, lock, or rearrange layers.

You can also organize and manage layers by creating layer folders and placing layers in them. You can expand or collapse layer folders in the Timeline without affecting what you see on the Stage. It's a good idea to use separate layers or folders for sound files, ActionScript, frame labels, and frame comments. This helps you find these items quickly when you need to edit them.

In addition, you can use special guide layers to make drawing and editing easier, and mask layers to help you create sophisticated effects.

For an interactive introduction to working with layers in Flash, select Help > Flash Tutorials > Basic Tasks > Work with Layers.

This section contains the following topics:

  • Creating layers and layer folders

  • Viewing layers and layer folders

  • Editing layers and layer folders

  • Organizing layers and layer folders

  • Using guide layers

  •  

Creating layers and layer folders

TOP

When you create a new layer or folder, it appears above the selected layer. The newly added layer becomes the active layer.

To create a layer, do one of the following:

  • Click the Insert Layer button at the bottom of the Timeline.

  • Select Insert > Timeline > Layer.

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) a layer name in the Timeline and select Insert Layer from the context menu.

To create a layer folder, do one of the following:

  • Select a layer or folder in the Timeline, and then select Insert > Timeline > Layer Folder.

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) a layer name in the Timeline, and then select Insert Folder from the context menu.

    The new folder appears above the layer or folder you selected.

     

Viewing layers and layer folders

TOP

As you work, you may want to show or hide layers or folders. A red X next to the name of a layer or folder in the Timeline indicates that it is hidden. When you publish a Flash SWF file, any layers that were hidden in the FLA document are preserved and visible in the SWF file.


To help you distinguish which layer an object belongs to, you can display all objects on a layer as colored outlines. You can change the outline color used by each layer.


You can change the height of layers in the Timeline to display more information (such as sound waveforms) in the Timeline. You can also change the number of layers displayed in the Timeline.


To show or hide a layer or folder, do one of the following:

  • Click in the Eye column to the right of the layer or folder name in the Timeline to hide that layer or folder. Click in it again to show the layer or folder.

  • Click the eye icon to hide all the layers and folders in the Timeline. Click it again to show all layers and folders.

  • Drag through the Eye column to show or hide multiple layers or folders.

  • Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Macintosh) in the Eye column to the right of a layer or folder name to hide all other layers and folders. Alt-click or Option-click it again to show all layers and folders.

To view the contents of a layer as outlines, do one of the following:

  • Click in the Outline column to the right of the layer's name to display all objects on that layer as outlines. Click in it again to turn off outline display.

  • Click the outline icon to display objects on all layers as outlines. Click it again to turn off outline display on all layers.

  • Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Macintosh) in the Outline column to the right of a layer's name to display objects on all other layers as outlines. Alt-click or Option-click in it again to turn off the outline display for all layers.

To change a layer's outline color:

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Double-click the layer's icon (the icon to the left of the layer name) in the Timeline.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the layer name and select Properties from the context menu.

    • Select the layer in the Timeline and select Modify > Layer.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, click the Outline Color box and select a new color, enter the hexadecimal value for a color, or click the Color Picker button and select a color.

  3. Click OK.

To change layer height in the Timeline:

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Double-click the layer's icon (the icon to the left of the layer name) in the Timeline.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the layer name and select Properties from the context menu.

    • Select the layer in the Timeline and select Modify > Timeline > Layer Properties.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, select an option for Layer Height and click OK.

To change the number of layers displayed in the Timeline:

  • Drag the bar that separates the Timeline from the Stage area.

 

Editing layers and layer folders

TOP

You can rename, copy, and delete layers and folders. You can also lock layers and folders to prevent them from being edited.


By default, new layers are named by the order in which they are created: Layer 1, Layer 2, and so on. You can rename layers to better reflect their contents.


To select a layer or folder, do one of the following:

  • Click the name of a layer or folder in the Timeline.

  • Click any frame in the Timeline of the layer you want to select.

  • Select an object on the Stage that is located in the layer you want to select.

  • To select two or more layers or folders, do one of the following:

    • To select contiguous layers or folders, Shift-click their names in the Timeline.

    • To select discontiguous layers or folders, Control-click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) their names in the Timeline.

To rename a layer or folder, do one of the following:

  • Double-click the name of the layer or folder in the Timeline and enter a new name.

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the name of the layer or folder and select Properties from the context menu. Enter the new name in the Name text box and click OK.

  • Select the layer or folder in the Timeline and select Modify > Timeline > Layer Properties. In the Layer Properties dialog box, enter the new name in the Name text box and click OK.

To lock or unlock one or more layers or folders, do one of the following:

  • Click in the Lock column to the right of the name of a layer or folder to lock it. Click in the Lock column again to unlock the layer or folder.

  • Click the padlock icon to lock all layers and folders. Click it again to unlock all layers and folders.

  • Drag through the Lock column to lock or unlock multiple layers or folders.

  • Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Macintosh) in the Lock column to the right of a layer or folder name to lock all other layers or folders. Alt-click or Option-click in the Lock column again to unlock all layers or folders.

To copy a layer:

  1. Click the layer name in the Timeline to select the entire layer.

  2. Select Edit > Timeline > Copy Frames.

  3. Click the Insert Layer button to create a new layer.

  4. Click the new layer and select Edit > Timeline > Paste Frames.

To copy the contents of a layer folder:

  1. Click the triangle to the left of the folder name in the Timeline to collapse it, if necessary.

  2. Click the folder name to select the entire folder.

  3. Select Edit > Timeline > Copy Frames.

  4. Select Insert > Timeline > Layer Folder to create a new folder.

  5. Click the new folder and select Edit > Timeline > Paste Frames.

To delete a layer or folder:

  1. Select the layer or folder by clicking its name in the Timeline or any frame in the layer.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click the Delete Layer button in the Timeline.

    • Drag the layer or folder to the Delete Layer button.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the layer or folder name and select Delete Layer from the context menu.

NOTE When you delete a layer folder, all the enclosed layers and all their contents are also deleted.
 

 

Organizing layers and layer folders

TOP

You can rearrange layers and folders in the Timeline to organize your document.

Layer folders help organize your workflow by letting you place layers in a tree structure. You can expand or collapse a folder to see the layers it contains without affecting which layers are visible on the Stage. Folders can contain both layers and other folders, allowing you to organize layers in much the same way you organize files on your computer.

The layer controls in the Timeline affect all layers within a folder. For example, locking a layer folder locks all layers within that folder.

To move a layer or layer folder into a layer folder:

  • Drag the layer or layer folder name to the destination layer folder name.

    The layer or layer folder appears inside the destination layer folder in the Timeline.

To change the order of layers or folders:

  • Drag one or more layers or folders in the Timeline to the desired position above or below other layers in the Timeline.

To expand or collapse a folder:

  • Click the triangle to the left of the folder name.

To expand or collapse all folders:

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) and select Expand All Folders or Collapse All Folders from the context menu.

 

Using guide layers

TOP

For help in aligning objects when drawing, you can create guide layers. You can then align objects on other layers to the objects you create on the guide layers. Guide layers are not exported and do not appear in a published SWF file. You can make any layer a guide layer. Guide layers are indicated by a guide icon to the left of the layer name.

You can also create a motion guide layer to control the movement of objects in a motion tweened animation.

NOTE Dragging a normal layer onto a guide layer converts the guide layer to a motion guide layer. To prevent accidentally converting a guide layer, place all guide layers at the bottom of the layer order.

To designate a layer as a guide layer:

  • Select the layer and right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) and select Guide from the context menu. Select Guide again to change the layer back to a normal layer.

 

About the main toolbar and edit bar

TOP

The menu bar at the top of the Flash application window displays menus with commands for controlling Flash functionality. The menus include File, Edit, View, Insert, Modify, Text, Commands, Control, Window, and Help.


The edit bar, at the top of the Timeline, contains controls and information for editing scenes and symbols, and for changing the magnification level of the Stage.

 

Using the Tools panel

TOP

The tools in the Tools panel let you draw, paint, select, and modify artwork, as well as change the view of the Stage. The Tools panel is divided into four sections:

  • The tools area contains drawing, painting, and selection tools.

  • The view area contains tools for zooming and panning in the application window.

  • The colors area contains modifiers for stroke and fill colors.

  • The options area displays modifiers for the currently selected tool. Modifiers affect the tool's painting or editing operations.

Using the Customize Tools panel dialog box, you can specify which tools to display in the Flash authoring environment.

To show or hide the Tools panel:

  • Select Window > Tools.

This section contains the following topics:

  • Selecting tools

  • Customizing the Tools panel

 

Selecting tools

TOP

You can select tools by clicking in the Tools panel, or by using a keyboard shortcut.

To select a tool, do one of the following:

  • Click the tool you want to use. Depending on the tool you select, a set of modifiers may be displayed in the options area at the bottom of the Tools panel.

  • Press the tool's keyboard shortcut. You can view the keyboard shortcuts by selecting Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

  • To select a tool located in the pop-up menu for a visible tool such as the Rectangle tool, press the icon of the visible tool and select another tool from the pop-up menu.

 

Customizing the Tools panel

TOP

You can customize the Tools panel to specify which tools appear in the authoring environment. You use the Customize Tools panel dialog box to add or remove tools from the Tools panel.

You can display more than one tool in one location. When more than one tool is displayed in a location, the top tool in the group (the most recently used) is displayed with an arrow in the lower-right corner of its icon. When you press and hold the mouse button on the icon, the other tools in the group appear in a pop-up menu. You can then select a tool from the menu.

To customize the Tools panel:

  1. To display the Customize Tools panel dialog box, do one of the following:

    • (Windows) Select Edit > Customize Tools panel.

    • (Macintosh) Select Flash > Customize Tools panel.

    The Available Tools menu indicates the tools that are currently available in the Flash. The Current Selection menu indicates the tool (or tools) currently assigned to the selected location in the Tools panel.

    NOTE If more than one tool is assigned to one location in the Tools panel, a small arrow appears in the lower-right corner of the tool. This arrow indicates that additional tools are present in a pop-up menu. The same keyboard shortcut functions for all tools in the pop-up menu.

  2. Click a tool in the Tools panel image or use the arrows to cycle through the tools to specify the location to which you want to assign another tool.

  3. To add a tool to the selected location, select the tool in the Available Tools list and click the Add button. It is possible to assign a tool to more than one location.

  4. To remove a tool from the selected location, select the tool in the Current Selection scroll list and click the Remove button.

  5. Click OK to apply your changes and close the Customize Tools panel dialog box.

To restore the default Tools panel layout:

  • Click Restore Default in the Customize Tools panel dialog box.

 

Using the grid, guides, and rulers

TOP

Flash can display rulers and guides that help you draw and lay out objects precisely. You can place guides in a document and snap objects to those guides, or turn on the grid and snap objects to it.

NOTE You can also snap objects to other objects or to pixels, or align objects using specified snap tolerance boundaries.

This section contains the following topics:

  • Using rulers

  • Using guides

  • Using the grid

 

Using rulers

TOP

When rulers are displayed, they appear along the top and left sides of the document. You can change the unit of measure used in the rulers from the default of pixels to some other unit.

When you move an element on the Stage with the rulers displayed, lines indicating the element's dimensions appear on the rulers.

To display or hide rulers:

  • Select View > Rulers.

To specify the rulers' unit of measure for a document:

  • Select Modify > Document, and then select a unit from the Ruler Units menu at the lower-left side of the dialog box.

  •  

Using guides

TOP

You can drag horizontal and vertical guides from the rulers onto the Stage when the rulers are displayed. You can move guides, lock guides, hide guides, and remove guides. You can also snap objects to guides, and change the guide color and snap tolerance (how close objects must be to snap to a guide). Flash allows you to create nested timelines. Draggable guides appear on the Stage only when the Timeline in which they were created is active.

You can clear all the guides in the current editing mode--document-editing mode or symbol-editing mode. If you clear guides in document-editing mode, all the guides in the document are cleared. If you clear guides in symbol-editing mode, all the guides in all symbols are cleared.

To create custom guides or irregular guides, you use guide layers. For more information, see Using guide layers.

To display or hide the drawing guides:

  • Select View > Guides > Show Guides.

    NOTE If the grid is visible and Snap to Grid is turned on when you create guides, guides will snap to the grid.

To turn snapping to guides on or off:

  • Select View > Snapping > Snap to Guides.

    NOTE Snapping to guides takes precedence over snapping to the grid in places where guides fall between grid lines.

To move a guide:

  1. Make sure rulers are visible by selecting View > Rulers.

  2. With the Selection tool, click anywhere on the ruler and drag the guide to the desired place on the Stage.

To remove a guide:

  • With guides unlocked, use the Selection tool to drag the guide to the horizontal or vertical ruler. For information on locking and unlocking guides, see the following procedure.

To lock guides:

  • Select View > Guides > Lock Guides.

    NOTE You can also use the Lock Guides option in the Edit Guides (View > Guides > Edit Guides) dialog box. For more information, see the following procedure.

To set guide preferences:

  1. Select View > Guides > Edit Guides and do any of the following:

    • For Color, click the triangle in the color box and select a guide line color from the palette. The default guide color is green.

    • Select or deselect Show Guides to display or hide guides.

    • Select or deselect Snap to Guides to turn snapping to guides on or off.

    • Select or deselect Lock Guides to lock or unlock guides.

    • For Snap Accuracy, select an option from the pop-up menu.

    • If you want to remove all guides, click Clear All.

    • Clear All removes all guides from the current scene.

    • If you want to save the current settings as the default, click Save Default.

  2. Click OK.

To clear guides:

  • Select View > Guides > Clear Guides.

    If you are in document-editing mode, all guides in the document are cleared. If you are in symbol-editing mode, only guides used in symbols are cleared.

Using the grid

TOP

When the grid is displayed in a document, it appears as a set of lines behind the artwork in all scenes. You can snap objects to the grid, and you can modify the grid size and grid line color.

To display or hide the drawing grid, do one of the following:

  • Select View > Grid > Show Grid.

  • Press Control+'' (quote) (Windows) or Command+'' (quote) (Macintosh).

To turn snapping to grid lines on or off:

  • Select View > Snapping > Snap to Grid.

To set grid preferences:

  1. Select View > Grid > Edit Grid.

  2. For Color, click the triangle in the color box and select a grid line color from the palette.

    The default grid line color is gray.

  3. Select or deselect Show Grid to display or hide the grid.

  4. Select or deselect Snap to Grid to turn snapping to grid lines on or off.

  5. For grid spacing, enter values in the text boxes to the right of the horizontal and vertical arrows.

  6. For Snap Accuracy, select an option from the pop-up menu.

  7. If you want to save the current settings as the default, click Save Default.

 

Using panels and the Property inspector

TOP

Flash offers many ways to customize the workspace to your needs. Using panels and the Property inspector, you can view, organize, and change media and other assets and their attributes. You can show, hide, and resize panels. You can also group panels together and save custom panel sets to make the workspace match your personal preferences. The Property inspector changes to reflect the tool or asset you are working with, giving you quick access to frequently used features.


This section contains the following topics:

  • About the Property inspector

  • About the Library panel

  • About the Actions panel

  • Using panels

 

About the Property inspector

TOP

The Property inspector simplifies document creation by making it easy to access the most commonly used attributes of the current selection, either on the Stage or in the Timeline. You can make changes to the object or document attributes in the Property inspector without accessing the menus or panels that also control these attributes.


Depending on what is currently selected, the Property inspector displays information and settings for the current document, text, symbol, shape, bitmap, video, group, frame, or tool. When two or more different types of objects are selected, the Property inspector displays the total number of objects selected.


The Property inspector showing the properties for the Text tool

To display the Property inspector, do one of the following:

  • Select Window > Properties > Properties.

  • Press Control+F3 (Windows) or Command+F3 (Macintosh).

 

About the Library panel

TOP

The Library panel is where you store and organize symbols created in Flash, as well as imported files, including bitmap graphics, sound files, and video clips. The Library panel lets you organize library items in folders, see how often an item is used in a document, and sort items by type.

The Library panel showing a movie clip symbol
 



To display the Library panel, do one of the following:

  • Select Window > Library.

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

 

About the Actions panel

TOP

The Actions panel lets you create and edit ActionScript code for an object or frame. Selecting a frame, button, or movie clip instance makes the Actions panel active. The Actions panel title changes to Button Actions, Movie Clip Actions, or Frame Actions, depending on what is selected.



The Actions panel showing a stop() action in a frame


To display the Actions panel, do one of the following:

  • Select Window > Actions.

  • Press F9.

 

Using panels

TOP

The various panels in Flash help you view, organize, and change elements in a document. The options available in panels control the characteristics of symbols, instances, colors, type, frames, and other elements. You can customize the Flash interface by displaying the panels you need for a specific task and hiding others.

Panels let you work with objects, colors, text, instances, frames, scenes, and entire documents. For example, you use the Color Mixer panel to create colors, and the Align panel to align objects to each other or the Stage. To view the complete list of panels available in Flash, see the Window menu.

Most panels include a pop-up menu with additional options. This pop-up menu is indicated by a control at the right end of the panel's title bar. (If no pop-up menu control appears, there is no pop-up menu for that panel.)

By default, panels appear grouped at the bottom and at the right of the Flash workspace.

To open a panel:

  • Select the desired panel from the Window menu.

To close a panel, do one of the following:

  • Select the desired panel from the Window menu.

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the panel's title bar and select Close Panel Group from the context menu.

To use a panel's pop-up menu:

  1. Click the control at the far right in the panel's title bar to view the pop-up menu.

  2. Click an item in the menu.

Clicking a panel's pop-up menu

To resize a panel:

  • Drag the panel's border (Windows) or drag the size box at the panel's lower-right corner (Macintosh).

To expand or collapse a panel to its title bar:

Click the collapse arrow in the title bar. Click the collapse arrow again to expand the panel to its previous size.


Clicking a panel's collapse arrow

To close all panels:

  • Select Window > Hide Panels.

Arranging panels

In Flash, you can organize panels into groups. You can rearrange the order in which panels appear within panel groups. You can also create new panel groups and dock panels to existing panel groups. If you want a panel to appear on its own, separated from other panel groups, you can float the panel. This is particularly useful for panels that you want access to all the time, for example, the Help panel or the Actions panel.

To move a panel:

  • Drag the panel by its gripper (on the left side of the title bar).

To add a panel to an existing panel group:

  • Drag the panel by its gripper onto another panel. A black line appears next to the target panel to show where the panel will be placed.

To display multiple panels in a single panel window:

  1. Click a panel's pop-up menu.

  2. Select the Group Panel Name With option.

  3. Select another panel to add the current panel to from the submenu.

The first panel is added as a tab to the second panel.

 

A tabbed panel showing the Library and Movie Explorer panels

To float a panel:

  • Drag the panel by its gripper and move it away from other panels.

To create a new panel group:

  • Drag the panel by its gripper, away from other panel groups. Add additional panels to the first panel to form a new group.

Using panel sets

You can create custom panel arrangements, and save these as custom panel sets. You can switch the panel display to the default layout (displaying the Color Mixer, Actions, Property inspector and Library panels) or to a custom layout that you have saved previously.

To save a custom panel set:

  • Select Window > Workspace Layout > Save Current.

  • Enter a name for the layout and click OK.

To select a panel layout:

  • Select Window > Workspace Layout.

  • From the submenu, select Default Layout to reset panels to the default layout, or select a custom layout that you have saved previously.

To delete custom layouts:

  • Select Window > Workspace Layout > Manage.

  • In the Manage Workspace Layouts dialog box, select the panel set you want to delete.

  • Click Delete.

  • Click Yes to confirm the deletion.

  • Click OK.

 

Setting preferences in Flash

TOP

Flash lets you set preferences for general application operations, editing operations, and Clipboard operations.

The General category in the Preferences dialog box

To set preferences:

  1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Flash > Preferences (Macintosh).

  2. In the Category list, select the one of the following:

    • General

    • ActionScript

    • Auto Format

    • Clipboard

    • Drawing

    • Text

    • Warning

  3. Select from the respective options as described in the procedures that follow.

To set General preferences, select from the following options:

  • For On Launch options, select an option to specify which document Flash opens when you start the application. Select Show Start Page to display the Start Page. Select New Document to open a new, blank document. Select Last Documents Open to open the documents that were open when you last quit Flash. Select No Document to start Flash without opening a document.

  • For Undo, enter a value from 2 to 300 to set the number of undo/redo levels. Undo levels require memory; the more undo levels you use, the more system memory is consumed. The default is 100. Next select Document- or Object-level undo. Document-level undo maintains a single list of all your actions for the entire Flash document. Object-level undo maintains separate lists of your actions for each object in your Flash document. Object-level undo gives you greater flexibility, since you can undo an action on one object without having to also undo actions on other objects that may have been modified more recently than the target object.

  • For Printing Options (Windows only), select Disable PostScript if you want to disable PostScript output when printing to a PostScript printer. By default, this option is deselected. Select this option if you have problems printing to a PostScript printer, but keep in mind that this will slow down printing.

  • For Test Movie Options, select Open Test Movie in Tabs to have Flash open a new document tab in the application window when you select Control > Test Movie. The default is to open the test movie in its own window.

  • For Selection Options, select or deselect Shift Select to control how Flash handles selection of multiple elements. When Shift Select is off, clicking additional elements adds them to the current selection. When Shift Select is on, clicking additional elements deselects other elements unless you hold down Shift.

  • Select Show Tooltips to display tooltips when the pointer pauses over a control. Deselect this option if you don't want to see the tooltips.

  • Select Contact Sensitive to have objects become selected when any part of them is included in the marquee rectangle when dragging with the Selection or Lasso tools. The default is that objects are only selected when the tool's marquee rectangle completely surrounds the object.

  • For Timeline Options, select Span Based Selection to use span-based selection in the Timeline, rather than the default frame-based selection.

  • Select Named Anchor on Scenes to have Flash make the first frame of each scene in a document a named anchor. Named anchors let you use the Forward and Back buttons in a browser to jump from scene to scene in a Flash application.

  • For Highlight Color, select a color from the panel, or select Use Layer Color to use the current layer's outline color.

  • For Project, select Close Files with Project to have all files in a project close when the project file is closed.

  • Select Save Files on Test or Publish Project to have each file in a project saved whenever the project is tested or published.

To set ActionScript preferences:

To set AutoFormat preferences for ActionScript:

  • Select any of the check boxes. To see the effect of each selection, look in the Preview pane.

To set Clipboard preferences, select from the following options:

  • For Bitmaps (Windows only), select options for Color Depth and Resolution to specify these parameters for bitmaps copied to the Clipboard. Select Smooth to apply anti-aliasing. Enter a value in the Size Limit text box to specify the amount of RAM that is used when placing a bitmap image on the Clipboard. Increase this value when working with large or high-resolution bitmap images. If your computer has limited memory, select None.

  • For Gradient Quality (Windows only), select an option to specify the quality of gradient fills placed in the Windows metafile. Choosing a higher quality increases the time required to copy artwork. Use this setting to specify gradient quality when pasting items to a location outside of Flash. When you are pasting within Flash, the full gradient quality of the copied data is preserved regardless of the Gradients on Clipboard setting.

  • For PICT Settings (Macintosh only), for Type, select Objects to preserve data copied to the Clipboard as vector artwork, or select one of the bitmap formats to convert the copied artwork to a bitmap. Enter a value for Resolution. Select Include PostScript to include PostScript data. For Gradients, select an option to specify gradient quality in the PICT. Choosing a higher quality increases the time required to copy artwork. Use the Gradients setting to specify gradient quality when pasting items to a location outside of Flash. When you are pasting within Flash, the full gradient quality of the copied data is preserved regardless of the Gradient setting.

  • For FreeHand Text, select Maintain Text as Blocks to keep text editable in a pasted FreeHand file.

To set Drawing preferences:

  • For Pen Tool options,

  • For Drawing Settings,

To set text preferences, select one of the following options:

  • For Font Mapping Default, select a font to use when substituting missing fonts in documents you open in Flash. For more information, see Substituting missing fonts in Using Flash.

  • For Vertical Text options, select Default Text Orientation to make the default orientation of text vertical, which is useful for some Asian language fonts. By default, this option is deselected.
    Select Right to Left Text Flow to reverse the default text display direction. This option is deselected by default.

  • Select No Kerning to turn off kerning for vertical text. This option is deselected by default but is useful to improve spacing for some fonts that use kerning tables.

  • For Input Method, select the appropriate language.

To set warning preferences, select one of the following options:

  • Select Warn on Save for Macromedia Flash 8 Compatibility to have Flash warn you when you try to save documents with content that is specific to the Flash Basic 8 or Flash Professional 8 authoring tool as a Flash MX 2004 file. This option is selected by default.

  • Select Warn on Missing Fonts to have Flash warn you when you open a Flash document that uses fonts that are not installed on your computer. This option is selected by default.

  • Select Warn on URL Changes in Launch and Edit to have Flash warn you if the URL for a document has changed since the last time you opened and edited it.

  • Select Warn on Reading Generator Content to have Flash display a red X over any Generator objects as a reminder that Generator objects are not supported in Flash 8.

  • Select Warn on Inserting Frames when Importing Content to have Flash alert you when it inserts frames in your document to accommodate audio or video files that you import.

  • Select Warn on Encoding Conflicts When Exporting .as Files to have Flash alert you when selecting Default Encoding could potentially lead to data loss or character corruption. (For example, if you create a file with English, Japanese, and Korean characters and select Default Encoding on an English system, the Japanese and Korean characters will be corrupted.)

  • Select Warn on Conversion of Effect Graphic Objects to have Flash warn you when you attempt to edit a symbol that has timeline effects applied to it.

  • Select Warn on Exporting to Flash Player 6 r65 to have Flash warn you when you export a document to this earlier version of Flash Player.

  • Select Warn on Sites with Overlapped Root Folder to have Flash warn you when you create a site in which the local root folder overlaps with another site.

  • Select Warn on Behavior Symbol Conversion to have Flash warn you when you convert a symbol with a behavior attached to a symbol of a different type--for example, when you convert a movie clip to a button.

  • Select Warn on Symbol Conversion to have Flash warn you when you convert a symbol to a symbol of a different type.

  • Select Warn on Automatically Converting from Drawing Object to Group to have Flash warn you when it converts a graphic object drawn in Object Drawing mode to a group.

  • Select Show Incompatibility Warnings on Feature Controls to have Flash display warnings on controls for features not supported by the Flash Player version that the current FLA file is targeting in its Publish Settings.

 

Customizing keyboard shortcuts

TOP

You can select keyboard shortcuts in Flash to match the shortcuts you use in other applications, or to streamline your Flash workflow. By default, Flash uses built-in keyboard shortcuts designed for the Flash application. You can also select a built-in keyboard shortcut set from one of several popular graphics applications, including Macromedia Fireworks, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop.


To create a custom keyboard shortcut set, you duplicate an existing set, and then add or remove shortcuts from the new set. You can also delete custom shortcut sets.


To view or print the current set of keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, select the shortcut set you wish to view from the Current pop-up menu.

  3. Click the Export Set as HTML button.

    The Export Set as HTML button

  4. In the Save As dialog box that appears, select a name and location for the exported HTML file. The default file name is the name of the selected shortcut set.

  5. Click Save.

  6. Find the exported file in the folder you selected and open the file in a web browser.

  7. To print the file, use the browser's Print command.

To select a keyboard shortcut set:

  1. Select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts (Windows) or Flash > Keyboard Shortcuts (Macintosh).

  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, select a shortcut set from the Current Set pop-up menu.

To create a new keyboard shortcut set:

  1. Select a keyboard shortcut set as described in the previous procedure.

  2. Click the Duplicate Set button.

  3. Enter a name for the new shortcut set and click OK.

To rename a custom keyboard shortcut set:

  1. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, select a shortcut set from the Current Set pop-up menu.

  2. Click the Rename Set button.

  3. In the Rename dialog box, enter a new name and click OK.

To add or remove a keyboard shortcut:

 

  1. Select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts (Windows) or Flash > Keyboard Shortcuts (Macintosh) and select the set that you want to modify.

  2. From the Commands pop-up menu, select Drawing Menu Commands, Drawing Tools, Test Movie Menu Commands, or Workplace Accessibility Commands to view shortcuts for the selected category.

  3. In the Commands list, select the command for which you want to add or remove a shortcut.

    An explanation of the selected command appears in the description area in the dialog box.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To add a shortcut, click the Add Shortcut (+) button.

    • To remove a shortcut, click the Remove Shortcut (-) button and proceed to step 6.

  5. If you are adding a shortcut, enter the new shortcut key combination in the Press Key text box.

    NOTE To enter the key combination, simply press the keys on the keyboard. You do not need to spell out key names, such as Control, Option, and so on.

  6. Click Change.

  7. Repeat this procedure to add or remove additional shortcuts.

  8. Click OK.


To delete a keyboard shortcut set:

  1. Select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts (Windows) or Flash > Keyboard Shortcuts (Macintosh). In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, click the Delete Set button.

  2. In the Delete Set dialog box, select a shortcut set and click Delete.

NOTE You cannot delete the built-in keyboard shortcut sets that ship with Flash.

 

Using context menus

TOP

Context menus contain commands relevant to the current selection. For example, when you select a frame in the Timeline window, the context menu contains commands for creating, deleting, and modifying frames and keyframes. Context menus exist for many items and controls in many locations, including on the Stage, in the Timeline, in the Library panel, and in the Actions panel.

To open a context menu:

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) an item.

 

Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment

TOP

Accessibility support in the Flash authoring environment provides keyboard shortcuts for navigating and using interface controls, including panels, the Property inspector, dialog boxes, the Stage, and objects on the Stage, so that you can work with these interface elements without using the mouse.

NOTE Certain keyboard controls are available only in Windows.

You can customize the keyboard shortcuts for accessibility in the authoring environment using the Workspace Accessibility Commands section of the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box.

About Flash authoring accessibility on the Macintosh

TOP

Accessibility for the Flash authoring environment on the Macintosh has the following limitations:

  • The Panel Focus keyboard shortcut (Command+Option+Tab) is not supported for the Property inspector.

  • The Panel Control Focus keyboard shortcut (Tab) is supported only for the Timeline, not for other panels or the Property inspector.

 

Selecting panels or the Property inspector with keyboard shortcuts

TOP

You can select a panel or the Property inspector (also referred to as applying focus to the panel or Property inspector) by using the keyboard shortcut Control+Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Option+Tab (Macintosh).

You can apply focus to a panel or the Property inspector only when the panel or Property inspector is visible in the Flash application window. The panel can be expanded or collapsed.

When you use the keyboard shortcut to select panels, focus is applied to panels using the following criteria:

  • Docked panels are given focus first.

  • If the Timeline is displayed and docked, the Timeline is given focus the first time you press Control+Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Option+Tab (Macintosh).

  • If the Timeline is not displayed and docked, or if you press the keyboard shortcut again, focus moves to the rightmost and highest docked panel. Pressing the keyboard shortcut repeatedly then moves the focus through the other docked panels, from right to left and from top to bottom of the workspace.

  • If you move the focus through all the docked panels, or if there are no docked panels displayed, focus then moves to the rightmost and highest floating panel. Pressing the keyboard shortcut repeatedly then moves the focus through the other floating panels, from right to left and from top to bottom of the workspace.


To use keyboard shortcuts to select or deselect, expand, or collapse panels or the Property inspector:

  • To move the focus through the panels currently displayed in the workspace, press Control+Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Option+Tab (Macintosh). A dotted line appears around the title of the currently focused panel.

  • To move the focus to the previously selected panel, press Control+Shift+Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Shift+Option+Tab (Macintosh).

  • To deselect a panel, press Escape, or move, dock, or undock the panel.

  • To move the focus to the panel above or below the current panel in a panel group, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key.

To use keyboard shortcuts to expand or collapse panels or the Property inspector:

  1. Press Control+Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Option+Tab (Macintosh) until the panel you wish to expand or collapse has focus. A dotted line appears around the title of the currently focused panel.

  2. Press the Spacebar to expand or collapse the currently selected panel.

To hide all panels and the Property inspector:

  • Press F4. Press F4 again to display all panels and the Property inspector.

 

Selecting controls in a panel or the Property inspector using keyboard shortcuts

TOP

When a panel or the Property inspector has the current focus, you can use the Tab key to move the focus through the panel controls. You can use the Spacebar to activate the control that has the current focus (that is, pressing Spacebar is equivalent to clicking a control in the panel).

When you use the keyboard shortcut for panel controls, focus is applied to a control and the control is activated using the following criteria:

  • The panel with the current focus must be expanded in order for you to select a control in the panel with the Tab key. If the panel is collapsed, pressing Tab has no effect.

  • When the panel with the current focus is expanded, pressing Tab the first time moves the focus to the panel's pop-up menu.

  • You can use the Right Arrow and Left Arrow keys to move the focus between the pop-up menu and the panel title bar.

  • If the focus is on the pop-up menu, pressing Tab again moves the focus through the other controls in the panel. Pressing Tab again will not return the focus to the panel pop-up menu.

  • When the pop-up menu has the focus, you can press Enter (Windows only) to display the pop-up menu items.

  • In panels that are grouped, you can use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move the focus between the pop-up menus of the panels in the group.

  • You can move the focus to a panel control only if the control is active. If a control is dimmed (inactive), you cannot apply focus to the control.

To move the focus from a panel title bar to a panel pop-up menu, do one of the following:

  • Press Tab.

  • Press the Right Arrow key. Press the Left Arrow key or Shift+Tab to return the focus to the panel title bar.

  • If the panel is in a group, press the Up Arrow key to move the focus to the pop-up menu of the panel immediately above the panel with the current focus. Press the Down Arrow key to move the focus to the pop-up menu of the panel immediately below the panel with the current focus.

To move the focus through the items in a panel pop-up menu:

  1. With the focus currently applied to the panel pop-up menu, press the Spacebar to display the pop-up menu items.

  2. Press the Down Arrow key to move through the items in the pop-up menu.

  3. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh) to activate the currently selected pop-up menu item.

To move the focus through the controls in a panel:

  1. Press Tab when the focus is currently applied to the panel pop-up menu. Press Tab repeatedly to move the focus through the controls in the panel.

  2. Press Enter (Windows only) to activate the currently selected panel control.

 

Navigating dialog box controls using keyboard shortcuts (Windows only)

TOP

In Windows operating systems, you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate controls in dialog boxes. You can move from one control to another, apply controls, or cancel and exit the dialog box.


To navigate dialog box controls using keyboard shortcuts:

Do any of the following:

  • Press Tab to move through the controls in the dialog box.

  • To move through the controls within one section of a dialog box, press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys. For example, in the Spelling Setup dialog box, press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move through the controls within the Document Options section.

  • When the focus is applied to a dialog box control button--such as the OK, Cancel, or Apply button--press Enter to activate the button (equivalent to clicking the button).

  • When the focus is not applied to any dialog box control button--such as the OK, Cancel, or Apply button--press Enter to apply the current settings and close the dialog box (equivalent to clicking OK).

  • Press Escape to close the dialog box without applying the changes (equivalent to clicking Cancel).

  • When the focus is applied to the Help button, press Enter or Spacebar to view the Help content for the dialog box (equivalent to clicking Help).
     

Selecting the Stage or objects on the Stage using keyboard shortcuts

TOP

You can select the Stage or an object on the Stage using keyboard shortcuts. Selecting the Stage with a keyboard shortcut is equivalent to clicking on the Stage. Any other element currently selected becomes deselected when the Stage is selected.

Once the Stage is selected, you can use the Tab key to navigate through all objects on all layers, one at a time. You can select instances (including graphic symbols, buttons, movie clips, bitmaps, videos, or sounds), groups, or text boxes. You cannot select shapes (such as rectangles) unless those shapes are instances of symbols. You cannot select more than one object at a time using keyboard shortcuts. Objects are selected on the Stage using the following criteria:

  • If an object is currently selected, pressing Shift+Tab selects the previous object.

  • Pressing Tab the first time selects the first object that was created on the active frame in the active layer. When the last object on the top layer is selected, pressing Tab moves to the next layer beneath it and selects the first object there, and so on.

  • When the last object on the last layer is selected, pressing Tab moves to the next frame and selects the first object on the top layer there.

  • Objects on layers that are hidden or locked cannot be selected with the Tab key.

    NOTE If you are currently typing text into a text box, you cannot select an object using the keyboard focus. You must first change the focus to the Stage and then select an object.

To select the Stage:

  • Press Control+Alt+Home (Windows) or Command+Option+Home (Macintosh).

To select an object on the Stage:

  • With the Stage selected, press Tab.

 

Navigating tree controls using keyboard shortcuts

TOP

You can navigate tree structures, the hierarchical displays of file structures in certain Flash panels, using keyboard shortcuts. You can expand and collapse folders in the tree control and move up and down between parent and child folders.


To navigate tree controls with keyboard shortcuts, do any of the following:

  • To expand a collapsed folder, select the folder and press the Right Arrow key.

  • To collapse an expanded folder, select the folder and press the Left Arrow key.

  • To move to the parent folder of an expanded folder, press the Left Arrow key.

  • To move to the child folder of an expanded folder, press the Right Arrow key.

Working with library items using keyboard shortcuts

TOP

You can cut, copy, and paste library items using keyboard shortcuts. You can cut or copy an item from the Library panel and paste it onto the Stage or into another library, or paste a folder into another library. If you paste a folder, each item in the folder is included.

You can use keyboard shortcuts to select a library item.

Items are cut, copied, and pasted using the following criteria:

  • You can cut or copy one item or multiple items.

  • You cannot paste a shape from the Stage into the library.

  • You cannot paste a library item into a common library, because common libraries cannot be modified. However, you can create a new common library.

  • When you paste a library item onto the Stage, the item is centered.

  • To paste a library item into a folder in the destination library, you can click the folder before pasting.

  • You can paste a library item into a different location in the same library where it originated.

  • If you attempt to paste a library item into a location containing another item by the same name, you can select whether to replace the existing item.

To cut, copy, and paste library items using keyboard shortcuts:

  • To copy or paste a selected library item, press Control+X (Windows) or Command+X (Macintosh) to cut the item, or press Control+C (Windows) or Command+C (Macintosh) to copy the item.

  • To paste a cut or copied item, click the Stage or in another library to set the insertion point, and press Control+V (Windows) or Command+V (Macintosh) to paste in the center of the Stage, or press Control+Shift+C (Windows) or Command+Shift+C (Macintosh) to paste in place (in the same location as the original).

 

Copyright ADOBE - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

 

 

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