Flash - Basics

Getting Started

The screen is divided into several parts (also called frames or windows). The main drawing canvas is in the center window Above the stage is the Timeline - this is used to animate the movie. You will be able to use keyframes and tweens to move objects, fade them in and out, and to add sound. (This can also be done using ActionScript - a c-like programming language.)

Below the stage is the Properties window which allows you to edit a limited number of properties for either the movie as a whole or for the selected object(s).

At the left of the stage is the Toolbar (aka Tool Palette or Tool Frame).

On the right of the stage are additional windows.

At the top of the windows on the left and right of the stage, there are double arrow icons. For the Toolbar, clicking this icon will toggle the display between one or two columns. On the right hand side, clicking the icon collapses or expands the panels. In addition, most panels can be dragged and placed directly on the screen or docked in another location. You can save configurations via

Built-in F1 Help

The Flash F1 help is atrocious There are two non-standard work arounds

By the way, this is a Adobe Flash CS3 problem ... Adobe Photoshop CS3 does not have these problems

Manipulating Objects

In most products I use, after you draw an object, the mode automatically converts to Select and the resize handles are displayed - with Adobe Flash, you must click on one of the 5 selection icons first.

With Adobe Flash, when you draw a rectangle, it ALWAYS has a black border. I spent over an hour trying to get rid of that - disabling the border color both before and after drawing the rectangles. I guess I'm a little dense, but it took more than an hour before I realized that the black border goes away after I draw another object. This behavior is different than any other application I've used.

Mouse/Keyboard Short Cuts

The Shift, Ctrl, Alt, and Spacebar can be used to modify the mouse action. I determined these by experimentation - I was not able to find any of these in the F1 help.

After drawing an object, you can manipulate it without first selecting a transform by using the Ctrl and Alt keys to modify the mouse cursor.

When drawing objects or using tools

There are a lot more ... basically, experiment and see what happens.

Warning Do NOT use the keyboard in Gradient Transform mode - It usually crashes the program and you will loose any unsaved changes.

Be sure to use the Spelling Checker.

Use Ctrl-Enter to view movie.

Author: Robert Clemenzi - clemenzi@cpcug.org
URL: http:// cpcug.org / user / clemenzi / technical / Languages / Flash / Basics.html