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Getting Started with Flash

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Acknowledgments
Director: Erick Vera
Project Management: Julee Burdekin, Erick Vera
Writing: Jay Armstrong, Jody Bleyle, Mary Burger, Francis Cheng, Jen deHaan, Stephanie Gowin, Phillip Heinz, Shimul Rahim,
Samuel R. Neff
Managing Editor: Rosana Francescato
Editing: Mary Ferguson, Mary Kraemer, Noreen Maher, Antonio Padial, Lisa Stanziano, Anne Szabla
Production Management: Patrice O’Neill
Media Design and Production: Adam Barnett, Christopher Basmajian, Aaron Begley, John Francis
Second Edition: June 2004

Macromedia, Inc.
600 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: Getting Started . ......................................... 5
About Flash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
About Flash Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
What’s new in Flash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Guide to instructional media. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Using the Start page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

CHAPTER 2: Installing Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
System requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Installing and activating Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Configuration folders installed with Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Changing or removing Flash Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Configuring a server for Flash Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

CHAPTER 3: Getting to Know the Workspace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Using the Stage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Using the Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Using frames and keyframes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Using layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
About the main toolbar and edit bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Using the Tools panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Using the grid, guides, and rulers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Using panels and the Property inspector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Setting preferences in Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Customizing keyboard shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Using context menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

3
CHAPTER 4: Building Your First Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Workflow for building an application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Examine a completed application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Create a new document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Add media content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Add navigation controls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Add motion and basic interactivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Test the application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Publish and view the application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
The next steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

4 Contents
CHAPTER 1
Getting Started

Welcome to Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004. Flash
provides everything you need to create and deliver rich web content and powerful applications.
Whether you’re designing motion graphics or building data-driven applications, Flash has the
tools necessary to produce great results and deliver the best user experience across multiple
platforms and devices.
This guide is designed to introduce you to Flash. The tutorial in this guide leads you through the
process of creating a simple Flash application.
This chapter contains the following sections:
About Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
About Flash Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
What’s new in Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Guide to instructional media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Using the Start page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

About Flash
Flash is an authoring tool that allows you to create anything from a simple animation to a
complex interactive web application, such as an online store. You can make your Flash
applications media rich by adding pictures, sound, and video. Flash includes many features that
make it powerful but easy to use, such as drag-and-drop user interface components, built-in
behaviors that add ActionScript to your document, and special effects that you can add to objects.
When you author in Flash you work in a Flash document, a file that, when saved, has the file
extension .fla. When you are ready to deploy your Flash content, you publish it, creating a file
with the extension .swf. Flash Player, described in the next section, runs the SWF file.

5
About Flash Player
Macromedia Flash Player 7, which runs the applications that you create, installs by default along
with Flash. Flash Player ensures that all SWF content is viewable and available consistently and
across the broadest range of platforms, browsers, and devices.
The Macromedia Flash Player is distributed with products from every major partner, including
Microsoft, Apple, Netscape, AOL, and Opera, to bring rich content and applications
immediately to over 516 million people worldwide. Flash Player is distributed freely to anyone
who wants to use it. You can get the latest version of Flash Player at the Macromedia Flash Player
Download Center at www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer.

What’s new in Flash
There are now two editions of Flash: Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004. To verify
which edition you have installed, select Help > About Flash in the application.
Flash MX 2004 Flash MX 2004 is the perfect tool for the web designer, interactive media
professional, or subject matter expert developing multimedia content. Emphasis is on creation,
import, and manipulation of many types of media (audio, video, bitmaps, vectors, text, and data).
Flash MX Professional 2004 Flash MX Professional 2004 is designed for advanced web
designers and application builders. Flash MX Professional 2004 includes all the features of Flash
MX 2004, along with several powerful new tools. It provides project-management tools for
optimizing the workflow between the members of a web team made up of designers and
developers. External scripting and capabilities for handling dynamic data from databases are some
of the features that make Flash particularly suitable for large-scale, complex projects deployed
using Flash Player along with a hybrid of HTML content.

New features available in both Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX
Professional 2004
The new features in Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004 provide greater
productivity, enhanced rich media support, and streamlined publishing.

Productivity
Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004 include many features designed specifically for
streamlining previously complex tasks, thereby improving productivity:
Timeline effects You can apply Timeline effects to any object on the Stage to quickly add
transitions and animations such as fade-ins, fly-ins, blurs, and spins. For more information, see
“Using Timeline effects” in Using Flash.
Behaviors With behaviors, you can add interactivity to Flash content without writing a line of
code. For example, you can use behaviors to include functionality that links to a website, loads
sounds and graphics, controls playback of embedded videos, plays movie clips, and triggers data
sources. For more information, see “Controlling instances with behaviors” in Using Flash.

6 Chapter 1: Getting Started
Accessibility support in the authoring environment Accessibility support in the Flash
authoring environment provides keyboard shortcuts for navigating and for using interface
controls, letting you work with these interface elements without using the mouse. For more
information, see “Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment” in Using Flash.
Updated templates Flash includes updated templates for creating presentations, e-learning
applications, advertisements, mobile device applications, and other commonly used types of Flash
documents. For more informations, see “Using templates” in Using Flash.
Integrated Help system The new Help panel provides in-context reference, ActionScript
reference, and lessons in the Flash authoring environment. For more information, see “Using the
Help panel” in Using Flash.
Spell checker The spell checker searches your text for spelling errors. For more information,
see “Checking spelling” in Using Flash.
Document tabs Tabs for each open document are displayed at the top of the workspace so that
you can quickly locate and switch between open documents. For more information, see “Using
document tabs for multiple documents (Windows only)” in Using Flash.
Start page The Start page puts commonly used tasks at your fingertips, in a central page. For
more information, see “Using the Start page” on page 13.
Find and Replace The Find and Replace feature locates and replaces a text string, a font, a
color, a symbol, a sound file, a video file, or an imported bitmap file. For more information, see
“Using Find and Replace” in Using Flash.

Rich media support
New rich media support features enhance the quality of rich media presentations.
High-fidelity import High-fidelity import lets you import Adobe PDF and Adobe Illustrator 10
files and preserve accurate vector representation of your source files. For more information, see
“Importing Adobe Illustrator, EPS, or PDF files” in Using Flash.
Video Import wizard The Video Import wizard simplifies video encoding and offers encoding
presets and clip editing. For more information, see “Using the Video Import wizard” in Using
Flash.
Small font size rendering Small font sizes are now rendered more crisply. For more
information, see “Creating text” in Using Flash.

Publishing
New publishing features make it easy to detect Flash Player versions, improve accessibility, and
simplify localization.
Flash Player detection You can now publish SWF files with associated files that detect if a user
has a specified Flash Player version. You can configure your published files to direct users to
alternate files if they don’t have the specified Flash Player. For more information, see “Configuring
publish settings for Flash Player detection” in Using Flash.

What’s new in Flash 7
Publish profiles You can create profiles to save your publish settings, then export the profiles
and use them across projects to publish consistently under different conditions. For more
information, see “Creating a publish profile” in Using Flash.
Accessibility and components New accessibility features and a new generation of components
offer tab ordering, tab focus management, and improved support for third-party screen readers
and closed-caption programs.
Globalization and Unicode Enhanced globalization and Unicode support allows multilanguage
authoring using any character set. For more information, see “Creating Multilanguage Text” in
Using Flash.
Strings panel The new Strings panel makes it easier to publish Flash content in multiple
languages. With the click of a few buttons, Flash creates external XML files for each specified
language. For more information, see “Creating Multilanguage Text” in Using Flash. You may need
to update your Help system to see this information.
Security Flash Player 7 enforces a stricter security model than previous versions of Flash Player.
Exact domain matching requires that the domain of the data to be accessed match the data
provider’s domain exactly in order for the domains to communicate. HTTPS/HTTP restriction
specifies that a SWF file using nonsecure (non-HTTPS) protocols cannot access content loaded
using a secure (HTTPS) protocol, even when both are in exactly the same domain. For more
information see “Flash Player security features” in Using ActionScript in Flash.

Other improvements
Flash Player performance has been greatly improved, and ActionScript has been enhanced to
comply with ECMA script language specifications. Also, Flash now tracks interactions so that
they can be converted to reusable commands.
Flash Player runtime performance Player runtime performance has been improved by a factor
of two to five times for video, scripting, and general display rendering.
ActionScript 2.0 ActionScript 2.0 is an object-oriented language that follows the ECMA script
language specification and supports inheritance, strong typing, and the event model. For more
information, see “ECMA-262 compliance” in Using ActionScript in Flash. You may need to
update your Help system to see this information.
History panel The History panel tracks your actions so that they can be converted to reusable
commands. For more information, see “Using the History panel” in Using Flash.

New features available in Flash MX Professional 2004 only
Flash MX Professional 2004 offers all the features available in Flash MX 2004, plus a variety of
new features to enhance application development and design. Features include the screen-based
visual development environment, and tools for managing data interactively and for fostering
team productivity.

8 Chapter 1: Getting Started
Screen-based visual development environment
A visual programming environment Flash MX Professional 2004 introduces a forms-based
visual programming environment, which is ideal for developing applications. For more
information, see “Slide screens and form screens (Flash Professional only)”in Using Flash.
Slides-based authoring Slide screens provide functionality designed for sequential
presentations. For more information, see “Slide screens and form screens (Flash Professional
only)” in Using Flash.

A new generation of components
Advanced components support New components now support focus management to control
tab navigation. Although the components have a new sophisticated design, you can easily reskin
them to modify their appearance. For more information, see “Benefits of using components” in
Using Components.

Data interactivity
Data binding Data binding allows you to connect any component to various data sources to
manipulate, display, and update data through components or ActionScript. For more
information, see Chapter 14, “Data Integration (Flash Professional Only)” in Using Flash.
Prebuilt data connectors for Web Services and XML New components allow you to connect
to web services and XML data sources easily. For more information, see Chapter 14, “Data
Integration (Flash Professional Only),” in Using Flash.
Performance improvements Performance improvements on large record sets allow your
application to work efficiently with large amounts of data.

Team productivity
Project management The Project panel enables centralized project file management, version
control, and workflow optimization for teams of Flash users working together. For more
information, see Chapter 2, “Working with Projects (Flash Professional Only),” in Using Flash.
Source code control Flash Professional provides source code control integration with plug-ins
to industry-leading source control systems such as Microsoft Visual Source Safe. For more
information, see Chapter 2, “Using version control with projects (Flash Professional only),” in
Using Flash.

Guide to instructional media
Flash contains a variety of media to help you learn the program quickly and become proficient in
creating your own Flash applications.

Guide to instructional media 9
About the electronic manuals and lessons
The following electronic manuals are available through the Help panel (Help > Help):
• Getting Started with Flash (or Getting Started Help) provides a hands-on introduction to Flash.
• Using Flash (or Using Flash Help) contains complete information on working in the Flash
authoring tool, including all commands, features, and user interface elements.
• Using Components contains information on adding and configuring components in a Flash
document, as well as information on creating components.
• Using ActionScript in Flash (or Using ActionScript Help)provides a conceptual introduction to
the ActionScript language
• Flash ActionScript Language Reference (or Flash ActionScript Language Reference Help)
documents all actions, methods, and properties in the ActionScript API.
If you are a new user, you’ll find the following information useful:
• Getting Started with Flash (or Getting Started Help) provides basic information about the Flash
workspace and guides you in creating a simple document.
• A series of lessons on the How Do I tab offer an introduction to using Flash. Refer to the
Quick Start, Basic Flash, and Basic ActionScript lessons (Help > How Do I).

Using the Help panel
The updatable Help panel provides access to information on how to use Flash. For more
information about the Help panel, see the following sections.

Accessing help
The tabs in the Help panel—Help and How Do I—contain the full set of user assistance
information provided with the Flash application.
• You can select the Help tab to display general help information.
• You can select the How Do I tab to display a list of 10–20 minute lessons that guide you
through many of the features in Flash.
To access help and the table of contents:
1. Select Help > Help to open the Help panel, or press F1.
2. If the table of contents is not visible, click the Table of Contents button to display the Table
of Contents pane.
A list of help books is displayed. The Help tab is selected by default.
3. Double-click a book to open it and display its topics.
4. Click a topic to select it.
To close the table of contents, click the X above the Table of Contents pane.
The Help panel contains context-sensitive Reference information which can be accessed from the
Actions panel.

10 Chapter 1: Getting Started
To access context-sensitive help from the Actions panel:
1. To select an item for reference, do one of the following:
■ Select an item in the Actions panel toolbox.
■ Select an item in the Actions panel Script pane.
■ Place the cursor before an item in the Actions panel Script pane.
2. To open the Help panel reference page for the selected item, do one of the following:
■ Press F1.
■ Right-click the item and select View Help.
■ Click the Reference button above the Script pane.
The How Do I tab contains brief lessons that introduce you to the main features of Flash, letting
you practice on isolated examples. If you are new to Flash, or if you have used only a limited set of
features, start with the How Do I tab.
To start the lessons:
1. Select Help > How Do I to display the How Do I tab of the Help panel.
In the Table of Contents, you’ll find a list of lessons.
2. Click a lesson topic to open it.

To search for a word or phrase in the Help panel:
1. Click the Search icon in the Help panel toolbar.
The Search pane is displayed.
2. Type a word or phrase in the text box, then click Search.
A list of topics that contain the word or phrase is displayed, organized by book.
3. Click a topic to select it.
Note: Click the Table of Contents button to return to the Table of Contents pane.

To print a help page:
1. Click the Print button in the Help panel toolbar.
2. In the Print dialog box, select the printer and other printing options, then click Print.

Changing the size of text displayed in the Help panel
If you are using a laptop, you may find it useful to change the text in the Help panel to a larger
size. If you change the size of the text in your browser, this will then be reflected in the Help
panel. If you are using Windows, you can change the size of the text in the Help panel itself; this
will also change the text size in your browser.

Guide to instructional media 11
To change the size of the text displayed in the Help panel using your browser:
1. Quit Flash MX 2004.
2. Open your browser and follow the instructions to change the size of text in your browser to a
larger size.
When you start Flash MX 2004, the size of the text in the help panel will be changed to the
size you selected for your browser.
To change the size of the text displayed in the Help panel using the Help panel
(Windows only):
1. Open the Help panel and choose any topic.
2. Select some text in the body of the Help topic.
3. Hold down CTRL and scroll the mouse wheel.
The text will increase or decrease in size.
Note: This will also change the size of text in your browser.

Arranging the Help panel
The Help panel allows you to arrange its position in the workspace to optimize usability. You can
easily control the size of the display area, and where and when the Help panel is displayed. For
more details about working with panels, see “Using panels and the Property inspector”
on page 36.
To arrange the Help panel in a docked position:
1. Dock the Help panel in the desired position.
2. Expand the Help panel if it is not already.
3. Drag the splitter bar between the panel or panel group and the Document window to size the
display area.
4. Press F1 to collapse and expand the Help panel as needed.

To arrange the Help panel in an undocked (floating) position:
1. Undock the Help panel to the desired position.
2. Expand the Help panel if it is not already.
3. Resize the panel window.
4. Press F1 to hide and show the Help panel as needed.

Updating the Help panel
The Update feature allows you to update your help system with new and revised documentation,
including procedures and lessons. You can click the Update button to see if new information is
available. In addition, the Start page will indicate when there is a help update available.

12 Chapter 1: Getting Started
To update Flash Help:
1. Verify that you’re connected to the Internet.
2. Click the Update button in the Help panel toolbar and follow instructions to download the
help system update.
As each help update is released, a new PDF of each updated book will be created and posted on
the Flash support site documentation page at www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/
flash/.
If you have trouble downloading help updates using this method, you can also install updated
help using the Extension Manager. See the note about installing an MXP file on the Macromedia
Flash MX 2004 documentation update status page at www.macromedia.com/support/flash/ts/
documents/doc_update.htm.

Using the Start page
The Start page provides easy access to your most frequently used actions, either at the start of a
session or whenever no open documents are in the application window.
The Start page contains the following areas:
Open a Recent Item lets you view your most recent documents.
0pen displays the Open File dialog box.
Create New offers a list of file types from which to choose, such as ActionScript or document, for
a quick way to open a new file.
Create from Template lists the templates most commonly used to create new documents and
allows you to select from the list.
Extend links to the Macromedia Flash Exchange website, where you can download additional
applications and information.
The Start page also offers quick access to resources that assist you in learning Flash. You can take a
tour of Flash, take a lesson, and update your help system with the latest documentation.
The Start page can also display trial conversion information, upgrade notices, and additional
messages of interest.
You can choose whether to display the Start page.
To hide the Start page:
• On the Start page, select Don’t Show Again.
To specify that the Start page appear again, do one of the following:
• (Windows) Select Edit > Preferences and click Show Start Page on the General tab.
• (Macintosh) Select Flash > Preferences and click Show Start Page on the General tab.

Using the Start page 13
14 Chapter 1: Getting Started
CHAPTER 2
Installing Flash

This chapter contains the following sections:
System requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Installing and activating Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Configuration folders installed with Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Changing or removing Flash Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Configuring a server for Flash Player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

System requirements
The following hardware and software are required to run Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and
Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004.

Authoring
The following hardware and software are required to install the Flash authoring tool.

Windows Macintosh
600 MHz Intel Pentium III processor or equivalent 500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor
Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Mac OS X 10.2.6

128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended) 128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)

190 MB available disk space 130 MB available disk space

Complete product system requirements and recommendations are available at the Flash system
requirements web page at www.macromedia.com/go/sysreqs.
To install Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004, you must have administrative
privileges. You must also have administrative privileges to remove any edition of Flash.
Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004 do not support Macintosh hard disks formatted
with UFS. Apple has documented several UFS formatting issues for Carbon and Classic. Unless
you are using native applications (Cocoa), UFS is not recommended or supported by Apple.

15
Flash Player 7
The following table lists system and browser requirements for Flash Player 7.

Platform Browser

Windows 98 Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x, Netscape 4.7, Netscape 7.x,
Mozilla 1.x, AOL 8, and Opera 7.11

Windows Me Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5, Netscape 4.7, Netscape 7.x,
Mozilla 1.x, AOL 8, and Opera 7.11

Windows 2000 Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x, Netscape 4.7, Netscape 7.x,
Mozilla 1.x, CompuServe 7, AOL 8, and Opera 7.11

Windows XP Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 7.x, Mozilla 1.x,
CompuServe 7, AOL 8, and Opera 7.11

Mac OS 9.x Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1, Netscape 4.8, Netscape 7.x,
Mozilla 1.x, and Opera 6

Mac OS X 10.1.x, or Mac OS X 10.2.x Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.2, Netscape 7.x, Mozilla 1.x,
AOL 7, Opera 6, and Safari 1.0 (Mac OS X 10.2.x only)

Complete product system requirements and recommendations are available at the Flash system
requirements web page at www.macromedia.com/go/sysreqs.

Installing and activating Flash
Installing Flash is an automated process. After installation, you can choose to run the 30-day
trial mode of Flash, or you can choose to activate either Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX 2004
Professional. Both editions of Flash must be activated over the Internet or phone prior to use,
and you need your serial number to activate either edition of Flash unless you want to select
trial mode. Windows 98 SE users must have Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1 or later in order to
activate over the Internet.
Note: Installing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 does
not overwrite earlier Flash versions, such as Macromedia Flash MX, that you might have installed.

To install Flash:
1. Close any running versions of Flash before installing.
2. Do one of the following to start the installation process:
■ (Windows) If you have a CD, insert it in your CD drive. A Flash movie clip plays that
guides you through installation choices.
Note: You can also run Install Flash MX 2004.exe to start the Flash movie clip, if necessary.

■ (Macintosh) If you have a CD, insert it in your CD drive and double-click the
Installer icon.
■ If you have downloaded Flash from the Internet, double-click FlashMX2004Installer.exe

(Windows), or double-click the Installer icon (Macintosh) and follow the
onscreen instructions.
3. When installation is complete, follow the instructions to select the 30-day trial period, or enter
your serial number and activate Flash.

16 Chapter 2: Installing Flash
Upgrading from Macromedia Flash MX 2004 to Macromedia Flash MX
Professional 2004
If you’ve purchased Macromedia Flash MX 2004, you can upgrade to Macromedia Flash MX
Professional 2004.
To upgrade to Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004:
1. Select Help > Upgrade to Flash MX Professional 2004.
2. In the dialog box that appears, do one of the following:
■ Select Buy to open a browser for the Macromedia store.
■ Select Try and follow the instructions to obtain a serial number for a trial upgrade.
At the end of the trial period, if you do not purchase the upgrade, your application reverts to
Macromedia Flash MX 2004.

Switching between trial mode editions
If you’re running the trial mode of one edition of Flash, you can change to another edition during
the same trial period.
To switch between trial modes:
• From Flash, select Help > Switch to Flash MX Professional 2004 or Switch to Flash MX 2004,
depending on which trial mode you’re already using, and which one you want to try.
A dialog box appears indicating that you must restart your computer for the change to
take effect.

Purchasing a Flash edition from trial mode
If you’re running Flash in trial mode, you can initiate your purchase directly from the application.
To purchase Flash from trial mode:
1. Select Help > Activate Macromedia Flash MX.
2. In the dialog box that appears, select Buy One Online to purchase a serial number.
A browser window takes you to the Macromedia store.

Configuration folders installed with Flash
Flash places several configuration folders on your system when you install the application. The
configuration folders organize files associated with the application into appropriate levels of user
access. The configuration folders for Flash are as follows:
Application-level configuration folder This is the configuration folder found near the
application itself. Because it is in the application level, non-administrative users do not have write
access to this directory. Typical paths to this folder are as follows:
• Windows: \Program Files\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration\
• Macintosh: HD/Applications/Macromedia Flash MX 2004/Configuration/

Configuration folders installed with Flash 17
First run folder This folder is a sibling to the application-level configuration folder, but serves a
different purpose. This folder is a simple mechanism created specifically for the Flash authoring
tool that facilitates the sharing of configuration files among users of the same machine. Folders
and files in this folder are automatically copied by Flash to the user-level configuration folder. Any
new files placed in the First Run folder are copied to the Restricted Users folder when you start
the application.
Typical paths to this folder are as follows:
• Windows: \Program Files\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\First Run\
• Macintosh: HD/Applications/Macromedia Flash MX 2004/First Run/
User-level configuration folder This is the configuration folder found in the user profile area.
This folder is always writable by the current user. Typical paths to this folder are as follows:
• Windows: \Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application
Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration
• Macintosh: HD/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/
language/Configuration/
Note: Flash MX 2004 for Windows uses the Local Settings folder for the user-level configuration
files. This differs from Flash MX and the rest of the Studio MX family (including Dreamweaver MX
2004), which all use the Roaming Profile configuration folder for user-level configuration files.
Roaming profiles allow network users to automatically store their configuration settings on a network
server, and then move to different workstations on the network and always have an application load
the same configuration files.The Local Settings folder differs from the Roaming Profile folder in that
files in Local Settings are not saved to a server when the network is set up to support roaming
profiles.

All-user-level configuration folder This is the configuration folder found in the common user
profile area. This folder is part of the standard Windows and Macintosh operating system
installations and is shared by all users of a particular computer. Any files that are placed in this
folder are made available by the operating system to all users of the machine. Typical paths to this
folder are:
• Windows: \Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Macromedia\
Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration
• Macintosh: HD/Users/Shared/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/language/
Configuration
Restricted users configuration folder This is the folder for users with restricted privileges on a
workstation. Typically, in a networked environment, only system administrators have
administrative access to workstations. All other users are given restricted access, which usually
means that these users can’t write to application-level files (such as the Program Files directory in
Windows or the Applications folder on Macintosh OS X).

18 Chapter 2: Installing Flash
Changing or removing Flash Player
You can change or reinstall the current version of Flash Player.
To change or reinstall the ActiveX control for Windows (Internet Explorer or AOL):
1. Close your browser.
2. Remove any currently installed versions of the ActiveX control. For instructions, see Technote
14157 on the Macromedia Flash Support Center at www.macromedia.com/support/flash/ts/
documents/remove_player.htm.
3. Run the Install Flash Player 7 AX.exe file in your Players folder to begin installation.
4. Open the browser. The new version of the ActiveX control should be installed.

To change or reinstall the plug-in for Windows (Netscape, Mozilla, CompuServe, or Opera):
1. Close your browser before installing a new version of the plug-in.
2. Remove any currently installed versions of the plug-in. For instructions, see Technote 14157
on the Macromedia Support Center at www.macromedia.com/support/flash/ts/documents/
remove_player.htm.
3. Run the Install Flash Player 7.exe file in your Players folder to begin installation.
4. Open the browser. The new version of the plug-in should be installed. To verify installation in
Netscape, select Help > About Plug-ins from the browser menu.
To change or reinstall the plug-in for Macintosh (Netscape, Internet Explorer for Macintosh,
Safari, AOL, Opera, or CompuServe):
1. Close your browser before installing a new version of the plug-in.
2. Remove currently installed versions of the plug-in. For instructions, see Technote 14157 on the
Macromedia Support Center at www.macromedia.com/support/flash/ts/documents/
remove_player.htm.
3. Run Install Flash Player 7 (Mac OS 9.x) or Install Flash Player 7 OS X (Mac OS X.x) in your
Players folder to begin installation.
4. Open the browser. The new version of the plug-in should be installed. To verify installation on
Netscape, select Help > About Plug-ins from the browser menu.

Configuring a server for Flash Player
For users to view your Flash content on the web, the web server must be properly configured to
recognize SWF files.
Your server may already be configured properly. To test server configuration, see TechNote 4151
on the Macromedia Flash Support Center at www.macromedia.com/support/flash/ts/documents/
tn4151.html. If your server is not properly configured, follow the procedure below to
configure it.
Configuring a server establishes the appropriate Multipart Internet Mail Extension (MIME) types
so that the server can identify files with the .swf extension as Shockwave Flash files.

Configuring a server for Flash Player 19
A browser that receives the correct MIME type can load the appropriate plug-in, control, or
helper application to process and properly display the incoming data. If the MIME type is
missing or not properly delivered by the server, the browser might display an error message or a
blank window with a puzzle piece icon.
To configure a server for Flash Player, do one of the following:
• If your site is established through an Internet service provider (ISP), ask the ISP to add this
MIME type to the server: application/x-shockwave-flash with the .swf extension.
• If you are administering your own server, see your web server documentation for instructions
on adding or configuring MIME types.
Corporate and enterprise system administrators can configure Flash to restrict access by Flash
Player to resources in the local file system. You can create a security configuration file that limits
Flash Player functionality on the local system.
The security configuration file is a text file placed in the same folder as the Flash Player installer.
The Flash Player installer reads the configuration file during installation and follows its
security directives. Flash Player exposes the configuration file to ActionScript using the
System object.
With the configuration file, you can disable access by Flash Player to the camera or microphone,
limit the amount of local storage Flash Player can use, control the auto-update feature, and block
the Player from reading anything from the user’s local hard disk.
For more information about security, see “System class” in Flash ActionScript Language Reference.

20 Chapter 2: Installing Flash
CHAPTER 3
Getting to Know the Workspace

The Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 workspace
consists of a Stage on which you place media content, a main toolbar with menus and commands
for controlling application functionality, panels and a Property inspector for organizing and
modifying media assets, and a Tools panel with tools for creating and modifying vector graphic
content. For more information on the workspace, see the following sections:
Moving the view of the Stage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Using the Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Using frames and keyframes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Using layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
About the main toolbar and edit bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Using the Tools panel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Using the grid, guides, and rulers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Using panels and the Property inspector. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
You can select preferences to modify the default Flash workspace. Context menus and keyboard
shortcuts provide ways for you to easily navigate the Flash authoring environment. Special
workspace accessibility features provide additional keyboard shortcuts that let you navigate panels
and dialog boxes without using the mouse. See the following sections:
Setting preferences in Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Customizing keyboard shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Using context menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

21
Using the Stage
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. The Stage in the Flash authoring
environment represents the rectangular space in the Macromedia Flash Player where your Flash
document is displayed 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. See “Using the grid,
guides, and rulers” on page 34.

Zooming
To view the entire Stage on the screen, or to view just 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 marquee 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 lower left
corner of the application window.

22 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
• To scale the Stage to fit completely in the given window space, 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 of the application window. If the scene is
empty, the entire Stage is displayed.
• To display the entire Stage, select View > Magnification > Show Frame or select Show Frame
from the Zoom control at the lower left corner of the application window.
• To display the work area 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. For example, to have a bird fly into a frame, you would
initially position the bird outside of the Stage in the work area.

Moving the view of the Stage
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:
1. 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.
2. Drag the Stage.

Using the Timeline
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.
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.

Using the Timeline 23
Note: When an animation is played, the actual frame rate is displayed; this may differ from the
document frame rate if the computer can’t display the animation quickly enough.

Empty keyframe
Playhead Timeline header

Frame View pop-up menu

Frame-by-frame animation

Tweened animation

Guide layer icon Elapsed Time indicator
Center Frame button Frame Rate indicator
Onion-skinning buttons Current Frame indicator

You can change the way frames are displayed in the Timeline, as well as display thumbnails of
frame content in the Timeline. The Timeline shows where there is animation in a document,
including frame-by-frame animation, tweened animation, and motion paths. For more
information on animation, see Chapter 9, “Creating Motion”in Using Flash.
Controls in the layers section of the Timeline let you hide, show, lock, or unlock layers, as well as
display layer contents as outlines. See “Editing layers and layer folders” on page 30.
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. See “Working with frames in the Timeline”
on page 27.

Changing the appearance of the Timeline
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:
• Drag from the area above the Timeline header.
Drag the Timeline to the edge of the application window to dock it. Control-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.

24 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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 application window.
• 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
The playhead moves through the Timeline 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 appear in the Timeline at once,
you can move the playhead along the Timeline to easily locate the current 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 the Center Frame button at the bottom of the Timeline.

Using the Timeline 25
Changing the display of frames in the Timeline
You can change the size of frames in the Timeline, and display sequences of frames with tinted
cells. 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 button

Frame View pop-up menu

Short and Normal frame view options

To change the display of frames in the Timeline:
1. Click the Frame View button 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 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
A keyframe is a frame in which you define a change in an animation or include frame actions to
modify a document. Flash can tween, or fill in, the frames between keyframes to produce fluid
animations. Because keyframes let you produce animation without drawing each frame, they
make creating animation easier. You can change the length of a tweened animation by dragging a
keyframe in the Timeline.

26 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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. For information on editing
tweened frames, see “Editing animation” in Using Flash.
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. See “Setting preferences in
Flash” on page 39.
To insert frames in the Timeline, do one of the following:
• To insert a new frame, select Insert > Timeline > Frame.
• To create a new keyframe, select Insert > Timeline > 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 > Timeline > 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 on the frame. If you have Span Based Selection turned on in
Preferences, clicking one frame selects the entire frame sequence between two keyframes. See
“Setting preferences in Flash” on page 39.
• 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.

Using frames and keyframes 27
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, Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Macintosh) the
keyframe to the final frame of the new sequence duration.
• 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 cleared keyframe and all frames up
to the subsequent keyframe are replaced with the 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 sequence, see “Frame-by-frame animation” in
Using Flash.
• To add an item from the library to the current keyframe, drag the item from the Library panel
onto the Stage.

Using layers
Layers are like transparent sheets of acetate stacked on top of each other. 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 to make it active.
A pencil icon next to a layer or folder name 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 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. You can 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 layers 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, actions, frame labels, and frame
comments. This helps you find these items quickly when you need to edit them.

28 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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 > How Do I > Basic
Flash > Work with Layers.

Creating layers and layer folders
When you create a new layer or folder, it appears above the selected layer. A 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, then select Insert > Timeline > Layer Folder.
• Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) a layer name in the Timeline, then select
Insert Folder from the context menu.
The new folder appears above the layer or folder you selected.

Viewing layers and layer folders
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 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 in order 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. 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.

Using layers 29
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 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.
Editing layers and layer folders
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 a frame in the Timeline of the layer you want to select.
• Select an object on the Stage that is located on the layer you want to select.

30 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
• 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 a layer or folder and enter a new name.
• Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the name of a 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 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 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.

Using layers 31
To delete a layer or folder:
1. Select the layer or folder.
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
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.
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
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 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. See “Tweening motion along a path” in Using Flash.
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.

32 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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
The main toolbar at the top of the workspace 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, directly below the main toolbar, contains controls and information for editing
scenes and symbols, and for changing the magnification level of the Stage.
For information on changing the Stage magnification level, see “Zooming” on page 22.
For information on editing symbols, see Chapter 3, “Using Symbols, Instances, and Library
Assets,” on page 53. For information on working with scenes, see “Working with scenes” in Using
Flash.

Using the Tools panel
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 selected tool, which 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. See “Customizing the Tools panel” on page 34.
For information on using the drawing and painting tools, see “Flash drawing and painting tools”
in Using Flash. For information on using the selection tools, see “Selecting objects” in Using
Flash.For information on using the view modification tools, see “Moving the view of the Stage”
on page 23.
To show or hide the Tools panel:
• Select Window > Tools.
Selecting tools
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.
• To select a tool located in the pop-up menu behind a visible tool, press the icon of the visible
tool and select another tool from the pop-up menu.

Using the Tools panel 33
Customizing the Tools panel
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 drag to 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:
■ In Windows, select Edit > Customize Tools panel.
■ On the 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, the additional tools
appear in a pop-up menu located behind the top tool in the group. A small arrow in the lower
right corner of the top tool indicates that additional tools are present. The same keyboard
shortcut functions for all tools in the group.

2. Click a tool in the Tools panel graphic 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
Flash comes with 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. See “Snapping” in Using Flash.

Using the grid
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:
• Select View > Grid > Show Grid.

34 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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 guides
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 guide color and snap tolerance (how close objects must be to snap
to a guide). Draggable guides appear only in the Timeline in which they were created.
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. See “Using guide layers”
on page 32.
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:
• Use the Arrow tool to drag the guide.
To remove a guide:
• With guides unlocked, use the Arrow tool to drag the guide to the horizontal or vertical ruler.
For information on locking and unlocking guides, see the following procedure.

Using the grid, guides, and rulers 35
To lock guides:
• Select View > Guides > Lock Guides.
Note: You can also use the Lock Guides option in the Guides preferences dialog box. 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 edit
symbols mode, only guides used in symbols are cleared.

Using rulers
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. 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 an option from the pop-up menu at the
upper right.

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

36 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
About the Property inspector
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 contain these features.
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.

About the Library panel
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. See
“Using the library to manage media assets” in Using Flash.

About the Actions panel
The Actions panel lets you create and edit actions 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.
For information on using the Actions panel, including switching between editing modes, see
“Using the Actions panel and Script window” in Using ActionScript in Flash.

Using panels
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 use panels to customize the Flash interface, by displaying the panels you need
for a specific task and hiding other panels.
Panels let you work with objects, colors, text, instances, frames, scenes, and entire documents. For
example, you use the Color Mixer 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. The options menu is indicated by a
control in the panel’s title bar. (If no options menu control appears, there is no options menu for
that panel.)
By default, panels appear grouped at the bottom of the Flash work area and on the right of the
work area.
To open a panel:
• Select the desired panel from the Window menu.

Using panels and the Property inspector 37
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
from the context menu.
To use a panel’s options menu:
1. Click the control at the far right in the panel’s title bar to view the options menu.
2. Click an item in the 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.
To close all panels:
• Select Window > Hide Panels.
Arranging panels
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.
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 group.

Using panel sets
You can create panel sets in custom arrangements, and you can save these custom panel layouts.
You can reset panel display to the default layout (displaying the Color Swatches, Actions, and
Components panels and the Color Mixer to the right of the application window) or to a custom
layout that you have saved previously.

38 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
To save a custom panel set:
1. Select Window > Save Panel Layout.
2. Enter a name for the layout and click OK.

To select a panel layout:
1. Select Window > Panel Sets.
2. 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:
• Open the folder for the Panel Sets documents in the location for your operating system (listed
below) and delete the text file for the custom panel set.
For Windows operating systems:
■ Windows 2000 or XP: boot drive\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\
Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration\Panel Sets
■ Windows 98: C:\Windows\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language
\Configuration\Panel Sets
For Macintosh operating systems:
■ Macintosh OS X: Macintosh HD/Applications/Macromedia Flash MX 2004/First Run/
Panel Sets

Setting preferences in Flash
Flash lets you set preferences for general application operations, editing operations, and
Clipboard operations. See also “Specifying drawing settings” in Using Flash.
To set preferences:
1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Flash > Preferences (Macintosh).
2. Click the General, Editing, Clipboard, Warning, or ActionScript Editor tab, and select from
the respective options as described in the procedures that follow. For more information on
ActionScript Editor preferences, see “Using the ActionScript editor” in Using ActionScript
in Flash.
To set general preferences, select from the following options:
• For Undo Levels, enter a value from 2 to 9999 to set the number of undo/redo levels. Undo
levels require memory; the more undo levels you use, the more system memory is taken up.
The default is 100.
• 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.

Setting preferences in Flash 39
• 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 the Shift key.
• 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.
• For Timeline Options, select Disable Timeline Docking to keep the Timeline from attaching
itself to the application window once it has been separated into its own window. For more
information, see “Using the Timeline” on page 23.
• Select Span Based Selection to use span-based selection in the Timeline, rather than the default
frame-based selection. For more information on span-based and frame-based selection, see
“Working with frames in the Timeline” on page 27.
• 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 Use This Color and select a color from the palette, or select Use
Layer Color (the default option) to use the current layer’s outline color.
• For Font Mapping Default, select a font to use when substituting missing fonts in documents
you open in Flash. See “Substituting missing fonts” in Using Flash. .
• 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.
To set editing preferences, do any of the following:
• For Pen Tool options, see “Setting Pen tool preferences” 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 Drawing Settings, see “Specifying drawing settings” in Using Flash.
Note: If you are using Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004, you can select Project
preferences on the Editing tab, for closing and saving project files. See “Creating and managing
projects (Flash Professional only)” in Using Flash.

40 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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 Gradients (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 warning preferences, select one of the following options:
• Select Warn on Save for Macromedia Flash MX Compatibility to have Flash warn you when
you try to save documents with content specific to the Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX
Professional 2004 authoring tool as a Flash MX 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 MX 2004.
• 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.

Setting preferences in Flash 41
• 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.

Customizing keyboard shortcuts
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 delete custom shortcut sets.
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.

42 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
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
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
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. See “About Flash authoring
accessibility on the Macintosh” on page 44.

You can customize the keyboard shortcuts for accessibility in the authoring environment using
the Workspace Accessibility Commands section of the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box. See
“Customizing keyboard shortcuts” on page 42.
Some authoring environment accessibility features are unavailable on the Macintosh. See the
following section.

Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment 43
About Flash authoring accessibility on the Macintosh
Accessibility for the Flash authoring environment on the Macintosh has the following limitations:
• The Panel Focus keyboard shortcut (Command+Alt+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
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 open. It 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).
• 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:
• 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.

44 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
Selecting controls in a panel or the Property inspector using
keyboard shortcuts
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 the Tab has no effect.
• When panel with the current focus is expanded, pressing the Tab key the first time moves the
focus to the panel options menu.
• You can use the Right Arrow and Left Arrow keys to move the focus between the options menu
and the panel title bar.
• If the focus is on the options menu, pressing the Tab key again moves the focus through the
other controls in the panel. Pressing the Tab key again will not return the focus to the panel
options menu.
• When the options menu has the focus, you can press Enter (Windows only) to display the
options menu items.
• In panels that are grouped, you can use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move the focus
between the options 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 options menu, do one of the following:
• Press the Tab key.
• 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 options menu of
the panel immediately above the panel with the current focus. Press the Down Arrow key to
move the focus to the options menu of the panel immediately below the panel with the
current focus.
To move the focus through the items in a panel options menu:
1. With the focus currently applied to the panel options menu, press the Spacebar to display the
options menu items.
2. Press the Down Arrow key to move through the items in the options menu.
3. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh) to activate the currently selected options
menu item.

Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment 45
To move the focus through the controls in a panel:
1. Press the Tab key when the focus is currently applied to the panel options menu. Press the Tab
key 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)
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
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 fields. 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.

46 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
• 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
You can navigate tree controls, 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
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. See “Navigating tree controls using
keyboard shortcuts” on page 47
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. See “Working with common
libraries” in Using Flash.
• 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 on 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.

Accessibility in the Flash authoring environment 47
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 on 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).

48 Chapter 3: Getting to Know the Workspace
CHAPTER 4
Building Your First Application

This chapter provides a tutorial that guides you through the process of creating a simple
application using some of the authoring features in Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and
Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004. A Flash application, broadly defined, can be as simple
as content that offers interactivity, or as elaborate as a robust application that interacts with a
variety of data sources.
In this tutorial, after examining an existing Flash document, you’ll begin by creating a new Flash
document and end by publishing the application for web playback. The tutorial should take
approximately 20 minutes to complete.
If you have not already done so, we recommend that before you take this tutorial you read
Chapter 3, “Getting to Know the Workspace,” on page 21.
This chapter contains the following sections:
Workflow for building an application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Examine a completed application. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Create a new document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Add media content. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Add navigation controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Add motion and basic interactivity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Test the application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Publish and view the application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
The next steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

49
Workflow for building an application
The tutorial in this chapter follows the order of one possible workflow for creating a
Flash application.
• “Examine a completed application” on page 50 shows you how to work with an application.
In the process, you become familiar with the Flash workspace.
• “Create a new document” on page 52 is the starting point for creating your own
new application.
• “Add media content” on page 53 shows you how to quickly add vector artwork, text, bitmap
images, video, sound, buttons, and movie clips to your application.
• “Add navigation controls” on page 56 introduces you to the built-in components and
behaviors provided with Flash that let you drag navigation buttons and other user interface
elements to your application.
• “Add motion and basic interactivity” on page 58 shows you how to add built-in effects and
behaviors to your application.
• “Test the application” on page 59 shows you how to preview your application in Flash Player
to verify it is working correctly before you publish it.
• “Publish and view the application” on page 59 shows you how to get your application ready for
deployment on the web or wherever else you want to publish it.

Examine a completed application
As you examine the finished version of an application you’ll create, you will also take look at the
Flash workspace.
In subsequent sections you’ll go through the steps to create the application yourself.

Run the completed application
To better understand the type of application you’ll create as you take this tutorial, you can analyze
a completed version of the application. You can play the SWF file in Flash Player. Published Flash
applications have the SWF file extension. Documents saved in the authoring environment have
the FLA file extension.
1. In Flash, select File > Open.
2. Browse to the completed file using one of the following paths:
■ If you’re using Windows 2000 or XP, browse to boot drive\Documents and Settings\
username\Local Settings\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\
Configuration\HelpPanel\Help\GettingStarted\finished_files and double-click
myad_finished.swf.
Note: If the Application Data folder is hidden, you’ll need to change your Windows Explorer
settings to see the folder.

■ If you’re using a Windows 98 operating system, browse to boot drive\Windows\ Application
Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration\ HelpPanel\
Help\GettingStarted\finished_files and double-click myad_finished.swf.

50 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
■ If you’re using a Macintosh operating system, browse to Macintosh HD/Users/username/
Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/language/Configuration/
HelpPanel/Help/GettingStarted/finished_files and double-click myad_finished.swf.
The completed application runs in Flash Player. The car fades out after a while.
3. Click the Information button to see where it links, then close the browser that opened and
return to the SWF file.
4. After viewing the application, click its close box.

Open the authoring document
It’s helpful to analyze the completed authoring document, which is a FLA file, to see how the
author designed the application.
1. In Flash, select File > Open.
2. Browse to the authoring document using one of the following paths:
■ If you’re using Windows 2000 or XP, browse to boot drive\Documents and Settings\
username\Local Settings\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\
Configuration\HelpPanel\Help\GettingStarted\finished_files and double-click
myad_finished.fla.
Note: If the Application Data folder is hidden, you’ll need to change your Windows Explorer
settings to see the folder.

■ If you’re using a Windows 98 operating system, browse to boot drive\Windows\ Application
Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration\HelpPanel\
Help\GettingStarted\finished_files and double-click myad_finished.fla.
■ If you’re using a Macintosh operating system, browse to Macintosh HD/Users/username/
Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/language/Configuration/
HelpPanel/Help/GettingStarted/finished_files and double-click myad_finished.fla
You now see the completed tutorial application in the authoring environment.

Examine the completed application
You’ll become more familiar with the Flash workspace as you examine the authoring file. For
comprehensive information about the workspace, see Chapter 3, “Getting to Know the
Workspace,” on page 21.
In this section, you’ll take a look at some of the most frequently used workspace features:
The Stage is the area that represents how your published content will appear. The
myad_finished.fla file has a car, logo, button, text, and shapes assembled on the Stage.
For more information about the Stage, see “Using the Stage” on page 22.
The Timeline,above the Stage, displays a layer for the art and a layer for the effects in the
document. For more information about the Timeline, see “Using the Timeline” on page 23.

Examine a completed application 51
Panels in Flash assist you in working with and assigning attributes to the document or to objects
on the Stage. For more information about panels, including how to dock and move them, see
“Using panels and the Property inspector” on page 36.
The Property inspector allows you to view and change attributes of a selected object. The
Property inspector changes to display information about the tool or asset you are working with,
offering quick access to frequently used features. For more information about the Property
inspector, see “Using panels and the Property inspector” on page 36.
The Library panel stores reusable items such as graphics, sound, and video clips. When you want
to use a library item, you simply drag it from the Library panel to the Stage. You’ll learn more
about the Library panel next.

View the library for your document
You can view library items for your document in the Library panel.
1. If the Library panel isn’t open, select Window > Library.
2. View or scroll through the assets in the Library panel.
3. When you finish viewing the library assets, collapse the panel.

Close the application
To close the document, select File > Close.
If you’ve made changes to the file, do not save them.

Create a new document
Now that you have had a tour of the application you will create and of the Flash workspace, it is
time to create your own Flash document. To learn how to create a application in Flash, you’ll start
with the very first step in the process: creating a new file.

Open a new document
Now you’re ready to create your own version of the ad.
1. Select File > New.
2. Select Flash Document and read the description of the file type that appears, and then click OK.
3. Select File > Save.
4. Name the file myad.fla and save the file on your desktop or in any convenient location.
The file is given the extension .fla.
Note: As you complete the tutorial, remember to save your work frequently.

Define document properties
Configuring document properties is a common first step in authoring. You can use the Property
inspector to specify settings that affect the entire application, such as the frames per second (fps)
playback rate, and the Stage size and background color.

52 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
1. If the Property inspector isn’t open, select Window > Properties.

The Property inspector lets you view and change the specifications for selected objects. The
specifications depend on the type of object selected. If you select a text object, for example, the
Property inspector displays settings for viewing and modifying text attributes. Because you
have just opened a new document, the Property inspector shows the document settings.
Note: If the Property inspector is not fully expanded, click the white triangle in the lower
right corner.

2. In the Property inspector, verify that 12 is the number in the Frame Rate text box.
The application will play at 12 frames per second, an optimal frame rate for playing
animations on the web.
3. The Background color box indicates the color of the Stage. Click the down arrow on the
Background Color box, then move the Eyedropper tool over the color swatches to view their
hexadecimal values in the Hexadecimal text box.
4. Find and click the gray color swatch with the hexadecimal value of #CCCCCC.

Hexadecimal
text box

Select this
shade of gray

For more information about setting document properties, see “Creating or opening a document
and setting properties” in Using Flash.

Add media content
Media content includes artwork, either created in Flash or imported from another program, and
text. Media is added to the Stage in the appropriate frame and layer.

Add vector art
When you draw in Flash, you create vector art, which is a mathematical representation of lines,
curves, color, and position. Vector art is resolution-independent; you can rescale the art to any size
or display it at any resolution without losing clarity. Additionally, vector art downloads faster than
comparable bitmap images.
You will begin by drawing a rectangle to highlight the area where the car will be.

Add media content 53
1. Double-click the Layer 1 name in the Timeline.
2. Type over the name Layer 1, replacing it with the name Art.
Art is now the active layer. Anything you place on the Stage will be in this layer.
3. Select the Rectangle tool from the Tools panel.
4. On the Stage, draw a rectangle, similar to the one below, toward bottom of your screen.
(The colors are not important right now; you’ll change the colors soon.)

The drawing tools work much as they do in other graphics programs, with one major
exception. When you draw a shape, it has two parts: the outer line, called the stroke, which
outlines the shape, and the fill, which colors the inside of the shape.
5. Click the Selection tool in the Tools panel.
6. Holding down the mouse button, draw a rectangle around the rectangle you just drew. This
selects the entire rectangle.
Now the Property inspector displays settings for a shape. You can use the Property inspector to
change the line thickness, fill and stroke colors, and other attributes of the selected rectangle.
7. In the Property inspector, change the color of the fill to dark gray (hexadecimal #333333).

8. Change the color of the stroke to the same dark gray.

Import images into the library
To use media files, such as graphics, sound, and video files, you need to put them into your file or
use the library of another file that already has those media elements.
When you import a file into Flash, you can import it directly into the library or you can import it
onto the Stage. In this case, you will import images into the library of your file. You can then use
these images to finish your slide show.
For more information about importing files, see “Placing artwork into Flash” in Using Flash.

54 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
1. If the Library panel is not open, select Window > Library.
At this time there is nothing in the library.
2. Select File > Import > Import to Library.
3. Browse to one of the following paths:
■ If you’re using Windows 2000 or XP, browse to boot drive\Documents and Settings\
username\Local Settings\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\
Configuration\HelpPanel\Help\GettingStarted\start_files\Assets. Select logo.ai and car.png
to import.
Note: If the Application Data folder is hidden, you’ll need to change your Windows Explorer
settings to see the folder.

■ If you’re using a Windows 98 operating system, browse to boot drive\Windows\ Application
Data\Macromedia\Flash MX 2004\language\Configuration\HelpPanel\
Help\GettingStarted\start_files\Assets. Select logo.ai and car.png to import.
■ If you’re using a Macintosh operating system, browse to Macintosh HD/Users/username/
Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/language/Configuration/
HelpPanel/Help/GettingStarted/start_files/Assets. Select logo.ai and car.png to import.
4. In the Illustrator Import dialog box, verify that Layers and Include Invisible are selected, and
click OK.
The two images are now in the library.

Add art from the library
Now that the files are in the library, you can add them to your document.
1. Using the Selection tool, drag logo.ai from the Library panel onto the Stage and place it as
shown in the following illustration:

Add media content 55
2. Next, drag car.png from the Library panel onto the Stage and place it in the middle of the
rectangle you drew, as in the following illustration:

Add text
The next step is to add text on the Stage.
1. Select the Text tool from the Tools panel and click on the Stage, under the car.
A text field appears, with a round control that indicates that the field will expand as you type.
2. You can specify all the settings for the Text tool before you start typing. In the Property
inspector, do the following:
■ In the Font text box, select Arial
■ In the Point Size text box, type 14.
■ In the Text (fill) color box, select blue (hexadecimal 3366CC).
■ Verify that additional settings appear as in the following screen shot:

3. Type Don’t let your dream car fade away! Click here for more information.
4. If necessary, click the Selection tool in the Tools panel and move the text so that it’s more
centered under the car on the Stage.

Add navigation controls
You can easily add navigation controls to your application so that users can click a button to go to
a website. You can do this quickly by adding a PushButton component to the Stage, then adding
behaviors to the button to make it go to a URL.

Add and configure components
Components are drag-and-drop elements that you use to create a user interface almost instantly.
You will use the Button component to create the Information button.

56 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
For more information about components, see Using Components.
The Flash built-in components are displayed in the Components panel (Window > Development
Panels > Components).
You will add a Button component to create the Information button.
1. Click the Selection tool in the Tools panel.
2. From the Components panel, drag the Button component onto the Stage, as shown below.

3. On the Stage, select the button that you just added and configure it using the Parameters tab of
the Property inspector:
■ In the Instance name text box, type info.
■ In the Label text box, type Information. As you type, the name of the button on the Stage
changes from Button to Information.

Add a behavior
Next, you’ll add a behavior to the button that will make it open a website. Behaviors enable you
to add the power, control, and flexibility of ActionScript coding to your document without
having to create the ActionScript code yourself. You can use behaviors to control movie clips,
video, and sound files.
You’ll use the Go to Web Page behavior to add navigation to a button that opens a website.
1. On the Stage, click the Button component that you added.
2. If the Behaviors panel is not already open, select Window > Development Panels > Behaviors
to open it.
3. Click the Add (+) button at the top of the panel to display a list of behaviors.
4. Select Web > Go to Web Page.
The Go to URL dialog box appears.
5. In the URL text box, type any complete URL, such as http://www.macromedia.com. Then
click OK.
When the user clicks the button, a browser will open for the specified URL.
6. Save your file.

Add navigation controls 57
For an online introduction to the Flash MX 2004 behaviors see the Macromedia On Demand
article “Flash MX 2004 Family: Using Behaviors” at www.macromedia.com/macromedia/events/
online/ondemand/index.html.

Add motion and basic interactivity
The ad is almost complete. The next step before testing and publishing it is to add the motion
that makes the car fade away. With just a few keystrokes, you can add motion to an object using
the built-in Timeline effects provided with Flash.

Add a Timeline effect
Timeline effects are powerful tools that you can use to create an instant animation. In this
example, you’ll add a fade-out effect.
For more information about effects, see “Using Timeline effects” in Using Flash.
1. With the Selection tool, click the car on the Stage.
The box around the car indicates that it is selected.
2. Do one of the following:
■ Select Insert > Timeline Effects > Transition.
■ Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Macintosh) and select Timeline Effects >
Transition from the context menu.
The Transition dialog box appears, displaying a preview of the effect, with default settings.
3. Because you only want the car to fade, and you do not want a wipe transition, deselect Wipe.
4. For the Direction, select Out for the car to fade out.
5. Click Update Preview to view the effect with the new settings, then click OK.
A new layer named Transition 1 appears in the Timeline.
6. In the Timeline, click the Transition 1 layer title and drag it up it so that it is the top layer and
the Art layer is the bottom layer. Otherwise, the content on the Art layer appears over the
content on the Transition 1 layer and hides the car.
7. Select Control > Test Movie to test the document in Flash Player.
The car fades out as expected; however, the text and the rest of the artwork disappear from the
Stage very quickly, before the fade-out ends. The application continues to loop and play again.

Extend a layer in the Timeline
The reason the fade-out effect lasts longer than the rest of the application is apparent when you
look at the Timeline. The Fade Out 1 layer extends to Frame 30, whereas the Art layer is only on
Frame 1. As each frame is played in sequence, the Art layer (Frame 1) disappears until the
application loops back to the beginning. To solve this problem, you will simply extend the Art
layer so that it is longer than the Fade Out layer.

58 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
1. In the Timeline, right-click Frame 1 in the Art layer, which has the filled black keyframe. From
the context menu, select Copy Frames.
2. Right-click Frame 30 in the Art layer. From the context menu, select Paste frames.
Frames with content in the Art layer now extend to Frame 30.

Test the application
At any point during authoring, you can test how your application plays as a SWF file.
1. Select File > Save to save your application.
2. Save your application and Select Control > Test Movie.
3. Click the Information button to go to the website you specified in the behavior.
4. View the animation to verify that it plays as expected.
5. When you finish viewing the application, close the SWF file by clicking its close box.

Publish and view the application
To complete your document, you use the Publish command to create a web-compatible
application as a SWF file.
If you use the Publish command with the default settings, Flash prepares your file for the web.
Flash publishes the SWF file and creates an HTML file with the tags necessary to display the
SWF file.
After you define the necessary publish settings, you can repeatedly export to all selected formats at
once by simply selecting File > Publish. Because Flash stores your publish settings with the
document, each application can have its own settings.

Publish the application
You can publish your Flash document for web playback in one step, by selecting File > Publish.
Before you publish, however, you’ll check your publish settings.

View publish settings
Using the Publish Settings dialog box, you can easily change the way your file is published.
1. To view your publish settings, select File > Publish Settings.
Flash is configured, by default, to create a supporting HTML file that displays the
Flash application.
When you select a format that requires additional settings, a new tab appears.
2. On the Formats tab, verify that Flash (.swf) and HTML (.html) are selected. Click the Flash tab.
By default, the application publishes for Flash Player.

Publish and view the application 59
3. Click the HTML tab.
By default, the publishing process creates an HTML document that inserts your SWF file in a
browser window. Settings on the HTML tab of the Publish Settings dialog box determine how
the application appears in the browser.
4. If Detect Flash Version is selected, deselect that option so that Flash will not create files to detect
your user’s Flash Player version.

Change publish settings
By default, Flash gives the SWF file the same name as the FLA file. You will now change the
default name.
1. Click the Formats tab of the Publish Settings dialog box. In the HTML (.html) text box, select
the existing text and type newAd.html.
2. Click Publish. When the Publishing status window closes, click OK in the Publish Settings
dialog box.
3. Save your document. Publish settings save with the document, so the next time you want to
publish using the same settings, you can select File > Publish.
Note: You can also create publish profiles. See “Creating a publish profile” in Using Flash.

View your published application in a browser
In your browser, you can view the HTML file and SWF application that you just published.
1. Open your browser, then open the HTML file that you created, named newAd.html.
By default, the HTML file is in the same folder as your FLA file.
When you open the HTML file, the SWF application plays within your browser.
2. In your browser, use a command such as View > Page Source or View > Source to view
the HTML.
The object and embed tags ensure that the SWF application is displayed within the browser.

The next steps
By completing this tutorial, you’ve learned much about creating Flash applications, including
how to accomplish the following tasks:
• Create a new document
• Add media content
• Add navigation controls
• Add a behavior
• Add motion and basic interactivity
• Test the application
There are many valuable resources you can use to help you as you continue working with Flash.
For more information, see the next section.

60 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
Resources
Macromedia has excellent resources to help you discover more about Flash, get support, and send
feedback to the company.

Registration
Register to receive up-to-the-minute notices about upgrades and new products, technical support,
and more. You can register online by selecting Help > Online Registration. You can also print the
registration form from the Help menu.

Release Notes
For late-breaking information and known issues about Flash, check the Release Notes in the Flash
Support Center at www.macromedia.com/support/flash/releasenotes.html.

Flash support
Get the answers you need, day or night, with high-quality Flash support from knowledgeable
product support engineers. To learn more, go to the Flash Support Center at
www.macromedia.com/go/fl2004_help_support.

Flash training and certification
Boost your Flash skills with hands-on tasks and real-world scenarios - allowing you to roll up
your sleeves and get right to work. Choose between instructor-led and online training, or
combine them to create a learning path that is most effective for you. To learn more, go to
Macromedia Training at www.macromedia.com/go/flash_training.

Macromedia Flash Development Center
Stay up to date with the latest Macromedia Flash development trends and techniques. Tutorials,
articles, and sample applications give you the information you need to stay competitive,
innovative, and efficient. To learn more, go to Macromedia Training at www.macromedia.com/
devnet/mx/flash.

On Demand seminars
Evaluating a new product can be difficult, and each version introduces new features to navigate.
The Macromedia On Demand seminars help you get up to speed quickly. Our seminars feature
multimedia presentations and demos designed to help you maximize your evaluation experience
with our products.To learn more, go to Macromedia On Demand at www.macromedia.com/
macromedia/events/online/ondemand/index.html.

Resources 61
Sample applications
Flash includes sample files that you can dissect to learn various design and development concepts.
To view SWF versions of the sample files, along with a description, select Help > Samples. Some
of the samples are complete applications, while others are simple and intended to introduce a
basic concept. Click the link of the desired sample to open the sample in an HTML browser
window. To view the authoring version (FLA file) for a given sample, open the file from within
Flash. You’ll find the sample files in the Samples folder, which is in your Flash application
directory. The Samples page (Help > Samples) also includes a link the Macromedia website,
where you’ll find additional samples.

Books and Training section of the Macromedia Worldwide Store
Using Flash, ActionScript Reference Guide, and Using Components are provided in electronic
format (online help and PDF). To purchase a printed copy of these books, please visit the store at
www.macromedia.com/go/books_and_training/.

Additional resources
The following Macromedia web pages include reference materials and links to third-party
Flash resources:
• Websites devoted to Macromedia Flash and Flash developers at www.macromedia.com/
support/flash/ts/documents/flash_websites.htm
• Macromedia Press at www.macromedia.com/support/mmpress/

62 Chapter 4: Building Your First Application
INDEX

A D
accessibility, in the Flash authoring environment 43 Default Layout command, for panels 39
Actions panel 37 deleting
activating Flash 16 frames or keyframes 28
applications layers and layer folders 32
publishing and viewing 59 document, creating new 52
sample 62 document-editing mode 35
testing 59
viewing published in a browser 60 E
art, adding from the library 55 edit bar 33
authoring environment accessibility 43 editing layers and layer folders 30

B F
behavior, adding 57 Flash
bitmap images, anti-aliasing 41 about 5
Bitmaps on Clipboard preference (Windows only) 41 activating and installing 16
Blank Keyframe command 27 getting started 5
building an application, tutorial 49 system requirements 15
Flash MX 2004 system requirements 15
C Flash MX Professional 2004 system requirements 15
Center Frame button 25 Flash Player
certification and training 61 about 6
Clear Keyframe command 28 changing or uninstalling 19
Clipboard preferences 41 security 20
components, adding and configuring 56 system requirements 16
configuring a server for Flash Player 19 Flash Player 7 system requirements 16
context menus, about 43 Font Mapping Default preference 40
Copy Frames command 28 Frame command 27
copying Frame View button 26
layer folder contents 31 Frame View menu 26
layers 31 frames
Customize Shortcuts dialog box 42 centering the playhead in 25
Customize Toolbar command 34 changing the view 26
converting keyframes into 28
copying and pasting 28
copying by dragging 28
displayed in Timeline 23

63
displaying 25 instructional media 9
displaying contents 23 interactivity, adding basic 58
dragging in Timeline 28
editing in Timeline 27 K
inserting 27 keyboard shortcuts
removing 28 adding and removing 42
showing thumbnails 26 customizing 42
thumbnail display 26 deleting 43
using 26 for dialog box controls 46
FreeHand Text on Clipboard preference 41 for library items 47
for panel controls 45
G for panels 44
Gradients on Clipboard preference (Windows only) 41 for Property inspector 44
grids for Property inspector controls 45
editing 35 for the Stage 46
showing 34 for tree controls 47
snapping to 35 Keyframe command 27
using 34 keyframes
guide layers 32 converting into frames 28
guides creating blank 27
clearing 36 dragging in tweened frame sequences 28
locking 36 inserting 27
moving 35 removing 28
removing 35 using 26
setting preferences 36
showing 35 L
snapping to 35 Layer command 29
using 35 layer folders
changing order of 32
H copying contents of 31
Hand tool 23 creating 29
help deleting 32
accessing 10 editing 30
closing table of contents 10 locking 31
online 9 organizing 32
printing a page 11 renaming 31
Help panel layers
searching in 11 Add Layer button 29
updating 12 adding layer folder 29
using 10 changing layer height 30
Highlight Color preference 40 changing number of layers displayed 30
changing order of 32
I changing outline color 30
images, importing into library 54 copying 31
Insert Blank Keyframe command 27 creating 29
Insert Keyframe command 27 deleting 32
Insert Layer command 29 editing 30
installing Flash 15, 16 guide layers 32
hiding and showing 29

64 Index
locking 31 grouping 38
organizing 32 keyboard shortcuts 44
renaming 31 keyboard shortcuts for tree controls 47
selecting 30 Library 37
using 28 opening 37
viewing as outlines 30 resetting layout of 39
lessons, Flash 9, 11 resizing 38
library saving custom set 39
adding art from 55 selecting layout 39
importing images into 54 sets 38
keyboard shortcuts for items 47 ungrouping 38
Library panel using 37
about 37, 52 using options menu 38
viewing items 52 viewing list of 37
locking layers and layer folders 31 Paste Frames command 28
PICT Settings for Clipboard preference (Macintosh
M only) 41
Macromedia Flash Development Center 61 playhead, moving 25
Macromedia Flash support 61 preferences
main toolbar 33 Bitmaps on Clipboard (Windows only) 41
media content, adding 53 Clipboard 41
MIME types, configuring for 19 editing 40
motion, adding 58 Font Mapping Default 40
FreeHand Text on Clipboard 41
N general 39
Named Anchor on Scenes preference 40 Gradients on Clipboard (Windows only) 41
navigation controls, adding 56 Highlight Color 40
new features 6, 8 Named Anchor on Scenes 40
On Launch options 40
O PICT Settings for Clipboard (Macintosh only) 41
On Launch preferences 40 Printing Options (Windows only) 39
outlines setting 39
changing color on layers 30 Shift Select 40
viewing layer contents as 30 Show Tooltips 40
Span Based Selection 40
P Timeline Options 40
Panel Sets command 39 Undo Levels 39
panels warning 41
about 52 Preferences command 39
Actions 37 previewing frame thumbnails 26
arranging 38 Printing Options preference (Windows only) 39
closing 38 Property inspector
collapsing 38 about 37, 52
creating new group 38 keyboard shortcuts 44
default layout 39 using panels and 36
deleting custom layout 39 publish settings
docking 38 changing 60
dragging 38 viewing 59
expanding 38 published application, viewing in a browser 60
publishing the application 59

Index 65
R converting keyframes into frames 28
registration 61 copying and pasting frames 28
release notes 61 deleting frames or keyframes 28
Remove Frame command 28 docking to the application window 24
renaming layers and layer folders 31 dragging 24
resources 61, 62 dragging frames 28
rulers editing frames 27
changing units of 36 extending a layer in 58
showing and hiding 36 frame display, changing 26
using 36 frames 26
hiding layers in 29
S inserting frames 27
security, Flash Player 20 keyframes 26
selecting layers 30 layer folder order, changing 32
seminars 61 layer height, changing 30
Shift Select preference 40 layer name fields in 24
Show All command 23 layer order, changing 32
Show Frame command 23 locking layer folders in 31
Show Grid command 34 locking layers in 31
Show Guides command 35 number of layers displayed, changing 30
Show Tooltips preference 40 playhead 25
Snap to Grid command 35 Preview in Context option 26
Snap to Guides command 35 Preview option 26
snapping resizing 25
to grid 35 showing frame thumbnails 26
to guides 35 using 23
Span Based Selection preference 40 viewing layers as outlines 30
Stage working with frames 23
about 51 Timeline effect, adding 58
displaying entire 23 Timeline Options preference 40
keyboard shortcuts for selecting 46 toolbar
zooming 22 customizing 34
Start page 13 showing and hiding 33
SWF files, configuring for server MIME type 19 tools
symbol-editing mode 35 customizing the toolbar 34
system requirements Hand 23
Flash MX 2004 15 selecting 33
Flash MX Professional 2004 15 viewing 33
Flash Player 7 16 Zoom 22
Tools panel
T using 33
testing the application 59 training and certification 61
text, adding 56 tree controls, keyboard shortcuts for 47
third-party resources 61, 62 trial mode
Timeline purchasing Flash 17
about 51 switching between editions 17
appearance of, changing 24 tutorials
Center Frame button 25 building an application 49
centering the playhead in 25 guide to 9
tweened frames, dragging keyframes in 28

66 Index
U
Undo Levels preference 39
upgrading from Macromedia Flash MX 2004 17

V
vector art, adding 53
viewing the application 59

W
warning preferences 41
work area, showing and hiding 23

Z
Zoom tool 22
zooming 22

Index 67
68 Index