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In ActionScript 3.0 in Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, Todd Perkins shows Flash designers how to incorporate ActionScript code into their projects and create interactive presentations and applications. The course includes a review of ActionScript language basics and the object-oriented programming (OOP) methodology, a tour of those Flash Professional CS5 features designed for developers, such as code hinting and the Code Snippets panel, and instructions on interacting with objects in the Library and placing code on the Timeline. Exercise files are included with the course.
Controlling the appearance of your code is an essential tool for veteran programmers and newbies alike. Modifying ActionScript fonts, colors, and formatting allows you to make code easiest for you to read and write in Flash Pro. In the Actions panel here, I have some code. Right now, I don't want you to have to understand any of what this code means or what it's doing. I just want you to look at the appearance of it. Is it easy to read? Is it hard to read? Are the colors too bright or too little contrast or too much contrast? If you want to change those things, you can change them in Flash Preferences.
For example, I like to have larger fonts on my screen when I record these movies so that the code is easier for you to see. So, I'll go to Flash > Preferences. Note on the PC that's under Edit > Preferences. To modify your ActionScript settings, click the ActionScript Category on the left side of the window. Here you'll see various options for modifying your ActionScript code. You can choose how Flash handles curly braces and spacing when you create new lines.
This will be more applicable once you learn more about creating your own code. Just make a mental note now that this setting is here if you ever want to change it. You can control whether to display code hinting and the delay in showing the code hints. Again, you'll learn more about this later on; just make a mental note that it's here, and you can change the Font. Now I like to use Monaco for my ActionScript Font. This is the default font on a Mac when you're working in Flash, but on the PC, it's a different font. If you really like Monaco, like what you see on my screen, you can find it on the web for the PC.
Now as I said earlier in this movie, I like having a larger font size, so it's easier for you to read. So I'll change my font size to 18. You can change your font size if you want or keep it the same - your preference. Notice other dropdown menus, like Open/Import. This shows how Flash should encode the text inside of your files that you're using. I just like to leave the default, UTF-8. When you modify an open file outside of Flash, you can control what Flash does, whether you get prompted, or it reloads, or it doesn't reload.
You can use a different editor for your code files, whether you want to use Flash Professional or Flash Builder, or you can have Flash ask you. You can control the color for your code. Let's say you wanted the foreground color to be a bright green, the background color to be black. So, I'll click OK, and there are my new code settings. Notice the font is bigger, and there is green for the main text and then black for the background.
This is a little bit hard for me to read, so I'm going to change it back, but you can change the settings however you want. Go back to Flash > Preferences, click ActionScript, change Foreground back to black and Background back to white. These two options at the bottom are advanced settings that we'll talk about later on in the title. So, I'll click OK, and I get my default colors with my large font. So, by using the ActionScript Preferences window, you can easily tweak ActionScript fonts, colors, and formatting to best suit your individual needs.
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