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Creating a class using Flash templates

From: ActionScript 3.0 in Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating a class using Flash templates

Creating an ActionScript class can be a daunting task. There are many required phrases, and the structure of your files has to be perfect or the code will break completely. To make this process easier, Flash has pre-built templates for creating ActionScript class files. You can see these templates through the welcome screen, or you can go to File > New. I mentioned that this file is a template, but you don't find it under the Templates tab.

Creating a class using Flash templates

Creating an ActionScript class can be a daunting task. There are many required phrases, and the structure of your files has to be perfect or the code will break completely. To make this process easier, Flash has pre-built templates for creating ActionScript class files. You can see these templates through the welcome screen, or you can go to File > New. I mentioned that this file is a template, but you don't find it under the Templates tab.

You'll have to go to the General tab in the New Document window to find ActionScript 3.0 Class. That's the first file. That's an ActionScript file. If you look at the description, you'll see that it says, Create a new AS file with a .as extension to define an ActionScript 3.0 class. So I'll click OK. Here, because of my ActionScript settings, Flash is asking me which app I'm going to use to write ActionScript code. I can either use Flash Professional or Flash Builder.

For this course, we're only going to be working in a Flash Professional. If you get deep into object- oriented programming and you want a more robust application for writing ActionScript classes, then I recommend getting into Flash Builder. But for now, Flash Professional is fine, and I'll click Don't Show Again, and type the Class name. I'll just call this Example, capital E, and then I'll click OK. So, Flash has created an ActionScript file for me.

It's important to note then the ActionScript file is really just a text file. You can actually use the text editor Notepad to create an ActionScript file. As long as it's plain text - so, not rich text - and as long as it has the .AS extension, it can work in Flash. So let's walk through this code. The first thing inside of here is the package declaration. So it says the word 'package' and then a space. The package identifies where this code resides.

If you want to be really organized, you'll group your different ActionScript class files into folders. And packages allow you to tell Flash how that code is organized. This is something that's more of a deep concept in ActionScript classes, and we'll talk about it later on in this course. The next line of code says public class Example. When you create an ActionScript class, use the word 'public' and then a space and then class, just like as if you're defining a function.

You specify the keyword class to create a class. These words like 'public' and maybe you'll see 'private' sometimes, these words are special words that you only use inside of a class file when defining functions and classes as well. Then we have the name of the class which is Example. Flash added that in for us when we typed Example for the name of our class, and then it says public function Example and constructor code. Let's take a look at the organization of the curly braces.

Notice that the open curly braces start on the same line as the package declaration, the public classic declaration, and the public function declaration. If I click the Auto Format button, then Flash will organize this code how I've been writing it throughout this course, which is with open curly braces on separate lines. So we can see the outer curly braces for package wrap all the code in this file. Then the class code is the first level in.

So that wraps the rest of the code in the file. And finally we have the public function Example. That's the most inner set of curly braces. Each time you create a class, you should have this function called a constructor function. A constructor function has the same name as the class name, which in this case is Example. This should also be the same name of your ActionScript file. So the file should be called Example with a capital E .AS.

As we go forward, we'll get more in practice working with ActionScript classes. The main thing I want you to take away from this is that using the ActionScript class file templates in Flash CS5, you can easily create class files without having to worry about getting everything right.

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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
    3. Using the function keys
      42s
  2. 23m 38s
    1. Adjusting preferences for ActionScript fonts, colors, and formatting
      3m 25s
    2. Changing Flash Player and ActionScript versions in the Publish settings
      1m 35s
    3. Reading and solving errors through the Compiler Errors window
      2m 49s
    4. Using the Actions panel buttons to add and remove comments
      2m 33s
    5. Using the Actions panel to format code
      1m 49s
    6. Using the Actions panel Toolbox
      2m 4s
    7. Seldom-used but helpful functions of the Actions panel
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding code hinting
      2m 3s
    9. Reviewing the Code Snippets panel
      3m 7s
    10. Using help
      59s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Understanding how ActionScript 3.0 code is processed in the Flash Player
      3m 22s
    2. Understanding variables
      4m 56s
    3. Understanding functions
      9m 1s
    4. Understanding events and event listeners
      5m 47s
    5. Working with conditional statements
      9m 49s
    6. Creating arrays and vectors
      6m 50s
    7. Using the For command to create a loop
      6m 5s
  4. 49m 9s
    1. Reviewing the display list
      3m 0s
    2. Understanding instances referenced through ActionScript
      2m 27s
    3. Using dot syntax to modify properties in an instance
      3m 25s
    4. Placing objects at the center of the stage
      4m 2s
    5. Placing objects at the edges of the stage
      5m 53s
    6. Using the methods of an instance
      3m 44s
    7. Accessing the parents, children, and grandchildren of objects
      5m 50s
    8. Creating instances from Library movie clips using ActionScript
      4m 23s
    9. Adding objects to the stage and changing parents with the addChild method
      5m 45s
    10. Removing objects from the stage with the removeChild method
      4m 17s
    11. Using the numChildren property to loop through a container's child objects
      3m 17s
    12. Using the getChildByName method
      3m 6s
  5. 56m 20s
    1. Understanding timelines
      4m 15s
    2. Using common timeline navigation methods
      5m 34s
    3. Using the currentFrame and totalFrames properties
      8m 2s
    4. Controlling the timeline of an instance
      6m 41s
    5. Detecting and navigating frame labels with ActionScript
      7m 57s
    6. Solving problems when timelines and ActionScript animation collide
      4m 16s
    7. Condensing a multi-frame timeline into one frame
      8m 33s
    8. Creating a simple slide presentation app in the timeline
      7m 51s
    9. Using one event handler with multiple buttons
      3m 11s
  6. 36m 5s
    1. Creating a class using Flash templates
      4m 43s
    2. Setting a document class
      6m 51s
    3. Preparing a class to be connected to a symbol
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Symbol Properties menu to connect a symbol to a class
      4m 55s
    5. Resolving problems with instances in a linked class
      7m 53s
    6. Understanding packages
      3m 17s
    7. Working with ActionScript source paths
      3m 55s
  7. 44m 32s
    1. Viewing the finished game
      51s
    2. Viewing the FLA file
      2m 9s
    3. Creating the DragDrop and Map classes
      2m 51s
    4. Linking the draggable class to Library symbols
      2m 47s
    5. Adding drag-and-drop functionality
      3m 38s
    6. Saving and resetting an object's position
      3m 33s
    7. Giving a target drop object to the draggable objects
      13m 16s
    8. Showing a Win screen
      7m 3s
    9. Resetting the game
      8m 24s
  8. 29m 6s
    1. Loading bitmap images from the Library
      4m 6s
    2. Loading bitmap images from external files
      5m 22s
    3. Adding mouse functionality to bitmap images
      3m 31s
    4. Using a loop to load multiple images
      6m 14s
    5. Creating a simple slideshow
      8m 37s
    6. Using Flash Player 10 color management
      1m 16s
  9. 27m 13s
    1. Loading an external SWF
      4m 14s
    2. Running ActionScript code in an external SWF from its parent
      5m 30s
    3. Running parent code in a child SWF
      5m 7s
    4. Creating a timeline-based preloader to load an external SWF file
      5m 3s
    5. Displaying playback progress of a loaded SWF file
      7m 19s
  10. 40m 10s
    1. Creating plain text files
      2m 8s
    2. Loading text from an external text file
      6m 26s
    3. Loading multiple text files
      6m 43s
    4. Rendering simple HTML in a text field
      5m 51s
    5. Creating a scroll bar for a text field
      5m 29s
    6. Scrolling a text field
      4m 59s
    7. Scrolling movie clips and other objects using masks
      5m 42s
    8. Modifying TLF text properties through ActionScript
      2m 52s
  11. 23m 40s
    1. Reviewing XML and E4X syntax
      3m 29s
    2. Loading an XML file
      3m 26s
    3. Using dot syntax to access XML data
      4m 2s
    4. Using XML data to populate a DataGrid component
      7m 4s
    5. Using XML data to load image files
      5m 39s
  12. 23m 33s
    1. Loading audio from the Library
      1m 41s
    2. Loading audio from external files
      3m 41s
    3. Playing, pausing, and stopping sounds
      5m 39s
    4. Muting all audio with the SoundMixer.stopAll method
      1m 28s
    5. Tracking load progress
      2m 38s
    6. Displaying sound position
      5m 5s
    7. Adjusting volume
      3m 21s
  13. 19m 54s
    1. Touring the FLA file
      5m 57s
    2. Controlling video playing and pausing with ActionScript
      1m 56s
    3. Working with ActionScript cue points to add closed captioning
      3m 35s
    4. Displaying video playback position
      3m 44s
    5. Adjusting video volume
      4m 42s
  14. 5m 32s
    1. Using new code snippets for AIR and mobile
      1m 13s
    2. Viewing the new code snippets HUD
      1m 17s
    3. Loading assets with the new ProLoader class
      1m 8s
    4. Understanding Flash Player premium features
      1m 54s
  15. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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