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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.
Not all the features of the Actions panel are commonly used by people that use Flash, but there are some that are particularly useful to you. For instance, there is the Find/Replace command. You can click the Find button to open it up; that's the magnifying glass with an A on it. Or you can highlight a piece of code by double-clicking, so I highlighted one word, which is loader here, the lowercase L, and I press Command+F or Ctrl+F on the keyboard, open up Find/Replace, and it will already have the Find what section populated.
Here I have some code called loader, and let's say I wanted to make it something more descriptive, like gameLoader or something. So I can replace that with gameLoader, capital L, and then I'm going to check Match Case, so it doesn't override the loader with a capital L, which is something different in the code. Now, I'll just click Replace All. So Flash tells me it found and replaced 5 items. So now I have a more descriptive name: gameLoader. Notice the word Loader, with capital L, is still intact.
Another useful feature of the Actions panel is the Insert Target Path button. If you click this button, this basically gives you a map of your FLA file. I only have one object on the stage, so you don't see the whole structure here. But if you have more objects on the stage, you can click them and then click OK, and then Flash will insert the code that you need to communicate with that object through ActionScript. You'll see the usefulness of that later on in this title. There is the Check syntax button, which checks to see if you have any syntax errors.
I can click that button now. I don't have any errors, so I don't have any problems. There is the Show code hint button. We'll talk more about code hinting in another movie. There's Debug options, which you can use to help debug your code when you're testing it in Flash player. Next code is Expanding and Collapsing. So let's say if I scroll down here in this block of code that says startGame, I can click right after that curly brace and then click Collapse between braces.
So I have that block of code organized like that. I can collapse a section of code by highlighting it, then clicking the Collapse button. I can expand that by clicking the Expand button. In addition to these features of the Actions panel, you also have the Options area, which is that dropdown menu you can get at by clicking the top- right of the Actions panel. That's that little arrow that's pointing down and the few lines next to it. Here you have some other options, like you can pin a script somewhere while you move around with the rest of your code.
You can go to a particular line, you can import and export Scripts, you can print code, you can show or hide line numbers, and you can control word wrap. Note that you can also get straight to your ActionScript Preferences through this window, like so. So by using these features of the Actions panel, you have more tools to work efficiently in Flash.
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