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In Flash Professional CS5: Code Snippets and Templates in Depth, David Gassner shows designers how to use Flash Professional CS5's Code Snippets panel and file templates to get started with ActionScript 3 and implement best practices. This course describes how to insert snippets into existing Flash presentations, includes a detailed explanation of the code behind the snippets, and shows how to use the many templates included with Flash Pro CS5 to quickly create customized presentations. Exercise files are included with the course.
When you first open Flash Professional CS5, you won't see the Code Snippets panel visible in any of the predefined workspaces. For example, I'm currently looking at the Essentials workspace, which includes the Properties and Library panels on the right, and the Timeline and Motion Editor at the bottom. I'll switch to the Designer workspace, and once again you won't see the Code Snippets panel visible. If you have the Welcome Screen opened, which is opened automatically when you first opened Flash Professional, and then you go to the Window menu, you also won't see the Code Snippets panel there.
You can only get to the Code Snippets panel if either the Welcome Screen isn't opened or if you've created or opened a Flash presentation in the design area. So, to give you a tour of the Code Snippets panel, I'll create a new file. I'll select File > New, choose ActionScript 3.0, and click OK. Then I'll go to the menu and choose Window > Code Snippets. Once again, depending on which workspace you currently have opened, the Code Snippets panel might appear in a panel group by itself, or it might be grouped with other panels.
The Code Snippets panel has three buttons across the top labeled Add to current frame, Copy to clipboard, and then the final is the Options menu, which when you click the Down Arrow, opens up a menu of options. Within the main body of the Code Snippets panel, there are a number of categories. The Actions category includes code snippets that take particular actions. The Timeline Navigation category includes code snippets that manipulate the Timeline and so on. I'll be giving you a tour of many of these code snippets during the video series.
The Add to current frame button allows you to add a particular selected code snippet to the current frame of your timeline. You can accomplish the same thing by simply double-clicking the code snippet you want to use. Alternatively, if you don't want the code to be added automatically, you can select the code snippet and then click the Copy to clipboard button. The code will be added to the clipboard and then you can paste it wherever you want. Finally, the Options menu allows you to modify your code snippets. You can select the menu option Create a New Code Snippet, which takes you into this Create New Code Snippet dialog box.
You can also edit the code snippet's XML file, delete a code snippet, and import and export XML content that defines code snippets. I'll talk about how to customize your code snippets in a separate chapter of the video course. So, that's a brief tour of the Code Snippets panel. In the other videos of this chapter, I'll show you how to use a number of very common code snippets, both simple code snippets that execute when the playhead enters a particular frame of the timeline and object code snippets that are executed when a particular event is dispatched from a movie clip symbol instance.
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