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In Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding demonstrates how to create and publish fully interactive Flash (SWF) micro sites, widgets, portfolios, and applications from static Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork—all without writing code. The course covers planning a project, importing and organizing assets, creating interactive components, defining repeating data lists, and publishing final projects. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the first things that you'll learn about working with vector artwork is something called the Stacking Order. In other words, when you draw objects, objects appear on top of or beneath other objects. There are commands in programs like Illustrator for example to send objects to the back of the stacking order or to bring them to the front or the top of the stacking order. In Flash Catalyst, those same rules apply. For example, in this document here I have this olive tour project2 project open here inside of Flash Catalyst, and I'll click on the Picking page.
Now eventually, in a final version of this interactive tour, this page is actually going to have a video playing right here. The image that appears here is simply a placeholder for what eventually is going to be a video. What I would like to do is add buttons that will allow me to choose to play or to pause that video. In fact, when I was designing this inside of Illustrator, I did design specific buttons for that purpose. However, if we take a look at the Layers panel right now and I reveal the contents of the Picking layer, I'll see that my video controls appear beneath the image itself.
That's why right now those buttons are not visible. However, if I click on this layer inside of the Layers panel, I'll see that I've now selected those buttons, and if I want to bring them to the front of the stacking order I can go to Modify menu, and I can choose Arrange > Bring to Front. Notice by the way, the keyboard shortcuts match the exact same command that appears inside of Illustrator. The Ctrl+Shift+bracket keys on Windows and the Command+Shift+bracket keys on a Mac. So by choosing Bring to Front right now, I can now see that those buttons are visible on top of the image itself.
Now, I am going to go back here to the MainView page and you will see that the buttons here are really not in any order at all and I would like to line them up all evenly so that they appear in a straight line. While it is certainly true that I can go ahead now and draw a Guide and then have those objects move one by one and snap them to a Guide, it's far more easy for me to apply an Align function. To do that, I'm going to use my Selection tool to select the first button and I'll hold down the Shift key on my keyboard, and I'll select the remaining four buttons.
Next, I will go back to the Modify menu here, I am going to choose Align, and I am going to choose Align Left. Now all the buttons appear in a row just the way that I want them.
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