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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.
Scrollbar components are often used when you have too much information to display at any one time on a screen. For example if you have a lot of text, you may use a Scrollbar to allow people to move up and down to see more of that text. When working with Scrollbars inside of Flash Catalyst, you'll find that they are somewhat similar to a slider component, but they have two additional parts which make it a bit more unique. For example if I go to the Wireframe Components panel and I drag out a horizontal scrollbar, I see there is a Track and a Thumb, but there are also buttons that appear on either end that allow you to incrementally move that Thumb across the Track.
Let's see how we might customize one of these here in Flash Catalyst. Again, working in a blank project, I'll go to the File menu and I'll import some artwork that I created inside of Illustrator. In this case, I have a file called leaves_olives. I'll choose Open and I'll choose OK in the dialog box to bring that art into Flash Catalyst. A quick look at my Layers panel reveals that I have four basic elements. I have the Leaves, which is going to be the Track, the OliveBowl which will be the Thumb, and then I have two groups of olives which I'm going to use as buttons to complete my horizontal scrollbar.
Again, in this example, we're using a horizontal scrollbar, however, you can also create a vertical scrollbar in Flash Catalyst to have items move up and down instead of side to side. Let's begin by first selecting all the elements on the artboard. I'll click-and-drag to draw a marquee around all of the elements to select them. Then using the HUD, I'll now convert this to a horizontal scrollbar. Once again, the HUD tells me that next steps are required, because I need to indicate which of these elements are going to be the different parts of the scrollbar. So I'll choose Edit Parts and I'll start by selecting the OliveBowl.
I'll convert that to the Thumb part. I'll also select the Leaves and I'll convert that to the Track. Notice by the way that the Thumb and the Track are both required. In order to create a scrollbar, you need to have both a Thumb and a Track. However, the Left Button and the Right Button are purely optional. As a designer, you would choose on a project-by-project basis whether or not you need these buttons. But for now, I'm going to turn these Leaves into the Track part. Now I'll choose this group of olives and convert that part to a Left Button.
I'll do the same thing for the elements on the right. I'll choose part here and convert them to a Right Button. Now I'm going to double-click to exit the editing mode and I'll press Ctrl+Enter to run this project in my browser, so that we can see how it works. I can either click on the Thumb itself and move it back and forth, or I can click on the Left or Right Buttons to actually move that Thumb along the Track as well. Unfortunately, in Flash Catalyst, there is no way to automatically assign a button to make the Thumb go all the way to the right or the left side of your Track.
You can only create buttons that go incrementally along that track. Still, as a designer, you no longer have to put up with those dull scrollbars that appear on web sites. You can design your own in practically any shape and for almost any need.
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