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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.
So we know that our Flash Catalyst projects are made up of layers and also of pages. If we think about it, each of the pages just have different layers turned on and off. For example, let's take a look at this Two Trees logo that appears right here. We know that it's on the Border layer. I can see it right over here, the Two Trees logo. Let's say I really want that logo to appear on the first page, but I decide that after looking at some of the other pages, for example, the Growing page and the Picking page, that I don't want the logo to appear on these pages.
Well, obviously, I can go to each of these pages and I can turn the eyeball off of that layer so that it does not appear on those pages. However, if I want to do that in all of these pages here, except for the first page, I have to manually go to each of these pages and turn these layers on and off, which could be a tedious process. Because pages and states are such a core concept inside of Flash Catalyst, there is actually some pretty cool functionality that will help us go ahead and control which elements do appear on different pages or states of our projects.
So I'll turn this one back on again and I'll navigate back to the first page, the MainView page. I'll click on the logo just on this page to select it and I'll go to the States menu. You can see an option here called Remove from State. Even though I'm currently in the MainView state right now, I could choose to remove this logo or basically hide the layer on any of these one specific states, but I'd still need to do that for each state one at a time. However, what I can do is go take this option over here called Share to State and choose Current State Only.
That means I want this object that I currently have selected to only be visible on the current state that's selected. So by choosing this option, you could see now that the logo no longer appears on any of the other states. It's only appearing on the first state on the MainView page. Of course, I can now go back to the States panel and choose Share to State and choose All States to now add them back to all the states or I can share it with a very specific state, for example the Extracting state or the Bottling state.
By the way, now you're really starting to see the benefits of naming all of your pages inside of your project. Can you imagine if all of these states were named Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3? You may not know which object belongs to what page. But being that you have these options now to easily share objects across different states and pages, the names really start to take on some meaning. I think that you'll find as you start to use Flash Catalyst more, you'll find that you'll be able to work more quickly, because your brain quickly identifies with the names of each of these pages or states.
Finally, let me show you one other really cool feature about Flash Catalyst that I think can save you a lot of time. I'm going to choose the All States option here, so now the logo is added back to all of the states inside of my project. But let's say I decide now to make a small adjustment to the position of this one element. For example, I want to move the logo over a little to the left. It doesn't really make a difference where, but I just want to change its position. Note that right now, that position change only happened on the MainView page.
If I take a look at some of the other pages right now, I'll see the logo is in a completely different position. Let's go back to the MainView page. What can I do to now ensure that this logo appears in the exact same position across all these other states? Well, I'm going to go back to the Window menu. I'm going to choose to show my HUD. I had hidden it before. You can notice that right now it tells me, I have an Optimized Graphic selected, but it also lets me know that right now this object has different properties in other states.
I have the option here to make it the same in all other states. So with one click of a button, right now, I'll click this button, all the other states will now be updated. So now the logo is in the exact same position on all those other states. It just saves me a tremendous amount of time from having to do that process manually. So there are two things to remember here. First of all, we can already see how important it is to name all the pages in your project. Second, don't worry about tedious repositioning of objects and turning on and off of layers.
Instead, get familiar with using the States commands, specifically the commands that allow you to go ahead and share artwork across different states and to make artwork the same across multiple states as well.
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