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In this course, author Todd Perkins helps designers build their power user skills with an array of timesaving tips, tricks, and techniques that work in multiple versions of Flash Professional. Beginning with Todd's top 20 shortcuts, the course includes tips for designing and animating artwork, managing multiple libraries, writing and navigating through code, optimizing bitmaps and audio, and much more.
Whether you're working with text, groups, symbols, or bitmap graphics, the Break Apart command is a powerful tool to have under your belt. Think of the Break Apart command as a glorified ungroup command. It takes any object and breaks it down to the next editable level. First, let's take a group. On this stage, I have some cans, and if I select them, you'll see in the Properties panel that I have a group.
Now I could simply ungroup them by Shift+Command+G or Shift+Ctrl+G on the PC, but that's all that ungroup does. It takes a group and makes the objects individual objects. In contrast, the Break Apart command works on anything. So I can select this group and I can choose Modify > Break Apart. Note the keyboard shortcut, Command or Ctrl+B. So I press that and I have four individual trashcans.
And if I wanted to break them apart further, I could do that by selecting one and pressing Command+B again. So I press that again and it says Mixed. I have a bitmap graphic and a vector graphic in there. So if I move the bitmap graphic, you can see that I have a vector graphic. You'll see that hit_mc is a movie clip. I could then press Break Apart again, and then I have a drawing object. Further, I could do it one more time and then I have a basic shape.
So the Break Apart command quickly makes an object more editable. I mentioned earlier that it also works on text. If I select a text field, I can press the Break Apart command to break the text field into different drawing objects. That's what happens if you use TLF Text. If you use Classic Text, you have even more freedom. So I'm going to use the Classic Text engine and I'll type out SCORE: 100, I'll stretch it out a little bit, and I'll set it to render Static Text.
And then when I use the Break Apart command, you'll see that I get each character as its own text field. So now if I wanted to just edit one of the numbers of the score, say change it to 200, I can do that. And from there, I could select all the individual letters and break them apart again and then they turn into basic shapes, and I'll just delete them. Note also that you can break apart a bitmap graphic. So I have this bitmap on this stage here with the lights and the trees and the building, and you'll see in the Properties panel that it's a bitmap.
If I use the Break Apart command on a bitmap, then you'll see it kind of looks like a shape, and what that is, is a vector shape with a bitmap fill. So if I lock every layer except for the background layer by Option or Alt+Clicking the locked dot mode in that layer, I can click-and-drag a selection area and select a part of that shape and delete it or modify it in any other way. So I can turn a bitmap graphic into a bitmap fill, and I can edit it just like I would any other object.
See that I can even add Bezier Curves on it. So the Break Apart command can essentially ungroup any type of object in Flash, and all you have to do to use it is press Command or Ctrl+B.
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