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The Break Apart command

From: Flash Professional Power Shortcuts

Video: The Break Apart command

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.

The Break Apart command

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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This video is part of

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Flash Professional Power Shortcuts

52 video lessons · 4525 viewers

Todd Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 1m 21s
    1. Welcome
      35s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 50m 54s
    1. The Break Apart command
      3m 35s
    2. The Distribute To Layers command
      1m 32s
    3. Zooming shortcuts
      2m 13s
    4. Copying and pasting shortcuts
      1m 34s
    5. The Swap and Duplicate Symbol commands
      1m 50s
    6. Shortcuts with graphic symbols
      2m 29s
    7. Editing multiple frames
      2m 9s
    8. Finding and replacing all types of content
      3m 31s
    9. Creating custom code snippets
      2m 26s
    10. Using frame keyboard shortcuts
      2m 5s
    11. The Align panel
      2m 16s
    12. Fast masking
      1m 38s
    13. Shortcuts for rulers and guides
      2m 31s
    14. The essential toolbar shortcuts
      2m 0s
    15. Exporting a movie clip or graphic symbol animation
      5m 39s
    16. Importing sequences of images
      2m 42s
    17. Snap To Guides and Snap To Objects
      3m 29s
    18. Enabling buttons and ActionScript without testing the movie
      2m 18s
    19. Muting sounds
      1m 21s
    20. Using the History panel to create custom shortcuts
      3m 36s
  3. 11m 46s
    1. Panel shortcuts
      1m 48s
    2. Drawing shortcuts
      2m 44s
    3. Testing movies
      1m 30s
    4. Using the Movie Explorer
      3m 29s
    5. Saving and loading colors
      2m 15s
  4. 8m 9s
    1. Using easing presets in the Motion Editor
      3m 21s
    2. Working with frame previews
      1m 45s
    3. Setting onion skinning and onion skinning outlines
      3m 3s
  5. 6m 2s
    1. Working with multiple libraries
      2m 50s
    2. Importing objects to the Library
      1m 5s
    3. Updating graphics in the Library
      2m 7s
  6. 6m 44s
    1. Spell-checking
      2m 19s
    2. Embedding fonts
      2m 21s
    3. Adding variables in a text field
      2m 4s
  7. 12m 35s
    1. Creating new class/interface files
      1m 28s
    2. Using code snippets and behaviors
      3m 38s
    3. Navigating the code throughout your document
      2m 43s
    4. Using the Auto Format tool
      2m 15s
    5. Fixing coding errors
      2m 31s
  8. 22m 29s
    1. Keeping SWF file sizes small
      4m 15s
    2. Making a preloader for better Flash Player performance
      7m 11s
    3. Best practices in ActionScript 3
      6m 1s
    4. Optimizing bitmaps
      3m 6s
    5. Optimizing audio
      1m 56s
  9. 13m 31s
    1. Using Auto-Recovery and Auto-Save
      4m 19s
    2. Working with Authortime shared assets
      2m 58s
    3. Using the new Library Conflict Resolution dialog
      1m 57s
    4. Showing and hiding instances with the new visible property
      2m 38s
    5. Copying and pasting layers
      1m 39s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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