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Through several hands-on tutorials, instructor Todd Perkins shows how to best build dynamic, streamlined sites using Flash CS3 Professional. Learn how to create custom keyboard shortcuts, apply advanced text techniques such as animating scrolling text with custom easing controls, and using advanced animation techniques. Flash CS3 Professional Beyond the Basics covers many challenging features, including adding complex interactivity to a Flash CS3 project and getting Flash content on a phone. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
Now we'll talk about creating custom color swatches. If you're following along, I'm working in 03_Custom_Swatches.fla, in the Chapter 01 folder in the Exercise Files folder. Now in this file there's a simple rectangle on the stage with a gradient applied. Now let's say I wanted to save this gradient and use it over and over again throughout this .fla file or if I wanted to use it in other .fla files. To save a custom color, you can select object of that color and make sure that the correct color is displayed in the Color panel.
Here you can tell that the correct color is displayed, a gradient from black to gray. Go to the Swatches panel. If you don't see the Swatches panel you can simply choose Window, Swatches. And in the Swatches panel, to save a solid color, click below the solid colors at the top of the Swatches panel. To save a gradient, which we're going to do right now, click in the gradient section at the bottom of the Swatches panel. I click there, and I just created gradient swatch, a black to gray gradient. And now what I can do is, using the Selection tool, I could select the rectangle on the stage and then change its color using the Swatches panel by clicking any color swatch.
I'm going to click a green swatch to change its color to green. Now if I want to use that same gradient that I created before, I could select the rectangle on the stage and simply click the gradient in the Swatches panel. I'll do that now. So you can see that the same gradient is applied to the rectangle. Now I'm going to click a green swatch in the Swatches panel again, to convert the rectangle back to a green color. Now let's say you wanted to save your swatches and use them in a different file. To do that, click the Options button at the top right of the Swatches panel, and then choose Save Colors.
You can also choose Save as Default to save these colors as your default colors, but for now let's choose Save Colors. If you're working in the exercise files find the Exercise Files folder and then Chapter 01. Save the color swatch as custom_colors. And the Format should be .clr. You can see that in the Format the drop down at the bottom of the Export Color Swatch window. Notice that you can also create a Color Table. Let's choose Flash Color Set and then click the Save button. And now what I'm going to do is delete all the color swatches and go back to the default color swatches. To do that click the same Options button at the top right of Swatches panel, choose the Load Default Colors option.
Notice that when you choose that option, the gradient that you created disappears. Now, we'll load the color swatch file that we created into this file so we can have that gradient again. Now typically you would load this into another file so you can have the same swatches in different files. So now let's take a look at how to load custom color swatches into Flash. At the top right of the Swatches panel click the Options button and then choose the Replace Colors button. There are two different options here for loading and colors - Add colors and Replace colors. Add colors appends swatches to the current swatches in the Swatches panel. Replace colors will take all the swatches in a swatch file and replace the current swatches you have in the Swatches panel with those colors that have loaded from the swatches file.
So that's what we want to do here so choose Replace Colors. In the Exercise Files folder find the Chapter 01 folder and select the file custom_colors.clr and click Open. Notice when you open that file you'll see the custom gradient you created appear in the Gradient section of the Swatches panel. With the rectangle on the stage selected, click that custom gradient to apply it to the rectangle on the stage. So when you are working with colors in Flash, you can save colors that you like, export them and import them into other files to use them there.
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