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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5

Creating invisible buttons


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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5

with Paul Trani

Video: Creating invisible buttons

Using invisible buttons is an invaluable technique, which allows you to make your own hotspots if you will and then add interactivity to those hotspots. That's what I want to do with the Portfolio section. So right down here in about Frame 61, here is my portfolio content and I want to add some hotspots or some invisible buttons that are going to serve as hotspots for this graphic. So I am going to expand out the Timeline a little bit and I am just going to add a new layer.

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Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5
2h 45m Beginner Jul 27, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5 shows how to make a fully functional, dynamic web site in Flash Professional CS5. This course covers the fundamentals of creating and importing content, adding smooth 2D and 3D transitions, and adding button functionality that goes beyond links. This course will also show how to integrate and control video and audio as well as how to implement a gallery and a contact form. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding web design
  • Creating buttons and web graphics in Photoshop
  • Formatting text with the Text Layout Framework
  • Using the Timeline
  • Creating a custom looping animation
  • Loading images in a gallery
  • Creating invisible buttons
  • Adding music and video to a site
  • Customizing video playback controls
  • Optimizing and publishing a web site
Subjects:
Web Interaction Design Projects
Software:
Flash Professional Illustrator
Author:
Paul Trani

Creating invisible buttons

Using invisible buttons is an invaluable technique, which allows you to make your own hotspots if you will and then add interactivity to those hotspots. That's what I want to do with the Portfolio section. So right down here in about Frame 61, here is my portfolio content and I want to add some hotspots or some invisible buttons that are going to serve as hotspots for this graphic. So I am going to expand out the Timeline a little bit and I am just going to add a new layer.

On this new layer I am just going to rename it Portfolio Content and I am going to insert a keyframe. So at this point of time that's actually where I want my content to exist right here and I will move it down because the final resting place is out where I want that content to exist. I am also going to insert a blank keyframe just after it. So this one frame is where my hotspots are going to exist. I am going to just go ahead and select the Rectangle tool and I am going to change the stroke color to nothing, and then my fill color is just going to be white.

Now what I am going to do is I am just going to draw a square over that first image. Okay, I am going to use my Selection tool, select that graphic, open up my Library panel, and I am going to drag it right into the Library. Now I can go ahead and make my invisible button. It is of type Button. invisible button. Select OK and now here you can see it in my Library. Okay, it's actually not invisible yet, so what I mean to do is I need to double-click on it to enter inside of this button and in order to make it invisible all I need to do is remove any content that's in the Up state and how I can do that is I can just take this first keyframe and just move it over one.

Now there is nothing in my default state, but when they roll over that graphic that's when it's going to turn white. In fact, I can even insert a keyframe in the Down state and then change the color of this graphic to black. So that's how I am going to do, but be mindful that there is nothing in the Up state. So look what happens when I go back to Scene 1. It turns this teal color and let me just sort of zoom in on that so we can see it a little better. With it selected, you can see that it actually is a teal color, so that's just Flash telling me that there is nothing in this girst frame.

So if I actually do Enable Simple Buttons, this is a unique option that I can select and that will enable this as a simple button ,since that's what it is. So it gives me the Over state and then the Down state. So I get a little quick preview of what it's like. But I am not crazy how it turns white and just sort of white outs the image. So what I can do is turn off Enable Simple Buttons and what I want to do with this button is I want to change the display mode, in particular the blending mode is what I want to change to Overlay.

So if you are familiar with Photoshop or Illustrator, you are probably familiar with blend modes. So it gives this white overlay to the image. So if I go to Control > Enable Simple Buttons, you can see how it sort of brightens up that image but doesn't white it out and when I click on it, it makes it dark. So that's a really cool way to make a hotspot and what I can do now is if I turn off Enable Simple Buttons, I can start to duplicate this simple button, which is technically my invisible button.

So all I did is I held down the Option and Shift key and dragged that image over and it's Alt+Shift on Windows. But I can select both of these images and hold down Option+Shift. Drag down. But what I have done there is I have just quickly created 6 hotspots, and now these buttons are set-up so when I click on any one of these buttons I can then swap out the image in this area. But again, I could not only use this invisible button here for the gallery; I can use it throughout my project, wherever I want to add a nice hotspot.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5.


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Q: I followed all the steps and suggestions in the "Adding a progress bar" video, but when I add the progress bar to my web site, I can’t remove it once the index.swf file loads up. The progress bar remains on the homepage and the rest of the pages. How do I make it disappear once the site loads?
A: To make it disappear, just make sure the progress bar is only in frame 1. If it’s on its own layer, then right-click on the 2nd frame in that same layer and select "Insert Blank Keyframe." That will make it disappear.
Q: Despite following the steps in the "Adding a progress bar" video, I cannot figure out how to keep the progress bar from appearing on a movie that has finished loading. How can I make the progress bar disappear?
A: Just add the red line below to the preloader.fla file. This will make the progress bar invisible: 
"function contentLoaded(evt:Event):void { //Optionally change to a clip holder and set progressbar visibility. addChild(contentLoader); progressbar.visible = false; }"
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