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Prior to Flash MX 2004 (which was the last version of Flash) the Actions panel had a mode called Normal mode (which was the default method of working with Actions inside a Flash). In normal mode, as you added actions to your Script pane here (on the right hand side) there was another section in the Actions window about it that would give you Pull Down Menus, radio buttons, and so forth, to make it easy to use selections for how that action worked.
In essence it made working with actions for beginners much, much easier because you didn't have to know all the syntax. You didn't have to type and enter everything in manually. However in Flash MX2004, they removed Normal mode and instead working with ActionScript means it will be permanently set in what was called Expert mode. Meaning you just click inside of the Script pane and type everything in manually without any assistance. However in Flash 8 they've essentially added Normal mode back in.
Except that it's now called Script Assist. And you'll see it as a button now, in the top right of your Actions panel. What Script Assist does is essentially the same thing that Normal mode did. In that it helps you and assists you when writing ActionScript. Let's take a look at how that works really quickly without getting too involved in ActionScript itself. To enable Script Assist, which is turned off by default, you need to open up your Actions panel and click the Script Assist button.
So just remember that you need to click on the Script Assist button to turn it on to begin with. And then, once you have Script Assist turned on, you can add an Action to your Action panel. So I'm just going to click inside of my Script pane. Click on the Add a New Item to the Script button or Add ActionScript button. And choose Global functions, Timeline Control, Go To. When I select that Go To and Play Action notice how, above my Script pane, I have options.
Now for those of you that were familiar with Flash MX and prior this will all look very, very familiar to you. This is basically how Normal mode worked prior to Flash MX2004. So when I have an action selected and, when I have Script Assist turned on, I can now easily choose between Pull Down Menus for the various options I have and for the action that I had selected. So it makes it really easy for beginners to go in here and easily modify the options they want without having to know exactly how ActionScript works.
Now having said that Script Assist is not an ActionScript to get "out of jail free card". You still really should learn ActionScript and the syntax (which is how it's written) and the proper way to write it because Script Assist can only take you so far. But to really continue your education on Flash you need to also learn to write ActionScript without Script Assist. Script Assist is really a tool for beginners to learn to understand and write Actions Script. And to see the Action Script actually being authored in a correct way of writing it while your using it.
So it's more of a learning tool and not something you're supposed to continue using throughout your Flash career.
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